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Preview: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Daejeon Citizen

Wednesday night in the K League 2 features two sides that have experienced different seasons and different results at the weekend. Hosts Bucheon FC 1995 continue to be stuck in seventh place and need a win to continue their promotion fight. Daejeon Citizen, meanwhile, are undefeated in six matches as they look to not finish bottom of the table at the end of the season.

Last Time Out

Bucheon FC 1995 0-2 Busan IPark

Bucheon have spent the majority of the season trying to justify themselves as candidates for promotion, and while their hopes have dimmed as the season's end approaches they have not yet given up on their outside hopes of reaching the play-offs. Bucheon had reason to enter this match with confidence as they had achieved an impressive 2-1 away win at Ansan Greeners one week previously. That result, coupled with other results going their way earlier this weekend, meant that Bucheon were in with a chance of going within five points of the play-offs if they were to win at home to Busan on Sunday.

Busan are title contenders for a reason though, and got off to a dream start when they opened the scoring in the second minute of the match. After careful build-up play, Kim Jin-gyu's skilful back-heel flick found defensive midfielder Park Jong-woo in plenty of space to curl a shot into the bottom left-hand corner, scoring only his second goal of the season in the process. Busan had other attempts in the first-half to increase their lead through Romulo and Lee Dong-jun, but it was Bucheon who were on top in the first-half and Busan goalkeeper Choi Pil-soo was called upon to make some very important saves.

Bucheon managed to control the midfield very successfully and outplay Busan's three midfielders, but the trio improved in the second-half and Busan were far more able to control the flow of the game. Busan were rewarded by securing their win with a goal in the 86th minute, courtesy of striker Lee Jeong-hyeop. Some poor defensive play saw Bucheon unable to clear their lines and allowed Busan to get a shot away, which was saved by the Bucheon keeper. The ball fell directly into the path of Lee, who was able to tap into an open goal and end a drought that stretched all the back to the 6th July.

Bucheon will take solace in the way that they played against a top side, but they clearly missed having their top scorer Marlon out of action due to suspension, and will be left wondering if having him available could have seen them come away with a draw at the very least. While Bucheon are aided in the fact that four teams above them all dropped points at the weekend too, meaning that they are only eight points away from the play-offs, this loss does not help them considering that there are only six matches left to play. Bucheon need consistent positive results, and they are running out of time to prove that they are able to produce them.

Watch highlights of the match here.

Daejeon Citizen 0-0 Ansan Greeners

The main side that Bucheon need to drop points over the remainder of this season are Ansan Greeners, the current occupiers of the last play-off spot. They faced a Daejeon Citizen side on Saturday who continue to do battle with Seoul E-Land to avoid last place, but have actually not lost since a 2-1 home defeat to Bucheon back on the 19th August. Only one of the unbeaten Daejeon matches since then has been a victory, a 1-0 home win over Seoul E-Land, with the rest being draws. The streak was to continue for Daejeon, as they ground out a goalless home draw against Ansan.

Neither side truly dominated proceedings, though Ansan had the majority of the goal scoring opportunities. Daejeon were reliant on the goalkeeper Park Ju-won to make some important saves, though he could do nothing about one of Ansan's best chances, when midfielder Hwang Tae-hyun just put the ball over the bar from a well-placed cross in the 56th minute. Park's most important save came in the 77th minute, when he pushed Gustavo Vintecinco's angled side-footed shot on to the post. Despite some positive attacking play, Daejeon remain the league's lowest goalscorers with 20 goals this season and clearly miss having a goal scorer in their team. While they are unlikely to trouble Bucheon's defence they will prove difficult for Bucheon to break down, as Daejeon possess the best defensive record of any side outside the top four.

Watch highlights of the match here.

Previous Meetings

This fixture has been as even as they come over the years, with both teams winning seven times each and playing out draws on five occasions. Bucheon are the higher scoring team with eleven goals, but Daejeon trail only slightly with ten. Last season Daejeon were the more successful team with two victories, while there was one Bucheon win and one draw. The clubs are level this year, with each side winning once and drawing once.

