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Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs FC Anyang

Preview: Daejeon Citizen vs FC Anyang K League 2 Round 35
Daejeon Citizen will host promotion hopefuls FC Anyang this Saturday in K League 2 Round 35. For The Purples there is little else to play for other than pride a stark contrast from around this time last year when the Violets made the trip to Purple Arena before Daejeon's playoff campaign. This time around the roles are somewhat reversed as Kim Hyungryul's FC Anyang will be looking for further momentum and to secure third place with the playoffs looming. 

Overview

via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 2-2 Daejeon Citizen

Daejeon earned a draw away to Seoul E-Land on Saturday but could have secured all three points had Antonio have converted a 94th minute spot kick. Antonio put Citizen in front on the stroke of half time with a well-taken strike into the far corner but goals from Duarte and Kwon Kipyo had the hosts in front in the second half. Antonio brought the Purples back on level terms in the 65th minute before then striking the crossbar with a 94th minute penalty, denying the Brazilian his first hat-trick in K League and Daejeon the three points. Lee Heungsil's side side six point above E-Land at the bottom of the table with two games left to play.

Highlights




FC Anyang 3-2 Ansan Greeners

A truly entertaining 'Line 4 Derby' saw FC Anyang come back from behind to fire in a late, late winner and leapfrog Ansan Greeners in the table and back into third. Masatoshi gave Ansan the lead five minutes after the restart before Lee Jeongbin levelled for Anyang. However, in the 69th minute, Masatoshi bagged his second of the afternoon and third in his last two games to once again ensure that the Green Wolves' noses were in front. However, a penalty converted by Alex made it 2-2 on 83 before substitute Lee Seongeol gave Anyang all three points deep into stoppage time.

Highlights



Previous Meetings

From the three previous meetings this term Daejeon have managed to pick up just a point against Anyang on account of two defeats and a draw. The most recent encounter between Daejeon Citizen and FC Anyang was just over two months ago at the end of August when the two sides played out a 0-0 draw in Anyang. Prior to which, in what was Daejeon manager Lee Heungsil's first game in charge, Daejeon lost 2-1 away to Anyang thanks to a Jo Kyuseong brace for the Violets, Ahn Sanghyeon converted a late penalty with what proved to be scant consolation. The last meeting at Daejeon World Cup Stadium ended in a 2-0 Anyang win, Kovtalyuk and Alex with the goals.

Last term it was slightly different with Daejeon picking up two wins and two draws. On 11th November last year Daejeon were heading for a playoff semifinal with Gwangju and so fielded a somewhat second string against a visiting Anyang who, at the time, still had a chance of reaching the playoffs themselves.

After taking a 2-0 lead, it looked as though Anyang fans were set for a grandstand finish to the season; Wesley Alex after nine minutes got Anyang up and running before an own goal by Yoon Junsung 10 minutes into the second. However, a mistake by goalkeeper Jeon Soohyun allowed Cho Kwibeom in for a first Citizen goal before Park Inyeok came off the bench to fire in an 84th minute equaliser and effectively end any playoff hopes for the visitors.

Overall, from 19 meetings both sides have six wins each with the seven remaining matches ended in draws.

Team News

In recent weeks Daejeon Citizen manager has given goalkeeper Kim Jinyoung a run of games after playing second fiddle to Park Juwon for the vast majority of the campaign. Park's contract is up at the end of the current season and has his sights set on a move to J.League and so Kim Jinyoung being recalled could be Coach Lee looking to see what the former Pohang Steelers custodian has to offer before deciding which players will be retained for 2020. Centre backs Lee Jisol and Lee Inkyu both suffered injuries in the 2-1 defeat to Jeonnam at the beginning of October and may well have played their last games this season. Daejeon will be without club captain Ahn Sanghyeon after his sending off in the 2-2 draw with Seoul E-Land. Up front, Brazilian target man Rafael Ramazotti is back from suspension after missing the trip to Cheonan last weekend.

Daejeon Citizen lineup versus Seoul E-Land, K League 2 Round 34.




The Adversary


FC Anyang have surpassed expectations this season by reaching the playoffs for the first time in their short history. Under Kim Hyungryul, who is managing at K League level for the first time in his career, has so far guided the Violets to third place with his brand of free-flowing attacking football. In a three-pronged attack, with mainstays of Jo Kyuseong, whose form has caught the attention of Korea U23 Head Coach Kim Hakbum, Alex, as well as Palacios, who has performed superbly in his first season in K League, the Violets have caused problems for many a team in K League 2 this season. Combined, Jo, Alex and Palacios make up for 35 of Anyang's 58 goals, roughly 60%. Palacios has the most dribbles in K League 2 and the most shots on target with 54, 10 of which have found the back of the net and the Colombian also has five assists to his name this term. Alex has also contributed massively this season and is second behind Palacios for dribbles, has 12 goals and finds himself in the top ten for key passes.

Formation wise, Coach Kim likes a back three with wing-backs. Although the formation for 3-2 home win over Ansan Greeners was more of a 5-4-1, the seven previous matches were all 3-4-3. The last time Anyang faced Daejeon, the 0-0 draw in August, Anyang were set up in a 3-4-2-1. Anyang will be without Ryu Eonjae, who usually operates as a right-sided centre back in a three, is ruled out through suspension.

FC Anyang starting lineup versus Ansan Greeners, K League 2 Round 34.

What To Watch

FC Anyang may have mathematically secured a playoff place, the first time the south Gyeonggi Province side have done so having previously only finishing as high as fifth, but third place is still not secure. As is the nature of the K League 2 Promotion/Relegation Playoffs, home advantage is crucial. If Anyang finish in third then the playoff semifinal with, most likely, Ansan Greeners will be at home where the Violets would only need a draw to go through to the Promotion Final against Busan IPark. Therefore, despite having reached the playoffs, there won't be any room for squad rotation by manager Kim Hyungryul and it will be interesting to see how Anyang approach this game. How Anyang approach this game will be very interesting. Apart from Jo Kyuseong, Alex and Palacios, Anyang also have Mo Jaehyeon on loan from Suwon FC who could step in to give one of three aforementioned a rest but a win at Purple Arena is an absolute must for the Violets.

Daejeon, meanwhile, have little else to play for apart from avoiding the K League 2 wooden spoon. The Purples are ninth and six points above Seoul E-Land with two games remaining and so need just a point, or for E-Land to drop points against Bucheon earlier in the afternoon, to secure ninth place. Avoiding another 10th place finish will give Daejeon and new manager Lee Heungsil a huge boost heading into the winter break. Under Lee, Daejeon have managed to turn their fortunes around somewhat and are currently on a run of just one defeat in 10. That said, during that time, Citizen have just three wins with six draws. It will be interesting contest on Saturday, Daejeon will want to finish the season strongly, especially if potential new owners are watching on, whilst Anyang need a win to ensure they keep third place given the one-point gap over the Greeners.

Prediction

Daejeon Citizen players are essentially auditioning for next season, trying to impress Lee Heungsil before the former Ansan Greeners boss decides which players he wants to keep and who are surplus to requirements. So, whoever plays for the Purples will be keen to ensure that Citizen end the season strongly. Anyang, though, are a very good outfit and will perhaps be favourites to reach the Promotion Final against Busan IPark. A draw is a realistic result for Daejeon but Anyang will be the favourites.



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