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#DHFCvSUW Preview: Will Daejeon Hana Citizen seal safety with result against Suwon FC?

A win or even a draw for Daejeon Hana Citizen against Suwon FC on Sunday seals their K League 1 status for next season. Suwon, though, are only four points adrift and, given Jeju United's poor form, can almost smell safety. The two teams meet in Final B this Sunday in Round 34 of the 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 campaign.

Match Information & Overview

Fixture: Daejeon Hana Citizen (8th) vs. Suwon FC (10th)
Competition: 2023 Hana 1Q K League 1 Round 34
Venue: Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Date: Sunday 22nd October 2023, 16:40 KST

As luck would have it, post-split fixtures have put Daejeon Hana Citizen up against Suwon in their first match of Final B. A draw with 10th-placed Suwon FC in Round 34 would seal safety for Daejeon as the gap, currently at 14 points with 15 to play for, would stay the same but with 12 to play for thereafter. Lee Min-sung's men don't need any more motivation but the players might feel as though they owe Suwon one after two defeats to the Castle Park side this season. 

For Suwon FC, who'll take to the field after Jeju United's away fixture with Suwon Bluewings, a win could mean the gap from safety is narrowed to just a point if their crosstown neighbours do them a favour and beat manager-less Jeju. Likewise, any positive result for Jeju would likely spark some sort of reaction from Kim Do-kyun's Suwon FC side.

Recent Form

Daejeon head into Sunday's clash on the back of a four-match unbeaten run with two wins and two draws. Before the international break, the Purples eased past Jeju United 1-0 thanks to a Kim Min-duk goal from an acute angle. The win marks something of an upturn in form after the Purples went four without a win before that. Daejeon's form through the summer and into autumn has been patchy and saw them drop out of the top six. 

For Suwon FC, it's four matches without a win but, glass half-full, two unbeaten heading into the trip to Daejeon following 1-1 and 2-2 draws with Seoul and Daegu respectively. The most recent, the 2-2 draw with Daegu, saw Suwon come back from behind to lead 2-1 mid-way through the second half. Since the 2-1 Suwon Derby win in early June, Suwon have won just three of their last 17 matches with 10 defeats.

Team News

Right back Kang Yoon-seong and utility man Lim Dug-keun are both back in training for Daejeon and so could feature. Anton Kryvotskyuk is suspended, though, and so manager Lee Min-sung will have something to think about in terms of his back three. Kim Hyeon-woo is likely to come in and replace the Azerbaijan international it remains a three. Other candidates would be Lim Eun-soo, Byeon Jun-soo, or the aforementioned Lim Dug-keun if fit enough. Experienced right back Oh Jae-suk has also been absent in recent weeks.

Suwon FC are likely to be without Lee Kwang-hyeok. Kim Do-kyun doesn't have any players unavailable through suspension although Lee Seung-woo is just a yellow away from serving a one-match ban. Brazilian centre back Hugo Gomes is available again after suspension.


There have been 12 goals scored in this fixture so far already, largely thanks to the eight-goal thriller earlier in the campaign. That was a game that Daejeon will probably look back on with a great deal of regret having gone 2-0 and 3-1 up only to lose 5-3. The Purples won the second meeting of the campaign, though, 2-1 at home thanks to goals from Masatoshi Ishida and Jeon Byeong-kwan. The most recent encounter from September 1st ended in a 1-0 Suwon win with Lee Seung-woo grabbing the game's only goal somewhat against the run of play.

Overall, there have been 23 previous meetings between the two clubs with Daejeon winning nine, Suwon FC 12 and just two draws. At Purple Arena, the record reads played 13, seven Daejeon wins, six Suwon FC and no draws.

What to Watch

How Daejeon use the motivation of sealing safety

Daejeon know that a positive result will mean safety. The Purples, then, will want to start the game strongly and look to control proceedings. Anton's suspension is a big blow as the Azerbaijan international's build-up play is key to how Daejeon like to play down the left. His absence will affect how Daejeon are set-up but injuries at right back also mean that Lee Min-sung will probably have to stick to his three and use Lee Hyun-sik as a wingback. Daejeon should be looking to dominate the game but make the most of their chances, something they didn't do in the most recent meeting with Suwon when they had most of the ball but managed few shots on target and lost 1-0. Their concentration is also an issue and can be easily affected after conceding. If Daejeon start with a good intensity and remain focused then they should be able to get the job done.

What sort of mid-game changes Suwon FC make

Will Kim Do-kyun start with his strongest team, or will he wait until he's sacrificed two youngsters before having his best players on the pitch at the same time? Suwon FC's dangerman Lee Seung-woo has made 30 appearances this season, meaning he's missed just three games and those were because of suspension. But he's only made 15 starts due to Kim Do-kyun's insistence on abusing the U22 rule by hooking two young lads before 20 minutes. But, bringing Lee Seung-woo on seems to work as from the 15 starts this season, Suwon have won just three, drawn three, and lost nine; from the 15 substitute appearances, Suwon have won four, drawn four, and lost seven. But in terms of Lee's goals, five have been in games he started, four came as a substitute including the brace last time out. At such a critical point in the season, Kim Do-kyun will have to decide which approach works best but what's clear is that, without Lars Veldwijk, Lee Seung-woo is their main man.


Who to Watch

Tiago Orobo, Daejeon Hana Citizen

Tiago is still in the hunt for the golden boot, sitting just one goal behind Joo Min-kyu heading into the weekend. Tiago is a cool customer and has good composure, even in games when he hasn't had much of a sniff, when a chance does come he usually puts them away. He's also scored against Suwon before, bagging two in the 5-3 loss earlier in the campaign. As well as 14 goals he also has three assists and his 17 goal contributions are the most in K League 1. His xG is the third highest in the division at 10.09 and is a threat in the air with 22 headed shots the third-most in K League 1.

Lee Seung-woo, Suwon FC

Lee Seung-woo is Suwon FC's top scorer and main goal threat, whether that be from the start or off the bench. Lee's xG is the second highest in the division at 11.05 and he is averaging 0.54 expected goals or assists per 90, the fourth best record in K League 1. He's also in the top five for touches in the box with 90, in the top three for key passes with 17, and fourth for deep completions with 37. He scored the winner against Daejeon in Suwon's most recent trip to Purple Arena.

Where to Watch

Follow the match LIVE, for FREE, and in HD on TV.KLeague.com.

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