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scouting

Bucheon host rested Seoul E-Land for their first Monday night game of the season

The temperatures are heating up in Korea and Monday has a hotly-contested fixture that almost always guarantees goals. Bottom side Bucheon FC 1995 ended their six match losing streak at the weekend with a goalless draw, but still have not scored in seven league matches. Meanwhile, sixth placed visitors Seoul E-Land play their first match in two weeks due to last weekend's match postponement. 

Recent Form

Bucheon have earned just a point in their last five matches as they lost every match in the month of April and the beginning of May. Their most recent five matches began with a 1-0 home loss to Ansan Greeners, followed by a 3-0 away collapse at Gyeongnam. They then went on to lose 2-0 at home to Busan IPark, and then tasted defeat by the same scoreline away at FC Anyang. A goalless draw at home to Gimcheon on Saturday gave Bucheon their first point since March, though they were unlucky not to come away without a win. 

Bucheon's sole league goalscorer this season, Park Chang-jun, returned to the squad after injury but it was actually Han Ji-ho that put the ball into the net for Bucheon. However, a VAR review meant the referee spotted a foul in the build-up, meaning the goal was disallowed. Bucheon can at least take heart in that a goalless draw meant they broke a streak of conceding in nine matches in all competitions, with goalkeeper Jeon Jong-hyeok earning himself a place in the K League 2 Team of the Week. 

Seoul E-Land started the season looking like they were going to destroy all teams in their path. However, their last five league matches have seen results become more mixed. They first succumbed to a 1-0 home defeat to Chungnam Asan thanks to a last minute goal, and then lost 2-1 away to Daejeon Hana Citizen. The losing streak continued for a third game with a 2-1 home loss to Anyang, but Seoul then returned to winning ways with a 1-0 home win over Ansan Greeners. Just three days later Seoul earned a 1-1 draw at home to Gyeongnam, giving them their last point before their Chungnam Asan match was postponed due to a positive covid test by an Asan player. 



What to Watch

If there is any team that Seoul E-Land would choose to face to return to their more dominant form it would likely be Bucheon. Seoul have dominated the last four matches in the fixture, winning 3-2 once and 3-0 twice last season, and earning a 4-0 victory this season. Even Bucheon's last victory on this fixture, a 3-2 win in November 2019, was high-scoring, meaning this could be a perfect match for neutrals looking to see some goals. Seoul E-land have the best goalscoring record in the K League 2 while Bucheon have the joint worst defence, so it seems like regardless of the result the most surprising outcome would be if it had less than three goals in it.

Who to Watch

28 year-old forward William Barbio was brought to Korea for the first time last season by Bucheon, where he became one of the few positives in a dire season for the Gyeonggido side. His excellent performances garnered the attention of other teams in the league and after just a single season in Bucheon, Barbio signed for Seoul E-Land. He has settled in quite well at the club, scoring and assisting once each and starting in seven of Seoul's 10 league matches this season. 

His pace and dribbling ability provides his team with a constant attacking threat that is a nightmare for defenders to deal with. Combined with fellow forwards Leandro, Banegas,  Kim Jeong-hwang, and Han Eui-gwon, Barbio is a part of one of the most ruthless attacks in K League 2 when they are in the mood for goals. If he plays on Monday, expect Barbio to make Bucheon wish they had never let him go. 

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