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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Suwon FC - Can we expect more goals?

Daejeon Hana Citizen host Suwon FC this Wednesday as the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 campaign reaches Round 12. The Purples have this week celebrated a meaningful anniversary, as it was three years ago almost to the day that they began the Hana Citizen era with a win over their opponents this Wednesday.

Overview & Recent Form

Almost exactly three years ago to the day, Daejeon began the Hana Citizen era with a win over Suwon FC. On that particular occasion, a behind-closed-doors game on what was the opening day of the 2020 K League 2 season, Daejeon came from behind to earn a 2-1 win. 

Looking back, said victory seems to sum up how the Hana Financial Group era has played out with Citizen having to deal with some setbacks to eventually come out on top. The Purples have done that this season, too, having bounced back from each of their three defeats with wins in their previous matches. The 5-3 loss to this Wednesday's opponents Suwon FC was followed up with a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Ulsan Hyundai, the wrongs of loss to Daegu FC the week after were righted with a 2-1 win away to Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors. Last weekend, though, Daejeon suffered a 3-0 home loss to Jeju United, a game which saw them fail to score for only the second time this season and the first match where they had no reply. Gwangju away followed with the aim of ending the first round robin solidly but a rotated Daejeon side had to settle for a point following a 0-0 draw.

The task at hand now for Lee Min-sung and his team is to get the second round robin off to the best possible start. The players will also want revenge for the aforementioned 5-3 loss to Suwon in Round 6, particularly the manner in which the game was lost - 2-0 at halftime and 3-1 up with an hour played only to collapse with four goals shipped in the last 35 minutes. Daejeon's recent form, then, has been a little inconsistent of late but they are at least halfway to Lee Min-sung's target of 10 victories. 

Suwon FC, meanwhile, since the last time these two sides met, have been knocked out of the FA Cup to Seoul E-Land, beaten Jeonbuk, drawn to Incheon and Daegu, lost comprehensively at home to FC Seoul but then bounced back with a 2-0 home win over Gangwon FC thanks to goals from Lars Veldwijk and Murilo.

[READ: Daejeon's Hana era began with victory three years ago this week]

Match Information

Venue: Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Date: Wed. 10th May 2023, 19:30 KST
Competition: 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 Round 12
Form: Daejeon WLWLD Suwon FC WDDLW

Team News

Daejeon will be without Bae Jun-ho and Bae Seo-joon due to their involvement in the upcoming U20 World Cup for South Korea. The former has been a regular in the first team this season and so his absence will be felt. Jeon Byeong-gwan is likely to replace him if the U22 rule needs to be adhered to, although Jeon too has been enjoying a run in the team of late. Centre back Cho Yu-min was left out of the team that travelled to Gwangju at the weekend but could return to face his former club. Cho gave away a penalty in the first meeting against his former employers this season so will be keen to right the wrongs of that Castle Park collapse.  

Suwon FC don't have any suspensions to concern themselves with and have a clean bill of health. Luan Ferreira made his long-awaited Suwon debut last time out, making a 42-minute appearance off the bench after missing the start of the campaign through injury. The only real question marks will be which U22 players get hooked and how soon into the match. It has usually been Lee Dae-gwang and Jang Jae-woong who get taken off and usually early in the first half. Lee's average time spent on the pitch is 21 minutes while Jang's is 23. 

Others who have been the sacrificial lamb for Kim Do-kyun are Jeong Eun-woo and Jung Jae-yoon. They usually get taken off together at the same time and only on two occasions has this not been the case - Round 10 versus FC Seoul (0-3 L) and Round 11 versus Gangwon FC (2-0 W). Suwon's shape usually stays the same as it is the two wide forwards that are taken off but on two occasions the formation has been altered; in Round 5 versus Gwangju FC (3-4-3 to 4-1-4-1) and in Round 10 versus FC Seoul (5-3-2 to 4-4-1-1). Wingers Lee Gwang-hyeok and Oh In-pyo have been the players coming on nine times out, Lee Seung-woo six, Murilo five, and Lars Veldwijk four.


FNR

Head-to-Head

There have been 20 previous meetings between the two teams. Wednesday's hosts have seven win while Suwon FC have 11 and just two draws. Over the last 10 encounters, Suwon have seven wins while Daejeon only have two. Suwon have won the last three encounters and have lost to Daejeon just once in the last nine meetings. 

The first meeting of 2023 ended 5-3 to Suwon FC despite the fact that Daejeon twice had two-goal cushions having been 2-0 up at halftime and 3-1 up after 61 minutes.

Who & What to Watch

Whether either team is able to keep a cleansheet will be something to keep tabs on. Daejeon this year seem to have become the Suwon of last year, with their matches having the most goals - 119 in total last year, or 3.13 per match on average. Daejeon have scored 18 but shipped 17 for a total of an average of 3.18 goals per match. Both teams have kept three cleansheets so far this term.

[READ: Park In-hyeok, Bruno Baio, and Lee Kyu-ro on Daejeon Hana Citizen's first win]

Suwon FC have the highest xGA value so far at 19.35 while Daejeon's are second with 19.05. Attention, then, will be on the attacking players for each team. Daejeon's Tiago Orobo has the highest xG value in the division at 4.92 with four goals scored, Lars Veldwijk is at 3.97 with five goals scored. The two towering centre forwards will be the ones to watch come Wednesday night. Both have been rather charitable, too, with Lars laying no three assists for a total goal contribution tally of eight while Tiago has set up a teammate two times for a total of six goal contributions. Both scored braces when these two teams met earlier in the campaign.


Where to Watch

Fans overseas can watch the match LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.

Those in South Korea can catch the game on Coupang Play (subscription required) or on JTBC Golf & Sports.

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