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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Bucheon FC 1995

This Saturday in round three of the K League 2 features a Gyeonggi-do derby between two clubs that have already tasted victory this season. The hosts, fifth-placed Ansan Greeners, will be looking to bounce back after a defeat last weekend took the shine off of their opening day victory. Visitors Bucheon FC 1995, meanwhile, are the only team left in the division with a 100 percent record and will be looking to extend their run at the top of the table.

Last Time Out

Ansan Greeners 0-2 Suwon FC

Ansan and Suwon had the honour of kicking off last weekend's matches in the K League 2 alongside Jeonnam Dragons and Jeju United. Ansan and Suwon had experienced contrasting experiences on the opening day of the season, as Suwon were defeated 2-1 at home by a last-minute goal from Daejeon Hana Citizen, while Ansan managed to defeat their biggest rivals FC Anyang 1-0 away from home in the Line 4 Derby. Despite their differing league positions it was Suwon that came out of the gates fighting and took control of the match early on. Suwon's Brazilian midfielder Marlone had a goal disallowed in the 25th minutes due to an offside in the build-up, but the 28 year-old would continue to influence the game by assisting both of Suwon's goals. 

The first came just seven minutes later, as a lobbed pass from Marlone would find Japanese-born North Korean international An Byong-jun unmarked in the box, and An would volley a left-footed shot into the bottom left of the goal for his second of the campaign. Suwon would continue to dominate and could easily have been three or four goals up by half-time, however they would have to wait till the 69th minute to extend their lead. Marlone crossed a free-kick into the penalty area and 23 year-old defender Cho Yu-min would just about get his head to it before the keepers fist, and it would bounce over the line for Suwon to double their lead. Overall, it was a fairly dominant display from Suwon, and Ansan Greeners will have to improve a lot if they are to stand a chance at competing for the play-offs again this season.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here. 

Bucheon FC 1995 2-1 FC Anyang

Following Ansan's defeat and Jeonnam Dragons 1-0 victory over Jeju United, the final match on Saturday featured Bucheon hosting local rivals Anyang. While Anyang suffered a psychological knock from losing to their local rivals Ansan 1-0 as well as having disallowed goals, Bucheon were in high spirits after defeating Chungnam Asan 1-0 thanks to an injury-time penalty from new signing William Barbio. In order to change their fortunes Anyang came out fighting and had multiple chances from the first minute onwards. Anyang would dominate possession with 60 percent and would record more shots and shots on target than Bucheon (13 and seven respectively, compared to Bucheon's 10 and five). They battled physically too, as Anyang notched-up three yellow cards compared to Bucheon's one. 

Bucheon themselves had good chances, however, and it was the team in red that would find themselves opening the scoring. In the 62nd minute Guk Tae-jeong would deliver a free-kick from the left-wing that would find the head of defender Kim Young-chan, who would direct the ball into the goal via a deflection off of an Anyang player. Anyang would continue to fight and they would equalise in the 87th minute. A miss-hit Kwon Ki-pyo shot would find substitute Maurides, who would fire a right-footed volley into the Bucheon goal from the middle of the box, despite the keeper getting a hand to it. Both teams continued to attack to claim the three points, but when Bucheon won a corner kick in the dying minute they would once again find an injury-time winner. Jang Hyun-soo crossed from the right and again Kim Young-chan was found, who proceeded to power a header into the Anyang goal with only a minute left to play. The 26 year-old former Anyang and Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors player had never scored a professional goal before, but now finds himself at joint-second on the K League 2 scorers chart.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here.

Previous Meetings

In the 12 matches that have been played between these teams honours are even at five Bucheon wins, five Ansan wins, and two draws. Bucheon have scored slightly more goals, with 18 versus 17, but the area of dominance for Bucheon comes in the location of their victories. Both of the draws have come when Bucheon were at home, while when Ansan are at home Bucheon have won four out of their five victories and scored 11 of their 18 goals there. Meanwhile Ansan have won two of their five matches at home and scored nine of their 17 goals there. As Bucheon are visiting Ansan on Saturday they may indeed have the edge mentally, especially as they have won both of their matches this season while Ansan are split between one win and one loss.

