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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Jeonnam Dragons

Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Jeonnam Dragons K League 2 Round 7
Daejeon Hana Citizen host an still unbeaten Jeonnam Dragons side this Saturday evening in Round 7 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 2 season. The Purples tasted defeat for the first time this term last time out and so will be keen to get back to winning ways as soon as possible. However, this Saturday's visitors, Jeonnam, have the best defence in the division and remain unbeaten. 


via Soccerway

Last Time Out

Seoul E-Land 2-0 Daejeon Hana Citizen

Daejeon Hana Citizen's unbeaten start to the new campaign was brought to an end last Saturday thanks to a 2-0 reverse in the capital. A brace from German forward Richard Sukuta-Pasu, with a goal in each half, sealed the points for the Leopards.

The first came just four minutes in, a Kim Min-kyun corner from the right met centre back Lee Sang-min on the edge of the box. The Korean youth international's strong, looping header came off the inside of the far post and looked to be over the line already before Sukutu-Pasu made sure. The second came 10 minutes into the second half; a nice passing move involving Lazar Arsić and Seo Jae-min whose low cross was met by the former Bayer Leverkusen forward at the back stick. It was a disappointing performance from the Purples who struggled to get going right from the off.


Bucheon FC 1995 0-1 Jeonnam Dragons

Meanwhile, Jeonnam Dragons extended their unbeaten start to the season with a 1-0 away win over league leaders Bucheon FC 1995. Julian Kristoffersen's glancing header from right back Lee You-hyun's cross sent the Dragons up to fourth and just two points behind the Reds. The Norwegian now has two goals in the yellow of Jeonnam since his winter move from Danish Superliga side Hobro.


Previous Meetings

These two mid-90s founded clubs have met on 56 previous occasions with the Dragons having the upper hand with 27 wins to Daejeon's 16 and 13 draws. The most recent was in October last year when the Dragons came from behind to seal a late win at Purple Arena. Ramazotti fired the Purples into a 19th-minute lead only for Jeong Jae-hee to level on 34. Then, with just nine minutes of normal time remaining, Kim Young-wook converted a spot-kick to seal a second Jeonnam win at Daejeon World Cup Stadium in 2019. The first was identical to the second - a 2-1 Jeonnam victory with the hosts taking the lead. At a rain-dampened Purple Arena on 18th May, Yoo Hae-sung gave Daejeon the lead on the stroke of half time. But, goals from Kim Young-wook and Han Chan-hee on 66 and 88 minutes respectively sealed the points for Jeon Kyung-jun's men.

Team News

Daejeon are facing something of a goalkeeping crisis. First choice and once-record signing Kim Dong-jun is due to be out for "several months", according to manager Hwang Sun-hong. The former Seongnam 'keeper fell awkwardly in Daejeon's 3-0 FA Cup win over K3 side Chuncheon FC and dislocated his shoulder. Meanwhile, the club's longest-serving player, Park Ju-won, is also out with a wrist injury meaning that third choice goalkeeper Kim Jin-young is set to start between the sticks.

Elsewhere, Connor Chapman is said to be back in full training but is still a week or two away from a return. Bruno Baio made his comeback from injury coming on as a substitute in the 2-0 defeat at Seoul E-Land and is likely to start up front.

Daejeon Hana Citizen lineup vs Seoul E-Land, K League 2 Round 6.

[READ: K League 2 Round 7 Preview]

For the Dragons, club captain Kim Ju-won is out through suspension. The 28-year-old centre back will serve a one-match ban after picking up two yellows in the 1-0 win over Bucheon last time out. Ko Tae-won could deputise. Elsewhere, Brazilian forward Rodolfo is still out injured. Manager Jeon Kyug-jun is expected to name a similar starting XI to that which faced Bucheon, a 4-3-3 with Kristoffersen through the middle flanked by Lee Jong-ho and Ha Seung-woon.

Jeonnam Dragons lineup vs Bucheon FC 1995, K League 2 Round 6.

The Adversary

Jeonnam Dragons head into Round 8 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 2 season with the division's best defence. The South Jeolla side have shipped just two goals thus far, both in 1-1 draws first with Anyang and then with Chungnam Asan. The Dragons are also the only side left in the second tier who are yet to taste defeat. Two wins and four draws is enough to see them sit fourth but level on points with Jeju in third, just one behind Daejeon in second and two off top spot. A win for the Dragons could, therefore, see them go top of the table.

Eulji Lewis

Jeonnam have faced the second-most number of shots in K League 2 with 76, on average 11.83 per match. It is of little surprise then that the Dragons have the best shots-blocked percentage in the division at 31.7%.  At the other end of the pitch, Jeonnam have made the most crosses in K League 2 with 114 (17.75 per 90) but slip to fourth in terms of accuracy (38.6%). Most have come from the right-hand side (66). Set up in a 4-3-3, the Dragons are expected to get crosses into the box for Julian Kristoffersen who now has two goals in two outings.

What To Watch

Hwang Sun-hong suffered his first defeat as manager of Daejeon Hana Citizen after a 2-0 away loss to Seoul E-Land in the capital last Saturday. It is too soon to say pressure is on, but given the amount of money that has been spent assembling the squad, fans are expecting a reaction. The defeat, coupled with a lack of verve and some defensive frailties, leaves the decorated manager with work to do. Hindsight is a wonderful thing but goalkeeper Kim Dong-jun should never have played against Chuncheon - he took a fall and faces a lengthy spell on the treatment table.

Picking up a win over a lower league side can help with momentum, but Daejeon had already started the season brightly. There was no need for the likes of Andre, Kim Dong-jun, Lee Woong-hee, Park Jin-seop, Park Yong-ji and the such like to start. Daejeon's squad is deep enough to be able to play a second string in the FA Cup. Purists would say that this is disrespectful to the competition and to Chuncheon FC, and they would have a point.

But, for Daejeon, winning promotion is an absolute must. After five years in K League 2, it is time and to do so, the manager needs to keep the long-term picture in mind. Daejeon fans will therefore be hoping that Hwang switches back to a back four and uses the formation(s) which got his team off to a good start, 4-4-1-1 or 4-4-2.

As Daejeon's start has been solid, there are some areas which they excel at. For instance, Citizen have made the most aerial duels in the division with 380, the most per 90 with 58.66 and the best success rate with 52.4%. This should help when trying to defend against Julian Kristoffersen this Saturday. The Purples are third for shots made with 65 but have the best shooting accuracy with 46.2%. But only 27 have come from outside the area, the third-fewest in the league.

Expect more solo work from Andre who likes to drive at defenders and fashion himself chances inside the 18-yard box. One area for the Purples to improve is with crossing. Daejeon have made the fewest amount of crosses into the six-yard box with just three all season. Hwang Sun-hong and his men will have to improve in the final third and are waiting for Connor Chapman to overcome his hip injury and help add some stability in the centre of the park.


This will be a tough game for both teams. Jeonnam would probably take a draw but the Purples will be itching to get back to winning ways. If the right tactical tweaks are made and the team are set up with a back four then there is a chance that Daejeon could come away with all three points. However, they have not beaten Jeonnam at home since 2013. Score draw.

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