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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Bucheon FC 1995

Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Bucheon FC 1995 K League 2 Round 18
Two out-of-form teams looking for their first wins in five matches meet at Purple Arena this Sunday when Daejeon Hana Citizen entertain Bucheon FC 1995 in K League 2 Round 18. Daejeon welcome the Reds on the back of surrendering a 94th minute equaliser last time out, extending their win-less run to four. Bucheon, meanwhile, make the trip to Purple Arena on a run of four straight defeats with their automatic promotion push a distant memory.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Jeonnam Dragons 1-1 Daejeon Hana Citizen

It was heartbreak for Daejeon last time out as the Purples shipped a late equaliser away to Jeonnam Dragons on Sunday. Hwang Sun-hong's men looked on course for a first win in four thanks to Andre's half volley in the 70th minute. But a clumsy challenge in the box by Citizen skipper Park Jin-seop led to the referee pointing to the spot. Up stepped Kim Hyeon-wook to fire home in the 94th minute. Daejeon remain third but, thanks to Suwon and Jeju winning, are eight points off the pace.

Highlights



Bucheon FC 1995 0-2 Chungnam Asan 

Bucheon slumped to their fourth straight loss by succumbing to K League 2 strugglers Chungnam Asan last time out. The Owls were on a run of four straight losses heading into last week's meeting but picked up their third win of 2020 thanks to an own goal from Gam Han-Sol and a first in Asan colours for former Ansan Greeners midfielder Bruno. The result leaves Bucheon sitting in seventh but still only five points off the playoffs.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

The first meeting of 2020 between Daejeon Hana Citizen and Bucheon FC 1995 ended in a 1-0 Reds win thanks to Jefferson Baiano converting a 37th minute penalty. Daejeon's last win over Bucheon was at the tail end of 2019, a 3-1 away victory with two goals from Antonio and one from Ramazotti.

Ramazotti was on the score sheet earlier in the 2019 campaign too, giving Daejeon the lead in the last meeting at Purple Arena. However, a brace from Marlon de Jesús saw the Reds return to the capital area with all three points.

Overall, there have been 21 meetings between the two sides with both picking up eight wins each and five draws. The last five encounters have been split down the middle too with two wins each and a draw. In Daejeon, there have been 10 meetings, five Daejeon wins, four for Bucheon and one draw.


Team News

Daejeon will have winger Park In-hyeok available again after serving a 10-match suspension as the result of a drink-driving conviction. Connor Chapman is fully fit again but defensive duo Lee Kyu-ro and Lee Woong-hee are still a few weeks away. Lee Ji-sol, Connor Chapman, and Park Jin-seop are all just one yellow card away from serving a one-match ban. Goalkeepers Kim Dong-jun and Park Ju-won remain long term absentees, Kim Jin-young is likely to keep his place in between the sticks with Kim Keun-bae in reserve.

Daejeon lineup vs Jeonnam Dragons, K League 2 Round 17.

For Bucheon, former Daejeon centre back Yoon Shin-young started for the Reds last time out, making his first start after a series of injury problems. Guk Tae-jeong is a scribble in a referee's notebook away from a one-game suspension. After a month layoff, Brazilian forward Jefferson Baiano made his comeback in the defeat to Chungnam Asan last week, replacing Lee Hyeon-il in the 45th minute. Kim Young-chan is an injury doubt, however, and Cho Beom-seok is suspended after being shown a straight red card in the third minute of the Asan defeat.


Bucheon lineup vs Chungnam Asan, K League 2 Round 17.

The Adversary

Song Sun-ho has been in charge of 150 Bucheon matches with 42% win record.
Bucheon FC 1995 enjoyed a bright start to the 2020 campaign, winning their first three and with four wins from five. Since then, however, Song Sun-ho's side have struggled for consistency. Since the 2-1 away win over Suwon FC in Round 5 at the end of May, Bucheon have mustered just two wins and accumulated a mere eight points from 36 available. The result of which is the Gyeonggi Province side slipping to seventh in the table. That said, only five points separate them from fourth so the playoffs are very much still all to play for.

With just 14 goals, Bucheon have one of the leanest attacks in K League 2. Lee Hyeon-il is the club's top scorer with four, followed by William Barbio with three. At the other end of the pitch, Bucheon have shipped 22 goals - just one fewer than Sunday's opponents Daejeon - and have the joint third leakiest back line in the division.

On area which Bucheon seem to struggle with is ball retention, having recorded the second most amount of ball-losses with 1924 or 107.75 per match. As their modest goals-scored tally would suggest, Bucheon also struggle with shooting accuracy. In fact, they have the worst shooting accuracy in K League 2 with just 28.1% of all attempts on goal reaching the target. Bucheon have also made the fewest amount of shots per 90 minutes and the fewest number of attempts on goal per 90 minutes in the division.

Formation wise, Song Sun-ho has tended to use 4-2-3-1 (34%) for the most mart this year as well as 5-4-1 (18%) and 3-4-3 (15%). Away from home, Coach Song has used a 4-2-3-1 for 42% of the time or a 3-4-3 for 23%. When these two sides last met - the 1-0 Bucheon win in early July - the Reds lined up in a 3-4-3.

Eulji Lewis  

What To Watch

Two goal-shy attacks

Both Daejeon and Bucheon have struggled in front of goal over the last month or so. Daejeon have scored just once in their last three while Bucheon have just one goal in four outings. Neither club are where they want to be in the table; for Daejeon third is not good enough having held top spot not too long ago, while Bucheon are off the pace for a playoff berth heading into the business end of the season.

Andre is the Purples' leading scorer with 12 this season.
Daejeon's Andre is second only to An Byong-jun in the K League 2 scoring charts having bagged 12 in 17 appearances. But, as a winger, there are question marks over Andre's willingness to track back and whether he has enough pace to cause problems for K League full backs. When deployed down the centre the 23-year-old can cause problems due to tendency to be direct and run at defenders.

But, regardless of Andre is deployed, he remains as Daejeon's only real threat. He has nine goals more than the Purples' next top scorers - Park Jin-seop and Bruno Baio who both have three. The disappointment of losing to Gyeongnam despite holding a 2-0 lead, the two subsequent 0-0 draws and last week's last gasp Jeonnam equaliser will have left a sour taste in the mouth. Now is the time for Andre to once again stake a claim for the K League 2 Golden Boot.

Lee Hyeon-il has four goals for Bucheon in 2020.
For Bucheon, William Barbio and Lee Hyeon-il have made the most attempts on goal with 24 and 19 respectively. In terms of accuracy, Barbio has seen nine of his shots find the target, Lee 10. If the Reds are to get out of this slump then Song Sun-ho is going to need his two sharpest shooters to find form once again. Barbio has had the most touches in the penalty area out of any other Bucheon player and ranks seventh overall in K League 2 for the amount made per 90 minutes.

Prediction

Despite being at risk of sounding like a broken record, there has to be a reaction from Daejeon. There is no way that owners Hana Financial Group will be content with another season in K League 2 and will be hoping that their highly decorated manager, Hwang Sun-hong, can get Daejeon firing again. IF the Purples can play with pace and stretch Bucheon and open up pockets of space then they will have a chance. Daejeon have a lot of possession but sometimes find it difficult to break teams down. Bucheon's ball retention problems could help, but if Citizen are proactive then they should get a narrow and, quite likely, ugly win.

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