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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Jeju United

The third and final match between  two heated rivals occurs this Saturday in the 20th round of the K League 2. Eighth place hosts Bucheon FC 1995 are struggling, coming into this match on the back of six straight defeats. Leaders Jeju United will be hoping to claim their third victory in this fixture, and secure their place at the top of the table. 

Last Time Out

Suwon FC 1-0 Bucheon FC 1995

Bucheon were the only team in the K League 2 to defeat Suwon twice this season, but Suwon finally grabbed a victory against their bogey team on Monday night. Bucheon looked Suwon's equal for much of the match, but everything came crumbling down in the 68th minute when Bucheon goalkeeper Choi Bong-jin was sent off for a challenge outside the area.

Lee Young-chang came in for his first appearance of the season, replacing Cho Soo-chul, but Bucheon felt the effects of the one man deficit. Just seven minutes later Marlone swung in a corner for Suwon and Danilo scored with a header, the ball entering the undefended far post. This victory ensured that Suwon remained only two points behind first place Jeju, while Bucheon remain level on points with seventh placed FC Anyang.

Highlights of the match can be viewed here

Jeju United 2-0 Daejeon Hana Citizen


Jeju remain top of the league with  their first win against Daejeon this season, a team that had beaten Jeju twice in the previous two matches. Jeju took the lead on the 38th minute thanks to a close range volley from Ahn Hyun-beom, which finished off a clever one-two with Lee Dong-ryul.

Jeju's victory was confirmed in the 56th minute, when a through ball received a touch from King Min-hyun, sending it into the path of Joo Min-kyu, who confidently curled the ball round the keeper from the edge of the penalty area. While Jeju are flying high, this result means Daejeon remain in third place, with Gyeongnam only three points behind them. 

Highlights of the match can be viewed here

Previous Meetings

Jeju have won both of this season's meetings, the first two in this fixture's history. The first was a 1-0 victory at Bucheon in May that was secured when Joo Min-kyu bagged the winner in injury time. Jeju were the hosts of the second win in August and they ran rampant winning 4-0 thanks to goals from Lee Dong-ryul, Kong Min-hyun, Kang Yoon-sung, and Eder. Now both teams are at opposite ends of the table, Bucheon will have to work hard to score their first goal in the fixture, let alone get their first points. 

Team News

Cho Beom-seok is available after returning from suspension. Defender Kim Young-chan is still an injury concern. Midfielder Song Hong-min has one match left of a two match ban. Goalkeeper Choi Bong-jin is out for two matches thanks to his red card on Monday. Guk Tae-jeong and Lee Hyun-il are one yellow card away from suspension.

Bucheon have now lost their sixth consecutive match, a club record. Over this period they have scored once and conceded eleven goals, but a third of those goals came in the 4-0 defeat to Jeju last month. Four of those defeats were only by a single goal, so Bucheon are not far from gaining points if they can improve their scoring. However, with a goal tally of 14 they have the second worst attack in the K League 2, only better than bottom side Ansan Greeners. Bucheon have recorded the most defeats in the league this season, so a major turnaround is needed if they wish to turn around their season.

The Adversary

Jeju have access to a full squad as defender Chung Woon returns from suspension. Against Daejeon, Jeju played their usual 3-4-3 formation, and interestingly did not name a single foreign player in the squad. Whether the manager does so again will make little difference to Bucheon, as Jeju will prove formidable opponents regardless of who is on the pitch. Jeju have not lost since late July and are unbeaten in their last eight matches, winning five times and scoring 19 goals in the process, only conceding eight goals. 

Who To Watch

The suspension of Bucheon goalkeeper Choi Bong-jin opens up the chance for either Lee Young-chang or 21 year old Lee Ju-hyun to impress. 27 year old Lee Young-chang was the substitute on Monday and has been second choice goalkeeper for Bucheon since 2018. The younger Lee, meanwhile, has not yet made his professional debut since joining Bucheon last year.

Whoever plays against Jeju will have a tough task as the island team have the second best goal scoring record in the league with 34 goals. Jeju's record over the summer speaks for itself and they have only improved since they last faced Bucheon, meaning that whichever Lee is in goal will become a hero if they can keep The Tangerines out. 

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Prediction

Bucheon have yet to score against Jeju, while Jeju continue to dominate all teams around them. Bucheon might be able to sneak a goal, but unless they drastically improve their performance Saturday should result in a Jeju win.

Bucheon FC 1995 1-3 Jeju United



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