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Preview: Jeju United vs Bucheon FC 1995



Jeju United look to continue their unbeaten run this weekend when they welcome arch rivals Bucheon 1995 FC to the island for the very first time.  Bucheon returned to form last time out and a solitary point separates the two in the table as it's the marquee match of the round with second pitted against third.  The first match of the season was a rough and tumble affair, with the islanders nipping three points at the death thanks to a Joo Min-kyu injury time winner.  Pride, points, and positioning in the table are all at stake - which side will prevail?  KLU's Branko Belan looks ahead to round two between these forever historically linked clubs.

Match: Jeju United vs Bucheon 1995 FC
Venue: Jeju World Cup Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday July 12th, 2020; 19:00 KST

Last Time Out

FC Anyang 1-2 Jeju United

The first meeting between FC Anyang and Jeju United this season was one of the better matches of the last round, as both teams started quickly.  Anyang took the lead already in the first minute, when Kim Kyung-min latched on to a cross from the left flank, was able to evade a pair of defenders and fire in off the post.  The lead would be short-lived, however, as the islanders would be back level only minutes later.

They won a corner and the ball eventually found its way to Lee Chang-min at the top of the box, who volleyed it first time, finding the low corner of the net.  The match remained fairly balanced following the equalizer, but the introduction of Gong Min-hyun into proceedings just before the half hour mark would change things.  Kim Young-wook would race up the right flank on 33 minutes, evading defenders on his way towards goal.  His ground pass into the area would find Jeju's number 19, who made no mistake putting the ball into the back of the net.

Things could have been level just before the break when a questionable call went to VAR for a potential foul in the box, but upon review, it was determined that Baek Dong-gyu did not in fact make contact with Kwon Yong-hyeon, and the visitors went to the half ahead by a goal.

The second half did not change things much, as both teams had their chances to score, but were not clinical enough to alter the scoreline.  In the end, it was a valuable and necessary three points for Jeju as they kept pace with the leading pack.

Highlights



Bucheon FC 1995 1-0 Daejeon Hana Citizen

Bucheon managed to return to form, as they edged out a narrow 1-0 victory at home over fellow promotion chasers Daejeon Hana Citizen on Monday night.  The lone goal was scored via the penalty spot by Jefferson Baiano in the 37th minute.

The home side could have taken the lead just before, but Cho Soo-cheol's effort from close range was barely kept out.  From the resulting corner, Koo Bon-cheol was fouled in the area, and the Brazilian calmly gave his side the advantage and that is how it went to the half.

The second half was quite physical between the two sides with the referee producing several cards for both sides, but neither looked close enough to getting the next goal.  The win puts Bucheon third, one point behind Jeju United.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

The first meeting between Jeju and Bucheon in May lived up to its billing, with the match being a tight affair and going down to the wire.  Joo Min-kyu would play decider with his injury time winner, giving the islanders a first leg up in the new rivalry.


Team News

Jeju are currently undefeated in their past six league matches and two former Bucheon players, Gong Min-hyun and Lim Dong-hyuk have been performing very well for the islanders of late.  Gong has scored in three consecutive matches, including the third round cup win against Seoul E-Land, and Lim has also shown lately that he can be utilized in offensive situations late in matches as was evident against the Leopards in the cup as it was his goal which ultimately started the islanders' comeback.

Nam Ki-il commented on preparations ahead of the match.

"The team is preparing well and the mood in the group is good.  Confidence is high and chemistry is improving each day.  Players are actively helping one another so that on matchday, everyone will be able to give their maximum so that we may achieve a good result, the manager said according to a release from the club.

Nam Ki-il is confident of victory but knows Bucheon should not be underestimated.
He also offered his thoughts on his upcoming opponent.

"They will be carefully prepared for the match.  They are a confident team and have been achieving good results, so we must be careful," he finished, but indicated his confidence that Jeju could take three points from the match.