Daejeon drew first blood in April with a 1-0 home win, the game's only goal coming in the 80th minute from top scorer Aurelian Chitu. Bucheon were able to improve in their home match in June, though, as they secured a 1-1 draw through a 41st minute Kim Ryun-do strike. Daejeon had opened the scoring in the first minute thanks to their second highest scorer this season, Park In-hyeok. Bucheon then achieved revenge for their earlier defeat when they travelled to Daejeon in August. Brazilian attacker Ramazotti scored his first and only goal this season for Daejeon to give them a 1-0 lead in the 42nd minute. Bucheon were saved in the second half due to a brace from their top scorer Marlon de Jesus, whose 48th and 64th minute goals awarded Bucheon the three points with a 2-1 win. While they have experienced differing fortunes this season, based on the history of the two teams this should be a closely fought encounter.

Team News

Marlon de Jesus remains suspended for Bucheon, meaning that the club will have to continue to experiment with their attack. Against Busan they lined up with a 3-5-2 formation, with Kim Ryun-do and Jang Hyun-soo up front. Kim remains the joint second highest goal scorer for Bucheon, but his drought continues, while Jang has impressed in recent performances but has only scored once this season. It is possible that until Marlon returns, the coach may continue to experiment with different partnerships up front, with Jeonbuk loanee Lee Si-heon the most likely person to be brought into the starting lineup in exchange for Kim or Jang.

Bucheon have a total of seven players that could get suspended if they receive just one more yellow card: Gam Han-sol; Park Gun; Nilson Junior; Jang Hyun-soo; Kim Ryun-do; Song Hong-min; Lee Kwang-jae. All of these players have featured heavily in either the starting line-up or on the bench lately, so the coach is in a bit of a dilemma as he needs his best players available to win these remaining six games. The threat of suspension is probably what will make it more likely that either Kim Ryun-do or Jang Hyun-soo will be rested against Daejeon, as he will not want an additional attacking dilemma while Marlon is still suspended.

The Adversary

Kim Seung-seop, Hwang Jae-hoon, Yoon Shin-young, Yun Kyung-bo, Park In-hyeok, and Shin Hak-young are all just one yellow away from suspension. The coach may decide to drop one or two of them to avoid suspension, but as they make up a sizeable portion of the squad and Daejeon have very little to play for their is a good chance the majority of them will feature against Bucheon. Midfielder An Sang-hyun is suspended for picking up his ninth yellow card of the season in the match against Ansan. The 33 year-old is Daejeon's third highest goal scorer this season with two goals, however, his ill-discipline has proven to be a problem yet again for his club. Last season he received six yellow cards for Daejeon, although it is nothing compared to 2012, when he was awarded 12 yellow cards while playing for Daegu in K League 1.

What To Watch

Daejeon have impressed defensively this season, especially in its latter stages. The past month has been the most successful period of the season for the club, and that is due to their defensive capabilities. In the six matches leading up to this Wednesday, Daejeon have only conceded twice and both of those were in the 2-2 away draw at Suwon FC on the 21st September. Four of the six matches have been 0-0 draws and with Marlon out of the picture Daejeon will be quietly confident that they can achieve a similar result on Wednesday night. Bucheon were the last team to beat Daejeon before this run of form, but Marlon was the scorer of both of Bucheon's goals. With Bucheon's main attacking threat sidelined they may find it difficult to find a way into the Daejeon goal.

Prediction

Bucheon are the stronger team but Daejeon are going through their best spell of the season. Neither side has dominated in this fixture across their previous three matches and it looks like it may be difficult for either team to come away with a win. Daejeon's strong defence and Bucheon's weakened attack point towards a draw. However, Bucheon have more to play for and on multiple times this season they have been rescued by goals coming from defence or midfield. With one of Daejeon's key defensive players out due to suspension, there might be a weakness in their defence that Bucheon could successfully exploit.

Bucheon FC 1995 1-0 Daejeon Citizen.



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