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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Seoul E-Land

Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Seoul E-Land K League 2 Round 20
The Hwang Sun-hong era ended with a win but life after the two-time K League title winner began with a loss for Daejeon Hana Citizen last weekend. This Saturday, Citizen, lead by caretaker gaffer Kang Chul, host fellow promotion hopefuls Seoul E-Land in K League 2 Round 20 with both teams looking to get back to winning ways. Both the Purples and the Leopards have just one win in their last five outings but E-Land have lost their last two on the trot.

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Jeju United 2-0 Daejeon Hana Citizen

Daejeon's defeat to Jeju on the island last time out all-but ended their automatic promotion hopes as life without Hwang Sun-hong got off to a nightmare start. A well taken Ahn Hyeon-beom goal following a nice one-two on 38 minutes got Jeju's noses in front before Joo Min-kyu doubled the Tangerines' advantage just before the hour mark. The Purples are now eight point behind league leaders Jeju and six points behind Suwon FC in second. Meanwhile, the Tangerines peel away.

Highlights



Seoul E-Land 0-1 Chungnam Asan

Playoff contenders Seoul E-Land suffered their second defeat in a row and third in five matches, succumbing to K League 2 strugglers Chungnam Asan. Armin Mujakic's spot kick on 35 mins was enough to earn the Owls all three points to keep them off the bottom of the table. For the Leopards, the gap behind fourth place is still just two points, however.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

Saturday's encounter will be the third and final between the two sides in 2020. The most recent meeting came in August and ended 0-0 but Seoul picked up all three points when the Purples made the trip to the capital. A Richard Sukuta-Pasu brace was the difference in the Round 6 meeting at Jamsil with goals in the 4th and 52nd minutes.

Daejeon are without a win over the Leopards in their last three attempts with two draws and a defeat but earned the lion's share of the spoils when they met at Purple Arena almost exactly a year ago. A Kim Seung-seop penalty against a 10-man E-Land side in the 82nd minute, after Ahn Ji-ho was dismissed, put Daejeon in the driving seat to avoid the K League 2 wooden spoon.

Citizen went unbeaten against Seoul last season with one win and three draws and have the slight advantage overall with six wins to E-Land's five and seven draws in 18 previous clashes.

Team News

Daejeon Hana Citizen caretaker manager Kang Chul may look to bring Connor Chapman back into the first XI having had to make do with 45 minutes as a substitute during the defeat to Jeju. Brazilian forward Andre Luis is also likely to be recalled having sat out the trip to Seogwipo. However, central defenders Lee Woong-hee and Lee Ji-sol are both out while left back Lee Kyu-ro is also unavailable. Former FC Seoul forward Yoon Seung-won is a major doubt having missed the last five matches while Park In-hyeok is available again after a 10-game ban. Goalkeepers Kim Dong-jun and Park Ju-won are also long term absentees.

Daejeon Hana Citizen lineup vs Jeju United, K League 2 R19.

[READ: K League 2 Round 20 Preview]

For Seoul E-Land, goalkeeper Kim Hyung-geun is a doubt after being forced off against Asan through injury. The former Busan custodian collided with Owls forward Armin Mujakic just after the half our mark and went down clutching his thigh. Kang Jeong-mook is set to deputise. E-Land don't have any suspensions of which to be concerned with but centre back Kim Tae-hyeon, who had a loan spell with Daejeon last year, is just one yellow away from serving a one-match ban.

Seoul E-Land starting lineup vs Chungnam Asan, K League 2 R19.


The Adversary


Seoul E-Land have lost their last two and have just one win in five but after picking up seven wins and four draws from 19 matches, sit sixth in K League 2 -  just two points behind fourth place. Korean youth internationals Lee Sang-min and Kim Tae-hyeon have played every minute of every game thus far in 2020 for Chung Jung-yong while the team's leading scorer is Brazilian forward Leandro who has six goals and four assists.

While the Leopards are seventh overall in terms of goals scored, the capital club's xG is actually the third best in the division. They also have the third best expected goals against with 19.77 compared to 22 conceded. But, this is a significant improvement from last season when Seoul conceded 71 times In 2020, Seoul have had the most number of touches in the box in K League 2 this year and the most corners, all with the third lowest amount of possession with 45.8%.

Formation wise, manager Chung Jung-yong has tended to opt for a 5-4-1 or a 3-4-3. Away from home, this has been a 5-4-1 for a 3-5-2. When these two sides met earlier in the campaign at Purple Arena Coach Chung set his side up in a 5-4-1.

Eulji Lewis  

Who To Watch

Cho Jae-cheol


Experienced midfielder Cho Jae-cheol joined from Gyeongnam FC over the winter and has appeared 15 times for the Purples this season. The Jeju-born 34-year-old, who has also donned the captain's armband on a number of occasions this season, has become integral in Daejeon's build-up play. In fact, Cho is second in K League 2 for second assists with three, the penultimate pass before a goal has been scored. His most recent was in the 1-0 win over Bucheon a couple of rounds ago.

Leandro Ribeiro


Leandro is the Leopards' top scorer with six for the campaign but is also Seoul's leading assist maker with four. The Brazilian has 13 key passes, the most in K League 2, and is third for key passes made per 90 minutes. The former Sheriff Tiraspol man also scores high for touches in the box with 58, the third most in the division.

Prediction

It is the business end of the season now with just seven matches remaining. Both teams have eyes on promotion and given how tight the K League 2 table is, draws at this stage of the season don't do an awful lot of good. That said, neither team head into Saturday's clash in the best of form and so a draw is perhaps to be expected.

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