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Preview: Suwon FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen

Preview: Suwon FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen
The Hana Financial Group era will begin for Daejeon Hana Citizen with an away trip to Suwon FC in Round 1 of the 2020 K League 2 season. After an extremely busy winter transfer window, and with decorated manager Hwang Sun-hong at the helm, the Purples are seen as one of the favourites for promotion to K League 1 and so will be determined to get off to a good start to the new campaign. Paul Neat previews Suwon FC vs Daejeon Hana Citizen.

Overview

Image via Soccerway

Pre-season

Suwon FC

Suwon FC have had something of a mixed pre-season. Kim Do-kyun's men lost to K3 side Gyeongju KHNP, to K League 1 giants Pohang Steelers 6-2 over two matches, and 2-1 over two matches with Seongnam including a 0-0 draw, but picked up wins against Gimpo FC, and Konkuk University. But, Suwon FC's most impressive win over pre-season was an away victory over K League 1 side Incheon United, Masatoshi with the only goal of the game.

Daejeon Hana Citizen

Daejeon, meanwhile, have enjoyed a productive pre-season and lost just once, a 3-1 reverse away to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors at Jeonju World Cup Stadium. Andre Luis was on the scoresheet for Citizen with a stunning solo effort. As well as comfortable wins over the likes of Cheongju FC, Cheongju University, Kyunggi University, Incheon United and Daejeon Korail, the Purples have earned respectable draws against the likes of Gangwon FC. The team began their pre-season training in Spain where they took on S.D. Sueca before returning to Korea's south coast of Namhae.

Previous Meetings

Suwon FC have enjoyed a decent record against their Chungcheong Province counterparts having gone unbeaten in their last five encounters with the Purples. The most recent was a 2-2 draw at Castle Park where Kim Byung-oh gave the hosts a 25th-minute lead, only for Ahn Sang-hyeon and Lee Jung-moon for Daejeon to turn the game on its head. But, two minutes from time, Chisolm Egbuchunam fired in a later equaliser.

The three previous meetings ended in Suwon victories. Daejeon's last win over Suwon FC was in September 2018 when a Ko Myeong-seok strike on 21 minutes sealed a valuable three points for the Purples in their push for the playoffs. Overall, since the first K League meeting in 2014 there have been 17 matches played between these two teams, Suwon have eight wins to Daejeon's 7 and just two draws.

Team News

There will be debuts aplenty for both teams come Saturday. For the hosts, former FC Seoul duo, goalkeeper Yoo Hyun and left back Park Min-gyu could be in line to make their Suwon bows. Meanwhile, Japanese shadow striker, Masatoshi Ishida, who joined from Ansan Greeners, is also likely to be involved. All featured during the friendly with Incheon United recently, as did Kim Geon-woong, Choi Jong-hwan, but centre back Choi Kyu-baek is a doubt.

For Daejeon, Kim Dong-jun, Lee Woong-hee, Lee Kyu-ro, Lee Seul-chan, Park Jin-seop, Park Yong-ji, Andre Luis, Bruno Baio, could all make their debuts. Connor Chapman is a major doubt having been absent from Daejeon's recent friendlies, however. Cho Jae-cheol and Park Jin-seop were given the nod in central midfield against Jeonbuk last Saturday and so could be the ones Hwang Sun-hong looks to for the trip to Suwon. Club captain Hwang Jae-hun came on as a second-half substitute in the friendly defeat to Jeonbuk after missing several of the Purples' previous warm-up matches. The right back, who can also play as a holding midfielder, may have to make do with a place on the bench with Lee Seul-chan and Cho Jae-cheol likely to start at right back and in central midfield respectively.

The Adversary

Suwon FC

After being disappointing for two seasons despite being tipped for promotion, Suwon have quietly gone about their business during the transfer window. Whilst there won't be too many expectations placed upon them with the likes of Jeju United, Gyeongnam FC, and Saturday's opponents Daejeon all vying for promotion, Suwon have recruited very well themselves. Over the winter window, midfielder Kim Geon-woong has joined from Ulsan, former FC Seoul goalkeeper Yoo Hyun, shadow striker Masatoshi Ishida from Ansan Greeners, Park Min-kyu from FC Seoul, who enjoyed a loan spell with Daejeon at the end of last season, centre back Choi Kyu-baek from J.League side V-Varen Nagasaki, and Brazilian attacking midfielder, Marlone, who won a FIFA Puskas Award in 2016, are some of the standouts.

Suwon, though, will be under the stewardship of new manager Kim Do-kyun. Kim was well-known as a player due to his stints with Ulsan, Seongnam, Jeonnam, and for the Korean National Team as a midfielder but his still cutting his teeth as a manager. Since 2009, Kim has been a youth coach with Ulsan so is set to take his place in a K League dugout for the first time. Suwon look set to set up in a 4-3-3 formation with a spine of Cho Yu-min, Han Jeong-woo, and An Byong-jun. Experienced custodian, Yoo Hyun, is expected to get the nod between the sticks.

What To Watch

André Luis


Brazilian forward André Luis joined Daejeon on loan from Corinthians and is a player who has the potential to light up K League 2. Teammate Connor Chapman likened André to Hulk of Shanghai SIPG with his power and direct nature and spoke highly of the 23-year-old in a recent interview:

"I think André Luis is going to be a very exciting player, not only as a K League 2 player but I think his quality is K League 1. If he was in K League 1, I reckon he would be one of the best in the league, up there fighting with Césinha and players like that."

André scored a wonderful solo effort in the friendly against Jeonbuk last weekend, showing great skill and poise to weave his way through the back four before slotting it past the goalkeeper.

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Prediction

Daejeon's recent record against Suwon does not make great reading but this is a brand new team which has been assembled by Hwang Sun-hong, a manager who has two K League 1 titles and two FA Cup winners medals to his name. Daejeon have been rampant throughout pre-season and look the real deal making them the slight favourites for Saturday's clash.

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