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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Ansan Greeners

On the 12th round of matches in the K League 2, two sides with differing objectives meet in order to get their seasons back on track. Fifth placed Bucheon FC 1995 are at home and are looking to return to winning ways after losing to promotion rivals last weekend. 10th place away side Ansan Greeners, meanwhile, are chasing their third win of the season in order to lift themselves off the bottom of the table.

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 2 - 0 Bucheon FC 1995

Bucheon had an extended break before last weekend's match, as they did not play in the FA Cup in midweek and their previous league match against Jeju United was postponed due to bad weather. They travelled to a Jeonnam side that was fresh from an FA Cup extra-time elimination to rivals Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors, but they did not seem affected by it at the weekend. Jeonnam ended up securing all three points to  move into the play-offs in fourth place, one point above Bucheon.

After missing a chance to take the lead in the third minute via a header hitting the post, Jeonnam took the lead in the 59th minute due to Lee Jong-ho's penalty kick, which was given by VAR despite the fact that it appeared the foul took place outside of the penalty area. Jeonnam then secured the victory in the 83rd minute, when Ha Seung-gun collected a loose ball, dribbled into the penalty are and slotted into the bottom corner from a tight angle. Bucheon will feel that the result did not reflect their performance as they had many opportunities to score, but they did not take them and they now sit outside the play-off positions, albeit with a game in hand.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here.

Ansan Greeners 0 - 0 Gyeongnam

Both of these teams had not won for a long time and Gyeongnam especially needed a win or they risked slipping out of the play-off race. In what should have lead to a competitive game, it actually resulted in the only goalless draw of the round. The frustrating and rather boring affair produced not many highlights, with a soft Ansan header cleared off the line in injury time being the closest chance of the match. The result means that Gyeongnam have registered a league high six draws, producing half of their points total. Meanwhile Ansan are level on points with ninth place Chungnam Asan, behind only on goals scored.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here.

Previous Meetings

In the 13 matches that have been played between these teams Bucheon have the slight edge with six wins compared to Ansan's five wins and two draws. Bucheon have scored slightly more goals, with 20 versus 17, and Bucheon have performed best when away from home. Both of the draws have come when Bucheon were at home, while when Ansan are at home Bucheon have won five out of their six victories and scored 13 of their 20 goals there. Meanwhile Ansan have won three of their five matches away and scored eight of their 17 goals there. 

The first match between the two sides this season was a comfortable 2-0 away win for Bucheon with goals coming in the first and 89th minutes, courtesy of Lee Hyun-il and Lee Jeong-chan respectively. Now that Bucheon are the hosts and performed a lot better than Ansan this season, can Bucheon finally get their second ever home win over Ansan? The previous occasion was a 2-0 victory back in May 2017 with both goals coming from players no longer at the club - Kim Shin and Moon Ki-han.

Team News

Bucheon manager Song Sun-ho reverted to a 3-4-3 formation rather than his usual 3-5-2 that he has used for the bulk of the season. The regular line-up was used, and the only bit of rotation was Goo Bon-chul starting in place of Lee Hyun-il. Aside from the manger switching between those two players, he has barely rotated between the other ten regular starters.

This could change soon as Bucheon have signed Seongnam midfielder Choe Byeong-chan on loan, in what is the club's first signing of the summer transfer window. The 24 year-old attacking midfielder/winger has been a regular rotation player for Seongnam for the last three seasons, but has only played five matches this season. Rather than because of a lack of ability, this has been because of Seongnam's large assortment of attacking players such as Yang Dong-hyun, Hong Si-hoo, and Na Sang-ho.

He is a promising player with good pace, finishing and ability to link-up with other attackers, so he could provide the extra edge up front as Bucheon have struggled for goals this season with them having the joint third lowest total in the league. It is unclear, however, if he will feature for Saturday's game.

The Adversary

25 year-old midfielder Lee Ji-hoon is the Ansan player with the most yellow cards with a total of three, which is still a little while away from earning suspension but the fact that he earned those in three consecutive matches is a little troubling, and caused him to be dropped for several recent games.

Ansan have been more active than Bucheon in the transfer window, with Brazilian midfielder Bruno departing on loan to Chungnam Asan and Spanish midfielder Ismael Jorge Balea signing for Gimpo Citizen in the K3 League. The players that the club has signed have immediately slotted into the first team, with former Suwon Bluewings midfielder Song Jin-kyu making three appearances, and ex-Seoul defender Park Jun-young playing every minute of two starts. Park lined up in defence  in those two matches alongside Yeon Je-min, who signed from Suwon FC. These signings appear to have strengthened the club defensively, but as they are the worst goalscorers in the league they have not adequately reinforced their attack.

They have a new signing that could make his debut on Saturday. 19 year-old midfielder Kim Jae-seok has joined from Jeonbuk Motors, where he failed to make a first team appearance. 

What To Watch

Will Bucheon bounce back from defeat? Every time they have lost in the league this season they have immediately come back to form with either a win or a draw. In fact, Bucheon have not had consecutive results of the same type of any kind since their opening three wins of the season. Considering that Ansan are currently ranked as the worst team in the league then the odds are certainly in Bucheon's favour. The interesting thing to observe could be how Bucheon win if they do. They have yet to score more than twice in a match this season, regardless of who they are performing against. Will this struggling Ansan side be the first in league to concede that many against Bucheon this season?



Their recent form has not been the best, but Bucheon are the clear favourites to win the match. If they can avoid making defensive mistakes and are patient up front, then Saturday's match could prove to be the perfect game to regain their confidence after the Jeonnam defeat.

Bucheon FC 1995 2-0 Ansan Greeners

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