Last season was a perfect reflection of the fact that the away team seems to have the advantage in this fixture. Out of the four matches that the clubs played against each other last season, the away side was victorious in every single match. They have also been very close matches, as three of the games finished with a 2-1 scoreline, with the remaining being a 1-0 win for Bucheon in May. Even when going back to the first ever matches between the two teams, there has never been a game where the winner has triumphed by more than two goals. Both clubs have had a lot of players depart, however, so history may not be the biggest indicator of future performance. In fact, out of the eight different players that scored in this fixture last season, only one has remained at their club - Ansan Greeners centre-back Lee In-jae.

Team News

Jefferson Baiano was the only Bucheon player to receive a yellow card last week, meaning he joins Ju Jong-dae on the list of Bucheon players with yellow cards. Baiano has started both matches, though was substituted in the 51st minute against Anyang, largely due to him receiving the card in the 36th minute. He was replaced by Suh Myeong-won, who was making his debut for Bucheon and gave quite a positive performance.

Manager Song Seon-ho only made one lineup change last week compared to matchday one, which was U-22 player Gu Bon-chul being replaced by debutant Lee Hyun-il. The rest of the changes were formational, as Lee was moved to the left-wing with Guk Tae-jeong moving from the left-wing to left-back, and William Barbio filling Gu Bon-chul's attacking midfielder spot, which left Baiano as the sole striker. This switch from 3-5-2 to 4-5-1 actually first happened during the second-half of the Chungnam Asan game on matchday one.

The defence and midfield have remained unchanged so far as Bucheon have defended quite well and given a good supply of chances to their attack. The only problem has been finishing from open play, as all of their goals so far have come from set-pieces. It is possible that the only change that might be made could see Baiano being dropped in favour of Suh Myeong-won, especially as both of Bucheon's goals against Anyang came after the substitution. However, as Bucheon have been victorious in both matches and it is unclear if dropping Baiano would have an effect on compatriot Barbio, the coach may well decide to put out an unchanged lineup.

The Adversary

Three Ansan players have picked up yellow cards so far this season - Kim Min-ho and Choi Geon-joo against Anyang, and Bruno against Suwon. Manager Kim Gil-sik has started both of this season's matches with a 3-4-3 formation, though last week it changed into a 5-4-1 formation during the match. Two lineup changes were made last week, as central midfielder Lee Rae-jun was moved to the bench in favour of Spanish player Ismael Balea, and Shin Jae-won was moved away from the right-wing to the bench for Brazilian Bruno.

When the switch to 5-4-1 occurred in the second half, it consisted of left and right midfielders Kim Jin-rae and Kim Tae-hyun joining the defence, with wingers Choi Geon-joo and Bruno moving to the midfield. This left former Bucheon player Kim Ryun-do as his club's lone striker. It will be interesting to see if Ansan will change their tactics against Bucheon, as Bucheon regularly play in the same 4-5-1 formation that Suwon used to defeat Ansan last week.

What To Watch

Can Ansan cope with an aerial threat? In Ansan's game against Suwon the second conceded goal came from a free-kick leading to a header, while the first goal came from a lobbed pass catching Ansan's defenders out. In the first Ansan game of the season, Anyang had a goal disallowed that came from a free-kick. This is clearly a problem that Ansan need to address, especially since both of Bucheon's goals last week came from headers caused by set-pieces. If Bucheon are given the same chances that they had last week and if Ansan have not learned their lessons, then Bucheon could have a real chance of extending their lead at the top of the table.



Bucheon are in good form, Ansan have had mixed performances. Historically things are fairly even between the two sides, but based on recent performances and the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams Bucheon should come away with the win.

Ansan Greeners 1-2 Bucheon FC 1995

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