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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Daejeon Hana Citizen

It's round nine in the K League 2 and after this weekend each team will have played each other once. Monday features a promotion six-pointer, as hosts Bucheon look to recover from a third loss in five games that saw fall to a season low fourth place. Second place visitors Daejeon Hana Citizen, meanwhile, will be hoping that their midweek FA Cup victory will not affect their fitness as they seek to regain top spot.

Last Time Out

Bucheon FC 1995 2-3 Seoul E-Land

Bucheon had recorded their first draw of the season the previous weekend, registering a 1-1 draw at Gyeongnam that saw them enter last weekend's fixtures in third place. Seoul E-Land suffered a surprise 2-0 Monday night defeat to Ansan Greeners that lead to them needing a win to remain in touching distance of the promotion play-offs. Seoul achieved just that, earning a come from behind victory that saw them rise to fifth and Bucheon become leapfrogged by Suwon FC. 

Bucheon themselves took the lead in the 36th minute, when William Barbio calmly struck a low penalty that was awarded due to him being pushed when running into the penalty area. Bucheon then doubled their lead with another penalty in the 55th minute that was seemingly given due to a clash of heads. Regardless of the correctness of decision, Cho Soo-chul's spot kick put Bucheon firmly in the driver's seat.

The lead would not continue for long, as Seoul E-Land pulled one back in the 62nd minute thanks to Leandro Ribeiro volleying in from close-range due to a sweetly struck cross from the edge of the penalty area by Seo Jae-min. Bucheon thought that they may have weathered the storm of Seoul attacks, but the away side continued to attack and were rewarded with an 86th minute equaliser by Kim Min-gyoon, who received a pass from Leandro to slot in a left-footed shot into the bottom corner from just inside the penalty area. 

This was not the last involvement from Leandro, as the Brazilian scored the winning goal in the 89th minute, as a Moon Sang-yun pass from the byline found an unmarked Leandro by the six-yard box, and the subsequent simple shot earned the three points to Seoul. Bucheon thought they may have earned a third penalty in the 98th minute when their goalkeeper Choi Bong-jin was fouled when up for a corner, but it was not given. This result means that Bucheon and Seoul are only separated by a single point in the K League 2 table.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here. The full recap of the match can be read here

Daejeon Hana Citizen 2 - 0 Ansan Greeners

Daejeon Hana Citizen surprisingly drew 3-3 with FC Anyang in their previous league match last weekend, surrendering a 2-0 lead to lose their first place position to Suwon FC on goals scored. They had a chance to redeem themselves in midweek in the FA Cup, a competition that Bucheon were the only K League 2 team to be knocked out of in the previous round. In the end Daejeon found themselves comfortably progressing to the next round thanks to a 15th minute goal from Park Jin-seob and a 45th minute goal from Yoon Sung-han, which was assisted by Andre Luis. Ansan Greeners earned themselves a red card, thanks to Kim Jin-rae's sending off in added time. Daejeon are one of only four K League 2 sides left in the competition (alongside one K3 League club) and will now face FC Seoul on Wednesday 15th July. 

Previous Meetings

In the 20 matches between the two sides there have been eight Daejeon wins, seven Bucheon wins, and five draws. Four of the draws have occurred when Bucheon was at home, meaning that both Daejeon (five wins) and Bucheon (four wins) have won the majority of their victories in Daejeon. Daejeon have scored the most goals in the fixture with 22 compared to Bucheon's 18, but while Daejeon's goal tally is fairly evenly split between home and away, 12 of Bucheon's goals have been at home. Despite their lower league position Daejeon were the in form team last year, winning two matches and drawing once, with Bucheon achieving only one victory. Both teams look very different to last year, with only one of the seven different goalscorers in the fixture from last year still at their club: Daejeon's Park In-hyeok, who is suspended for Monday's game.

Team News

Bucheon used a typical 3-5-2 formation last week with William Barbio returning to the squad after being dropped for the Gyeongnam match, but compatriot Jefferson Baiano found himself not in the squad for the Seoul E-Land game for the second match in a row. The big news for Bucheon is that defensive pair Cho Beom-seok and Kim Kang-san will be available after returning from suspension. Due to the second-half collapse against Seoul, they will no doubt be put straight into the starting lineup against Daejeon. The return of U-22 player Kim will mean that fellow U-22 player Goo Bon-chul will likely be dropped to the subs bench, allowing for a return for Baiano.

The Adversary

An unfortunate loss for Daejeon is the suspension of attacker Park In-hyeok, who was given a 4,000,000 Won fine and a ten match suspension due to drink-driving. While the 24 year-old began his suspension last week, the length of it means that he is essentially out for a third of the season. Park had been a key player for Daejeon ever since signing for them in 2018, though this season he had been used as a squad rotation player a lot more than previously in his Daejeon career.

Vice captain Lee Woong-hee was rested for Wednesday's cup game as he twisted his ankle in the weekend match against Anyang. While not the most serious of injuries, the defender may continue to be rested for Monday's game, or at least start on the bench. After conceding three goals against Anyang, Daejeon manager Hwang Sun-hong showed faith in the starting goalkeeper Kim Jin-young by keeping him in the starting eleven for the Ansan cup match. Daejeon have recently brought in Seongnam goalkeeper Kim Keun-bae on loan, and it was thought that the cup match might have proven an ideal time for Kim Keun-bae to make his debut.

What To Watch

Can Bucheon defend against Daejeon's attack? Now that two of Bucheon's key defenders have returned from suspension, surely they will defend much better than they did against Seoul E-Land. The three goals that they conceded was the most in a single match for them this season, with them not even conceding two goals before in a match this season. Daejeon do however have the second best attack in the league with 15 goals in eight matches, averaging almost two goals per game. Bucheon have been in below par form recently, but they should take some hope in the fact that their previous win was against Suwon FC, the league's current top scorers. Factor in that Daejeon have conceded more goals than Suwon and have the joint third worst defence in the league, Bucheon will fancy their chances if they can prevent Daejeon from scoring multiple goals. The added freshness from not playing in the FA Cup in midweek should help Bucheon too.



FNR

Prediction

Despite differing recent form, this should be a close game reflective of their close league positions. Daejeon have a phenomenally good attack, but Bucheon should have the defensive capabilities to match them all the. Both teams could win, but a draw is a very likely outcome.

Bucheon FC 1995 1-1 Daejeon Hana Citizen


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