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Preview: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Suwon FC

With their playoff hopes dangling by a thread, Daejeon Hana Citizen host automatic promotion contenders Suwon FC this Saturday in Round 23 of the 2020 Hana 1Q K League 2 campaign. Under a third manager of the season, Daejeon are struggling for momentum heading into the playoffs and take on a Suwon FC side that could reclaim top spot with a second win at Purple Arena this year.


It's third hosting second but this is also a game of two teams who now have very different objectives; Daejeon are clinging onto their playoff place while Suwon are desperate to avoid them. Likewise, the two teams' recent form is contrasting. Daejeon have three defeats from their last five while Suwon have won their last four and are unbeaten in eight. 

Last Time Out

Chungnam Asan 3-2 Daejeon Hana Citizen

A 10-man Daejeon side were unable to build on their win over Ansan Greeners the weekend before by suffering a late defeat to Chungcheong Province neighbours Chungnam Asan. Left back Seo Young-jae was shown a straight red card for a reckless, high tackle on Asan striker Phillip Helquist in the 24th minute which seemed to set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. Daejeon fell behind in the 40th minute, Kim Won-seok on the scoresheet for the hosts before Andre Luis levelled, making sure Edinho's free kick had crossed the line just three minutes later. 

Lee Jae-geon put the Owls' noses in front once again on 49 minutes before Park Yong-ji restored parity with just six minutes remaining. However, despite looking to go on and grab a much-needed winner, Daejeon conceded again. A well-struck Bruno shot in the 88th minute beat goalkeeper Kim Keun-bae and was enough seal the three points for Asan.


Ansan Greeners 0-4 Suwon FC

A rampant Suwon FC side hammered K League 2 strugglers Ansan Greeners 4-0 to keep the pressure on Jeju United at the top of the division. Brazilian attacking midfielder Marlone got Suwon up and running from the penalty spot on 30 minutes before a returning An Byong-jun made it two. Then, former Green Wolf Ishida Masatoshi added a brace with goals in the 70th and 83rd minutes to seal a put the gloss on a thoroughly professional performance from Kim Do-kyun's men. Suwon remain just two points behind Jeju heading into the last five matches of the season.


Previous Meetings

On the opening weekend of the season Daejeon picked up a 2-1 away win over Suwon to get the Hana era off to the best possible start. A deflected An Byong-jun freekick gave Suwon the lead before Andre Luis levelled and Park Yong-ji, with the help of VAR, found a last minute winner. However, when it was Daejeon's turn to host, the Purples were defeated by four-goals-to-one. A brace each from Masatoshi and An Byong-jun for Suwon, Bruno Baio for Daejeon.

Overall, from 19 meetings, Daejeon have nine wins, Suwon eight and just two draws. In Daejeon, there have been 10 meetings with Citizen winning six and losing four.

Team News

Daejeon do not have any new injuries to be concerned with. However, goalkeeper Kim Dong-jun remains a long term absentee and forward Yoon Seung-won is a doubt. Left back Lee Kyu-ro is back in training again and could return to the side to cover for the suspended Seo Young-jae. Goalkeeper Park Ju-won was named among the substitutes for the first time  this year having missed the vast majority of the season with a broken wrist. Lee Ji-sol and Park Jin-seop are both just one booking away from a one-match ban. Up top, Bruno Baio has missed the Purples' last two matches through injury and is a slight doubt.

Daejeon lineup vs Chungnam Asan (3-2 L), K League 2 R23.

[READ: K League 2 Round 24 Preview]

Defensive duo Jang Jun-young and Lee Han-saem are both just one yellow away from serving a suspension. Goalkeeper Yoo Hyun is a long term absentee and so Park Bae-jong will continue to deputise. An Byong-jun returned last weekend, leaving manager Kim Do-kyun something of a selection headache given the recent form of Ishida Masatoshi and Lars Veldwijk.

Suwon FC lineup vs Ansan Greeners (4-0 W), K League 2 R23.

The Adversary

Suwon FC have the meanest attack in K League 2 this year with 44 goals scored, two more than Jeju, and the joint-leanest defence having shipped just 20. An Byong-jun is the league's top scorer with 17, backed up by Masatoshi with 10. Further testament as to how important the pair are are their stats so far this season. An Byong-jun has made the most shots in the division, the most per 90 minutes while Masatoshi has been the most accurate with 46.5% of all attempts finding the target. An has had the most headed shots, and is second in terms of shots made from outside the box. From open play, Masa is second while An is third. Masatoshi also has four assists, the same number as Brazilian attacking midfielder Marlone - joint second in K League 2.

As a team Suwon have had the most shots, the most per 90 and are third for accuracy with 37.7% - for reference, Daejeon are second with 38.8%. The Castle Park club have also had the most headed shots, Daejeon second, and have made the most key passes in the division. In short, Suwon are an attacking side and will be confident of a result against Daejeon this Saturday, But, Suwon also know how to defend.

Formation-wise, Suwon have tended to be set up in a 4-4-2 (44%) or 4-2-3-1 (29%). Away from home, the 4-2-3-1 has been used the most (35%) followed by 4-4-2 (34%).

Eulji Lewis  

Who To Watch

Park Jin-seop

Central midfielder Park Jin-seop has featured 19 times for Daejeon this season after joining from Ansan Greeners over the winter. In a Daejeon shirt, Park ranks ninth in K League 2 for the number of passes made overall and 10th for passes into the final third per 90 mins. He can read the game well too and ranks ninth in the division for interceptions made per 90 minutes. The 24-year-old has three goals to his name and has proven to be a key player for the Purples. Playing alongside Connor Chapman, Park has the perfect foil to then go and help Daejeon in the final third.

Ishida Masatoshi

Another former Ansan Greener to keep an eye on is Ishida Masatoshi. The Japanese forward has 10 goals this term, compared to an xG of 10.58, two of which came in Suwon's 4-1 win over Daejeon earlier in the campaign. The first 53 minutes of said win were spent as a number 10 playing off An Byong-jun before being shifted to the left wing in a midfield four for the remainder of the match. His first of the evening was as a second striker, the second came in the 89th minute on the counter attack. His versatility will be key for manager Kim Do-kyun, especially given that he is now spoilt for choice in the attacking third. 


It looks a bit bleak for Daejeon. The Chungnam Asan match was the Purples' chance to get their playoff push back on track but the 3-2 loss will leave a sour taste in the mouth. Saturday's opponents are hot on the heels of Jeju and will see nothing less than a win as a failure. Away win.

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