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Preview: Ansan Greeners vs Chungnam Asan FC



Ansan Greeners moved out of the K League 2 basement with a 2-0 victory against Seoul E-Land on Monday night courtesy of a Kim Ryun-do brace.  Asan fell 2-0 at home to Jeju United last weekend, leaving them still in search of their first win of the 2020 campaign.  The win against the side from the capital was arguably the best performance by the Green Wolves so far this season.  Asan fell victim to a bit of bad luck and played better against the islanders than the result would suggest, but they are still the only team other than Incheon United in either division not to record a victory thus far.  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to the match.

Match: Ansan Greeners vs Chungnam Asan FC
Venue: Wa Stadium
Kickoff: Saturday June 27th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 0-2 Ansan Greeners

Ansan finally snapped their five match losing streak with an away win against Seoul E-Land on Monday night.  The hero was Kim Ryun-do, who scored a goal in each half, his first coming from the penalty spot just past the half hour mark and the second in the early stages of the second half.  They were able to make the most of their chances with only 41 per cent of the ball over the course of the match but still managed to have more shots on target than the Leopards, who were mostly wasteful in key areas on the pitch, and also made some grave errors in their defensive third.  The victory is the first for the club under Kim Gil-sik, who took over for Lim Wan-seop prior to the start of the season.

Highlights



Chungnam Asan FC 0-2 Jeju United

Chungnam Asan played well for stretches against Jeju, but were unable to come away with points against a club which has now won four consecutive matches.  There were some positives in the match, however, namely the play of the fullbacks, and in particular Jang Soon-hyuk, and the match also marked the first time that both foreign signings Armin Mujakic and Philip Hellquist started together from the opening whistle.  Despite a decent effort, they fell to defeat once more.


Highlights


Previous Meetings

Last season, the sides met four times, and it was split down the middle with each team winning once and two matches ending in a draw.  Ansan won by a single goal in Round Five, with Gustavo Vintecinco's strike one minute after the break being the difference.  Fauver Mendes scored in the 76th minute the second time the teams played and it looked as though the Green Wolves would be headed for another victory, but an own goal by Hwang In-jae ensured that the the points would be shared.

Asan won the third meeting of the season with Hwang In-jae once again putting the ball in his own  net.  Oh Se-hun would get Mugunghwa's second on the night.  Park Jin-seop would get a consolation goal for the home side on the night, but it would not be nearly enough.

Team News

A change of system has led to some better performances of late for Ansan as they have moved to a 4-4-2 in the past few matches giving them more even player distribution on the pitch.  While they didn't have a lot of the possession against Seoul E-Land, they made the most of the opportunities they did have on the ball, even if one of the goals scored was a penalty.  The Leopards were made to look ordinary moving forward and didn't prove much of a threat in the final third.  

Ansan will not have any suspensions going into the match, and there likely will not be too many changes to the squad which took the pitch last time out.  Kim Yeon-han made his first start of the season in round seven, and may be considered again, if not in the starting eleven then at least as an option from the bench.  Kim Ryun-do was named the division MVP for the last round and will start.  Kim Tae-hyun starred at right back and should be included in the starting eleven as well.  Kim Min-ho returned from suspension against the side from the capital and should be a lock to start again this Saturday evening.  Shin Jae-won was substituted in the second half against E-Land because of an apparent knock and is questionable to play on Saturday.

Asan continue to struggle without a win to show for their efforts this season.  Curiously, they have maintained a 3-5-2 formation in most of the matches they have played this season, but it has not brought them a lot of success.  The play of the fullbacks was mostly good against Jeju last week, but there were still a few glaring errors which need to be addressed.

With both of their foreign players now healthy, it will be interesting to watch how Philip Hellquist and Armin Mujakic interplay with each other on the pitch.  Hellquist was positioned in behind the two strikers last match and will likely take on the same role again this weekend, so the two of them, while they have gelled very well off the pitch, will now have to do the same on it if Asan is going to begin to turn their season around.  There are no suspensions in the team, and few changes are expected to the side which faced Jeju, with the exception potentially being Jung Da-hwon who was responsible for giving away the penalty which led to Jeju's first goal.

The Adversary

Kim Chan is still in search of his first goal of the season.  Will it come this weekend against the Green Wolves?

With Ansan winning against Seoul E-Land, the importance of getting a win just increased exponentially for the only club in the division yet to win a match this season.  Things have been difficult for them with the debuts of so many new players, but there have been a few bright spots as well.  Ham Seok-min has done a good job under the circumstances and will continue to develop into a stable shot-stopper as he continues to play more minutes, but he needs more help from the men in front of him.  His defenders were responsible for both goals against Jeju, with the second only beating the 'keeper thanks to a deflection.

The most difficult thing for them is that they have yet to establish an identity for themselves and they need to develop a measure of consistency in their play.  Staying healthy as much as possible for the rest of the season will be key in trying to establish chemistry within the squad.  With their main pieces now back to full health, it will be interesting to see how they come together and learn to function as a unit.  Park Dong-hyuk has maintained that even though times are difficult, he is not willing to throw in the towel on his men just yet.  He is adamant that the group must keep confidence in each other if things are going to be turned around in the weeks and months to come.  A win would go a long way in putting them on that path.

What to Watch

Kim Ryun-do finally broke his goalless streak with a brace against Seoul E-Land and now that he has finally found the net, the match against Asan would be a good chance for him to add to his total.  He has been a key player for Ansan this season, being named to the starting eleven 71 per cent of the time, while playing in 78 per cent of the team's total minutes this year, and being involved in 40 per cent of the team's goals, according to Transfermarkt.

Kim Ryun-do will look to score at home for the first time this season after two on the road in Seoul.

He benefited greatly playing alongside Felipe Augusto, and there may be a very good chance that Kim Gil-sik will go with the same formation knowing that it was successful in the last match.  Both men could be great assets to each other in creating space and chances in the final third against an Asan defense which has conceded some weak goals this season.  If they can establish momentum early, it might be a long day on the pitch for the men from Chungnam once again.

FNR

Prediction

Ansan now have a bit of momentum on their side having snapped their five match losing streak, and will be looking to build on that this weekend.  Asan have yet to win, and the desperation has to be setting in now as they cannot afford to fall even further behind at the bottom of the table.  Somehow, it doesn't feel as though there is a draw in this one, as both teams will be looking to claim all three points.  While things have not gone well for Asan so far this season, this seems like the match to get them out of their early season slump, and they might just be able to inch this one out in the end.

Predicted Score: Ansan Greeners 1-2 Chungnam Asan FC

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