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Seoul E-Land Vs. Bucheon 1995: Can Bucheon Break the Streak?

Last week saw a break from the already intense 2021 K League 2 Season. The magic of the FA Cup came to Jamsil when Seoul E-Land put five goals past Songwol FC. setting up the first-ever Seoul Derby in their existence. Attention now diverts back to the league, as the leaders welcome Bucheon 1995 to town. Seoul had a very successful head to head with Bucheon last year, winning all three of their meetings. 

 
Bucheon will look to show that they have improved from the season prior. Revenge will be in the air for the travelling side. For Seoul, a win will keep them top of the table. Three points are also much needed after two draws in the previous two rounds. Michael Redmond previews this one here.
 
 

Rose Tinted Glasses for Seoul E-Land

A rule of three applied to Seoul when these two met in the 2020 K League 2 season. Seoul won all three of their games by three goals, claiming three points against Bucheon. The first game will easily go down as the most memorable one, as Seoul went 2-0 down in the game. Only to claw back and win in the dying moments of the match.
 
The second and third meetings were simple 3-0 wins for Seoul. Bucheon just did not look the same calibre as Seoul last year. It truly was a season to forget for the side. Leandro was the man Bucheon still have nightmares about. Scoring in all three fixtures and having four goals to his name against the side. Seoul only conceded two goals against Bucheon in the whole of 2020.

A Familiar Face

A familiar face that Bucheon fans will remember will be the one of Brazilian, William Barbio. He scored three goals last year for Bucheon, including a penalty against Seoul E-Land. At Seoul, he plays in a midfield role and uses his pace to push the ball up the pitch. Fans will only need to remember the goal against Jeonnam in round three to confirm this. The link-up with Leandro had the ball in the back of the Dragon's net within nine seconds of a Jeonnam corner. 

Barbio wore the colours of Bucheon in the 2020 K League 2 Season.

Barbio has not yet scored for Seoul this year, but his character in midfield has really helped Seoul in breaking away on an attack. Bucheon will have eyes firmly on him this weekend. It won't be Barbio they will worry about scoring, but more that Barbio will be the player who creates the chances.  

Tight at the Top

Of course, it is way too early to presume any league position in the K League 2. As only four rounds of the season has been played. However, Seoul have been 1st since round one and they have remained there ever since. Only Seoul and Jeonnam have yet to lose this year and it would be fair to say that Seoul had the hardest start. An opening day away game against Busan IPark followed by welcoming Gimcheon Sangmu and Jeonnam Dragons to Leoul Park. The last round was a trip to Changwon to take on playoff contenders Gyeongnam. 

Ansan Greeners are the team closest to Seoul at the moment, with one point separating the two. Fans maybe quite shocked to see the two teams who, in the past were fighting for the wooden spoon are both glaring at the top of the table. With that being said, it takes one loss for either side and they could drop down to 5th. Seoul can't take teams like Bucheon and Chungnam Asan for granted now, simply because they may not have been seen as playoff contenders. If you may recall Seoul E-Land last season had an excellent record against the 'big five', yet failed miserably against the teams at the bottom. 


Rotation, Rotation, Rotation

Last week brought FA Cup action to Leoul Park. This gave rest to a lot, if not most first-team players. It is still early on in the season. However, a break after their first four games would have been welcoming. Looking at Seoul, it appears that Kim Kyeong-min is the man of choice between the sticks. A Goalkeeper who has only conceded one goal so far in an E-Land shirt has commanded the line well.

Seoul E-Land manager Chung Jung-yong is not afraid to change and experiment with his team.

The partnership with Lee Sang-min and Lee In-jae is also working well in the capital. The two defenders have formed a partnership over the last few rounds. Kim Sun-min is once again taking the role in the middle of the field and excelling in the side. Captain Kim Min-kyun is still sidelined and his return is still not yet known. 

The last few games saw boss Chung Jung-yong play all his foreign signings in the starting line up. Taking them off throughout the game. Barbio and Leandro bring the pace for Benegas upfront to get into positions to finish and send balls directly to him. However, It will be interesting to see if the boss changes things this week. The side have now drawn two games in a row and a win is becoming much needed.

 

Bucheon Versatility?

Bucheon plays in a 3-4-3 formation with normally Yun Ji-hyuk, Park Tae-hong, and Kim Jung-ho at the back. Park Jun-hui showed his versatility in the last game filling in for Park Tae-hong in defence. 
They are playing three at the back but have only conceded three goals so far, two of them being in the 2-1 loss to Daejeon. So defensive wise they are not doing too bad. A team that has had somewhat of a difficult start, playing both Daejeon and Jeonnam in the first four games and getting 5 points.These points came in a win against Chungnam Asan and draws against Anyang and Jeonnam. 

Park Chang-jun has been Bucheon's goal man as far  in the 2021 K League 2 Season.

Their midfield normally has Cho Hyeon-taek Oh Jae-hyuk and Sung Hong-min in the midfield. But manager Lee Yeong-min does sometimes change it around. Benching or rotating only slightly. Bucheon’s all three goals have come from Park Chang-jun. Fans might question are they relying on the 24-year-old too much to be their frontman. In Seoul's case, it will asked how will Lee Sang-min and Lee In-jae deal with a poacher like Park Chang-jun constantly appearing in the box. He seems to get himself in the right areas at the right time. 

Bucheon have actually started or played better than some may have thought this year. They had a poor season last year and they could not come close to the level that Seoul played at throughout 2020. Bucheon will look to get some revenge against Seoul for embarrassing them in most of the games. Especially going 2-0 down to losing 3-2. 

Can Bucheon Break the Streak?

Seoul flew out of the traps at the start of the season and they are still having an exceptional time in the K League 2. With that being said, they need another win on the board to cement their intentions of promotion. Two draws are better than two defeats, especially who they played to share the spoils. Although teams who win leagues, win games week in and week out. Teams will line up now to try and take Seoul down. This will also be true for Bucheon who are now looking to actually break their losing streak against the Leopards. 

Seoul needs to once again bring on the goal flair that we saw against Busan, Gimcheon, and even Songwol in the cup. We all know that Seoul can score goals. They have the highest amount of goals scored in the league. They need to be firing goals into the back of the net as soon as possible. 


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