There are no suspensions in the side and no major injuries to report, but the lineup should look a little more like the first team unit as opposed to the eleven which started against Anyang last week.  Kim Oh-gyu, who made his debut with the club last week after making the switch from Gangwon FC in the top flight should start again after being named to the Best XI for the round.  Lee Chang-min and Kim Young-wook also scooped up honors for their performances.

Not only did Bucheon return to form heading into their second encounter with Jeju, but they also had something to celebrate with their win against Daejeon, as it was their 100th in the club's history.  That should serve as a galvanizing element for them as they prepare for what is most definitely an important match against their chief rival in the division this season.

Only one point separates the two, so depending on the outcome, it could have ramifications down the road once the promotion picture starts to clear up and come into focus.

Jefferson Baiano finally scored his first goal for the club and feels as though a burden has been lifted.

"In the beginning of the season, it was a bit difficult, but I feel adjusted now.  If you try hard to score goals, they will eventually come.  But, taking care of defensive responsibilities and assisting for my teammates is also important.  I just try to do what I can to help the team," he said.

His winning goal also put him in the Best XI for round nine.

There are no suspensions or injuries in the team, and there should not be too many changes to the side which faced Daejeon with the possible exception being that Lee Hyun-il may replace Koo Bon-cheol in the starting eleven.    


The Adversary

Jang Hyun-soo will be critical to Bucheon's success against Jeju this weekend.
Bucheon will be hoping that their good outing against Daejeon will be followed up by another solid performance against the islanders.  Back to back home losses against Jeonnam Dragons and Seoul E-Land as well as a 1-1 away draw with Gyeongnam preceded their success win last week.  They were also knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round by Ulsan Citizen recently, so they know that the upcoming match is of particular importance.

Nonetheless, the expectation is that they will continue to stick to the usual game plan.  Players will have to be strong in their defensive organization and will have to do a lot of running both on and off the ball if they are going to have a chance for consecutive wins.  The first match against Jeju was a good demonstration of that, but they will also have to take their chances when they arise.

Manager Song Sun-ho is confident his players can put in a good performance.

"Even though our players [have been] struggling, they don't get distracted.  They have a good mentality to overcome even in difficult situations," he said.

Of Jeju, he had the following to offer.

"Of course, Jeju United was relegated from K League 1 at the end of last season, but it is a good team.  Unfortunately, we lost the first match 1-0.  I want to go down to Jeju and show that our players are capable of doing enough to win," he finished.

What to Watch

Onlookers and fans should be in for another treat when these two sides come together for the second time on Sunday night.  All indications point to the match being very similar in nature and stature to the first time they met back in May, where a last minute strike proved the difference in the result.

Bucheon will most likely look to keep their defensive shape and look for their opportunities on the counter, while Jeju will concentrate on using their possession moving forward to create chances to the men up top.  They will also have to be strong defensively at the back and look to secure another clean sheet in the process.

Oh Seung-hoon had a bit of a judgemental error in allowing the goal against Anyang, and will be keen not to allow such an instance repeat itself against a top opponent like Bucheon have proved to be for everyone in the division this season.

Will Jeju be able to do a better job in breaking down Bucheon's shell in the middle of the park, or will the visitors prove tough to crack once again?  There are several talking points ahead of kickoff, but if one thing is for sure, the table is set for another classic.


FNR

Prediction

While the sides are neck and neck in the table, Jeju are better on form over the past while.  In fact, their current run in the league began with the win away to Bucheon just over a month ago, and they would surely not want to relinquish an opportunity to extend the string and perhaps leapfrog to the summit this weekend depending on results elsewhere.

Bucheon have been inconsistent of late and are already out of cup competition, but the presence of a major rival on the horizon could push them to give a bit more than they have in recent matches.

Having said that, there are few teams in either division on a roll the way Jeju are going at the moment, and although it may be tough going, the possibility of going top of the heap should motivate them enough to run out for all three points.

Predicted Score: Jeju United 1-0 Bucheon FC 1995

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