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Leopards Look to Break a Losing Streak: Seoul E-Land Vs Ansan Greeners

It is still amazing to think that we are only eight games into the 2021 K League 2 season. For many a Seoul E-Land fan, it has already been an emotional rollercoaster.  Once upon a time, Seoul sat at the top of the tree, looking down on the teams below. Now all of a sudden, they have lost three games in a row. It might not exactly be panic stations yet for the Leopards, who are still only four points off the top. However, any more points dropped and some serious questions may be asked of what is actually happening to this team.

This week the task does not get any easier with a double game week looming over the capital. First, they entertain highflyers Ansan Greeners followed by a visit by struggling side Gyeongnam. Can Seoul get out of this rut that they find themselves in on Sunday? Or will there be further roadblocks on the Leopard's road to glory? Michael Redmond previews this one here.

Seconds Out, Round Eight

17 Seconds... That is all it took for Anyang to score against Seoul on Sunday. Do you remember when we were talking about this brick wall defence? Nothing could get past them? Seoul have now conceded five goals in the last three games. That amazing defence seems to be a lifetime away from what unfolded in the last round. Seoul's defence just did not seem ready for the task of facing Anyang on Sunday. Anyang had the ball in the net three times, yet one was rightfully called off for offside. VAR interference of course.

Shock and despair set around the stadium, fans were in disbelief of what they were watching. Players were running into each other. There were players who were out of position. Seoul also fell down a lot throughout the game. Staying on their feet is something that needs to be implemented more into their game. 

It was a far from inspiring performance from Seoul E-Land in the last round of the 2021 K League 2.

Fans may feel more anger over these last three results because Seoul looked so good at the start. Don't get me wrong, Seoul fans didn't think they were going to cruise the league. However, a playoff spot looked more than likely if they were able to keep up the form they had at the start of the year. Now, it is looking more and more likely that they could be out of contention for another year if they continue to play the way they have.

Credit is given to Anyang when it's due in this tie. They came to the capital on the weekend with a game plan and they executed it perfectly. Catch Seoul cold. They just did not give Seoul time to breathe. They pushed and pushed from the first minute to the last and played with confidence. Something that Seoul are so sorely lacking at the moment. Anyang were also not afraid to hit the deck whenever they had an opportunity to do so, yet that is the game of football these days.

Amazing Ansan

Ansan have had quite the start to the season. It all started with a respectable draw against Gimcheon Sangmu, then followed by three points against FC Anyang. Ansan are making a lot of critics and fans turn their heads this season. Their only losses this year came against Gyeongnam and Jeonnam Dragons. Two teams, you expect to be near around the playoffs come the end of the season. To even further that, it was the last gasp effort from Jeonnam to grab them the three vital points.

Ansan have been playing with a flair and style in their game. Asnawi showing why more teams should invest in ASEAN players as he has been fundamental to their success. Ansan has been playing him further up the field from his original position and it appears to be paying off. Asnawi chases down the ball and his quick thinking confuses the defence. The Indonesian has been creating quite a buzz in the K League this season and has also brought some much-appreciated eyes to Korean football.

Asnawi Mangkualam Bahar has settled in well to life at Ansan Greeners

 The Green Wolve's midfield has Lee Sang-min who has been excellent for them with two assists and hasn’t missed a minute of football for them as well as Kim Ryun-do. This is where Ansan could really win the game against Seoul as they have a stable midfield. However, they have only scored eight goals in the league so they will look to hopefully improve that when they play the Leopards. Seoul still has the highest goals scored with 14.

Time for Change

It hasn't exactly been a great couple of weeks for Seoul E-Land. It feels like a long time ago there were celebrations in the Seoul World Cup Stadium when they beat FC Seoul. Everything really went downhill after their heartbreaking loss to Chungnam Asan in the dying minutes of the game. They have not been able to shake that defeat and have lost every other league game since.

Seoul have played the same team almost every single game this season. The back two of Lee Sang-min and Lee In-jae had a fantastic start. Now though there are certainly other players who may feel a little too comfortable with their regular starts and other players are knocking on the door. Kim Jin-hwan has been excellent for the Leopards this season and really does deserve a call back into the starting line up. 

Lee In-jae will face off against his old club Ansan Greeners on Sunday in the 2021 K League 2

Lee In-jae is more than likely to face his former team on Sunday, so does that leave any space open for experimenting with new players? A question also needs to be asked of Seoul, does three at the back work for them? They looked weak in defence on the weekend and multiple mistakes were made throughout the game.

In the middle of the park, Seoul can not leave it to Kim Sun-min to rescue every lost ball, and Leandro to charge the ball down the field. Seoul needs a game plan, they need to keep better possession in the game. Seoul are also starting to have a goal drought upfront. They have scored only two goals in their last three league games and both of them came from defenders. It could be time for new players to start up-top too. Kim Jung-hwan is Seoul's top goal scorer. However, he is only ever featured off the bench. The 24-year-old still has not made a league start for the capital.

It's still too early to start rioting over the recent performance. It is a marathon and not a sprint. Although it is apparent that teams are starting to work out Seoul's game plan. Maybe it needs alternating to confuse teams once more. Seoul needs to get their flair back.


Saving Seoul's Season

Well, this could be a big week for Seoul. I feel like I say that every week but now it could be pivotal for their promotion push. Fail to win these two games and the Leopards could find themselves freefalling down the league without a safety net. Seoul needs to restore confidence back in themselves and back in the hearts and minds of fans. Chung Jung-yong has a game plan and he is experienced at what he does. Fans will hope that his fortunes will turn sooner rather than later.

For Ansan, they could show a belief that hasn't been seen in the team for years. They are playing with commitment and as a unit. Seoul might need to throw everything at Ansan on Sunday to get a result. Even then, they might have to rely on the Greeners getting stage fright away from home. All is to play for when these two come to battle on Sunday and it could really go either way. Let's just hope its another fantastic advertisement for K League 2 football.

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