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scouting

Jeonnam Dragons Aim To Remain Unbeaten In Trip To Bucheon

Every point counts in this early stage of the season, as two points separate nine teams in the K League 2. On Saturday seventh placed Bucheon FC 1995 will be looking to extend their clean-sheet run to three consecutive matches. Meanwhile second place visitors Jeonnam Dragons have only conceded once this season and are one of only two unbeaten teams left in the league. 

Recent Form

Bucheon had many poor runs of form last season and both ended last season and begun this season with defeats. However, a 1-0 at Chungnam Asan and goalless draw at home to FC Anyang last weekend have helped the club break a bad run of form that many other clubs probably take for granted. Bucheon's previous four wins from last season were all sandwiched by defeats either side of them, meaning that this is the first time Bucheon have had a win followed by a non-defeat since May of last year, when they sttarted the season with a three match unbeaten run. So far Bucheon have played with a fairly well structured defence (though they have been saved by moments of luck at times) and they have lacked almost any attacking threat. The two goals they have scored this season have come from very close range by Park Chang-jun, while Bucheon spent the majority of the Anyang draw on the back foot.

Stretching back into last season Jeonnam Dragons are unbeaten in five games, though only one of those matches was a win - the 1-0 victory over Gyeongnam at home in the second round of the season. This was preceded by a goalless draw at home to Chungnam Asan and followed by a 1-1 draw away to top of the table Seoul E-Land, a club that defeated Busan IPark 3-0 and Gimcheon Sangmu 4-0 in their first two matches of the season. Jeonnam is a club that clearly has one of the strongest defences in K League 2, though they are not known for their attacking prowess. They have failed to score more than one goal in a game in six matches, with the previous occasion coming in a 4-3 away triumph at promoted Suwon FC. 

What to Watch

For both teams it is whose attack will triumph. Bucheon and Jeonnam have the joint lowest goals scored in the league (two goals) alongside bottom placed Busan IPark, while Jeonnam has the joint lowest goals conceded (one goal), level with first place Seoul E-land and third place Chungnam Asan. Bucheon's two goals conceded is the fourth best in the league. As both teams in this match have kept two clean-sheets out of three matches and not scored more than one goal in a single game, it is likely to be a tight affair. Neither clubs forwards have opened their accounts for the season, as all of their goalscorers (Park Chang-jun for Bucheon, Oleg Zoteev and Ko Tae-won for Jeonnam) being defenders or wingers. 

Last season Jeonnam dominated Bucheon, winning twice and drawing once, scoring four times and only conceding a single goal. With Bucheon looking a little bit more secure at the back and Jeonnam lacking some of their attacking options from last season, it will be interesting to see if that dominance can continue. This is likely to be a tight game, with the most likely result either being a low scoring draw or a 1-0 win for either team.

Who to Watch

Bucheon's on-loan goalkeeper from Seongnam, Jeon Jong-hyeok, has started all three of Bucheon's matches this season and won the Man Of The Match award in matchday two. This was due to him saving a penalty, which he also did in the opening game of the season. However, in both of those matches he made a mistake that lead to either a goal or a penalty. 

Last weekend he made some decent saves as he kept another clean-sheet, but he also made a couple of errors that could have lead to Anyang goals, such a missing punch from a corner, or trying to dribble out of trouble by the corner flag and having his clearance rebounding back into the penalty area. It seems that with his good reflexes but inexperienced decision making, he will play a hand in the result regardless of whether it is a Bucheon win, loss, or draw. 

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