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Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Seoul E-Land

Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Seoul E-Land
Only one point separates Jeonnam Dragons and Seoul E-Land in the K League 2 leading up to the round of 14, with the winner stabilizing their place in the play off spots. Jeonnam are unbeaten in six league games and Seoul have had mixed results as of late. KLU's Joshua Higgins previews the upcoming game. 


Last Time Out

Jeju United 1 - 1 Jeonnam Dragons

Jeju put the visitors under a lot pressure almost the whole game, with plenty of crosses that could've, and maybe should've, led to goals. But as we have seen from the season so far, the Dragons have an ability to withstand pressure when they have a lot less of the ball. Making this result a lot less about luck and more about grit, and it also helps to have a goalkeeper playing the season of his life so far.

Predictably Jeonnam's solitary goal came from a set piece situation, making the most of their height advantage with a flick on into the far corner from Park Chan-yong, his first in a Jeonnam shirt after joining from K3 League team Gyeongju HNP.

Jeju responded with patience, and their typical free flowing game, and eventually they got their reward from a deep cross, after an odd choice by midfielder Jeong Ho-jin to jump over the ball when the cross came in, and a gamble by striker Lim Dong-hyuk to level things.

Highlights

Seoul E-Land 3 - 0 Bucheon FC 1995

The Leopards blew away their Gyeongi neighbors both in score and performance. Seoul maybe should've had a few more goals but will be delighted with how their well their attack and defence worked in unison. Leandro was once again the spark that ignited E-Land, scoring the first and providing an assist for the second.

Bucheon only registered two shots on target in the 90 minutes, both of them tame attempts where goalkeeper Kim Hyung-keun watched the ball slowly fall into his arms. Seoul played with pace and defended in numbers, something they haven't been able to combine in many games so far this season.

The demolition of Bucheon should serve as a warning to other K League 2 clubs that the Leopards are, on their day, a very, very effective team.

Highlights

Previous Meetings

The teams last played each other at the end of May, running out a fairly even 0-0 draw, with little to say about either team that day. Seoul did create slightly more than Jeonnam, but at no time did any team truly threaten to break the deadlock, with the Dragons failing to get a single shot on target.

However, both teams have significantly improved since then, with Seoul's new look team having the time to gel together, the attack especially benefiting from game time, and Jeonnam's new signings looking to have changed their attacking output for the better.

Team News

The Dragons have mixed up their starting eleven in recent weeks due to a suspension for Kristoffersen, a successful debut for Hernandes, elements of fatigue following midweek cup games, and manager Jeon simply wanting to change things up due to good performances from squad members. They have no more suspensions to worry about, so a full strength squad is a possibility, but it's unclear what the Dragons strongest starting line-up is right now.

Seoul have a fully fit squad to pick from, and no suspensions to report either. It's difficult to see manager Jeong Jeong-yong changing things too much considering their last game, so we may see the exact same starting eleven. E-Land fans will be happy to hear that forward Leandro has put pen to paper to sign a three year extension to stay in Seoul, clearly expecting the Leopards to build in the coming years.

What To Watch

Which E-Land team will turn up?

This is perhaps the best Seoul E-Land team in history, and the most exciting, but it's also the most unpredictable. It doesn't seem to matter which team Seoul are playing, or if they are in form or not, they can produce a masterclass such as the recent 3-0 win over Bucheon, or completely fall apart like in the 2-0 home defeat versus Ansan in June. As is the case with many teams, if their star man Leandro is in form, there's very little the opposition can do to stop him.

Jeonnam's defence.

The Dragons haven't lost a league game since the end of June conceding only two goals during that period, that loss was versus league leaders Suwon. Their defence has kept them in the pack for a playoff place and seems like it will have a big say in whether they finally achieve that aim. New boy Hernandes has had an instant impact, but it still remains to be seen whether manager Jeon can truly balance defensive organisation with attacking prowess.

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Prediction

I think the Dragons have just enough to get one over this Seoul team, especially if they can keep Leandro quiet. New addition Hernandes looks quite the player and should test the Leopard's defence.

Prediction: Jeonnam win

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