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Preview: Jeonnam Dragons vs Chungnam Asan FC


 
Despite a draw last week against Bucheon FC 1995, Jeonnam Dragons are still very much in the playoff fight sitting three points out of third spot heading into the weekend.  Chungnam Asan picked up an important victory over Daejeon Hana Citizen to move off the bottom of the division.  KLU's Branko Belan previews the K League 2 clash.


Match: Jeonnam Dragons vs Chungnam Asan FC
Venue: Gwangyang Football Stadium
Kickoff: Sunday October 11th, 2020; 16:00 KST

Last Time Out

Bucheon FC 1995 1-1 Jeonnam Dragons

Jeonnam missed an opportunity to move up the table with a draw against a struggling Bucheon side.  The first half did not present much in terms of chances for either team, but the match sprung to life in the second half as the home team took the lead just five minutes after the restart through Jo Su-cheol, who fired a rocket into the top of the net from the edge of the area following a nice passing move.  

The lead would last twenty minutes before the match was back level.  Hernandes made a good run into the attacking third and found enough space to put in a low cross from the right, which was latched on to by Lee Jong-ho, who turned and struck a low shot past Choi Bong-jin.  Jeonnam looked the better side the rest of the way but could not manufacture a goal, with the teams sharing the spoils at the final whistle.

Highlights



Chungnam Asan FC 3-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

After a rather static twenty minutes to open the match, a studs-up tackle by Seo Young-jae on Philip Hellquist produced a red card after review and the Purples were down to ten men.  Kim Won-seok scored his maiden K League goal in the 40th minute, tapping into the top corner from a low cross from the left flank.  The lead would only last a few minutes, however, as Edinho's free kick three minutes later crashed against the frame of the goal and bounced down favorably for Andre Luis, who calmly headed home.

Asan would re-take the lead shortly after the break thanks to a fantastic dipping volley from just outside the right edge of the penalty area.  It could have been three for Asan on 62 minutes when Bae Soo-yong played a long ball over the top which Kim Chan managed to chase down, but his effort from a tight angle in close was steered away by Kim Keun-bae.  

That would prove costly as Daejeon drew level once again on 84 minutes through second half substitute Park Yong-ji, who had replaced Edinho.  He got down low to head in a left-sided cross and it looked as if that would be the final straw in the match.  The Owls, though, would score the eventual winner with just two minutes left as Bruno turned to his right and shot through the legs of Choi Jae-hyun, with the ball neatly finishing in the bottom corner for Asan's biggest win of the season to date.

Highlights


Previous Meetings

Jeonnam have taken four of a possible six points from this fixture in 2020, having won the previous encounter by a score of 2-0 after the first match between them finished 1-1.  Lee Yoo-hyun scored in the first half and Hernandes did as well in the second last time out.

Team News

Jeonnam have lined up in a flat 3-5-2 formation for eight consecutive matches, but one of their key men, Lee Yu-hyeon will not be available this weekend as he was called up for the international friendlies in Goyang by Kim Hak-bum as a member of the Olympic squad to face the senior national team.  Choi Hyo-jin may have to switch from his customary position at left back to cover the arrears.

Kwak Kwang-seon has featured up front recently; a bit of an oddity considering he usually plays in a defensive role.  It has worked with limited success thus far, so there is a possibility that Jeon Kyung-jun may have to employ a shift in tactics for this weekend's match.  There should be a full squad for selection this weekend with no suspensions or injuries of note.

For Asan, Bruno scored what turned out to be the winner just two minutes from time, and confirmed the impact he has had on the club since coming over on loan from Ansan Greeners.  He has been a constant presence in the starting eleven in recent weeks, and that trend should continue this weekend.

Kim Won-seok scored his debut goal for the Owls in the first half, now having played in ten matches for the club.  His development is starting to come along, and the fact that he contributed to the victory in such a significant way should see his confidence rise, and there is a very good chance he will see more playing time in the final matches of the season.

Asan manager Park Dong-hyuk was pleased with the result against Daejeon Hana Citizen last weekend.

"It's difficult to prepare for matches when you are at the bottom of the league, but the will of the players was there and they get the match ball for this result.  It would be great to show this kind of performance in the remaining matches.  I am hoping for a similar performance against Jeonnam," he said.

Lee Sang-min is finally eligible to return from suspension, but there is doubt as to whether he will be considered for the squad this weekend owing to his problems off the pitch earlier in the season.  All other players should be up for selection.


The Adversary

The Dragons will have to do better than a draw to keep their playoff hopes going in the right direction this weekend.

Jeonnam looked the better side despite falling behind early in the second half against Bucheon last weekend.  It was a very physical battle, as the sides combined for sixteen fouls in the first half and twenty-one in the second.  Whether it will have an impact on Sunday's match remains to be seen, but fitness could be a concern.  The Dragons will be motivated for a result as their recent unbeaten run was snapped by current leaders Jeju United two weeks ago, and with the race for the playoffs starting to heat up, they cannot afford to slip up, especially against an opponent they are widely regarded to be able to beat.  Hernandes has been a key player since joining the club and will be looked to once again to spurn the attack on when the teams take to the pitch this weekend.

What to Watch

The playoff race is red-hot at the moment, with third through sixth in the table separated by just three points.  A victory for Jeonnam could move them up the table depending on results elsewhere, but they can ill-afford to overlook an Asan side which is coming off their biggest win of the season.  Their record of success against their visitors this round notwithstanding, Suwon FC away and Daejeon Hana Citizen at home beckon for them in the next two rounds, and may well determine their playoff fate.  That said, a win against Asan is essential for them to keep their hopes alive should future results not go in their favor.


Prediction

Jeonnam have had the edge in the head to head this season, Their win in the last fixture should give them the impetus they need to go out and get a result, preferably three points.  They are the better team on paper and should be able to get the job done so long as they are able to take their chances in front of goal.

Predicted Score: Jeonnam Dragons 2-1 Chungnam Asan FC

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