It's the penultimate weekend in K League 2 before the Promotion/Relegation Playoffs begin. Whilst Busan IPark and FC Anyang know that their place in the playoffs is secured, fourth spot is still up for grabs with Ansan Greeners still needing a result against manager-less Suwon FC this weekend to seal fourth. Elsewhere, Champions Gwangju FC host South Jeolla neighbours Jeonnam Dragons and Seoul E-Land head to playoff hopefuls Bucheon fighting to avoid finishing bottom of the table for the second season in a row.
K League United preview all five K League 2 Round 35 matches.
Saturday 2nd November
#BUCvSEFC: Bucheon FC 1995 (5th) vs Seoul E-Land (10th) - 13:00
Bucheon FC 1995's run of three straight wins has propelled them up from eighth and into contention for a playoff place. The Reds sit five points behind fourth place Ansan Greeners with two matches of the K League 2 season remaining and so, whilst there is still a chance for Song Sunho's side, those chances are somewhat slim. A win against Seoul E-Land at Saturday, then, is an absolute must if they want something to play for in final day away fixture with manager-less Suwon FC. Bucheon's three straight wins came after a run of just one win in five and and three wins in 13. Bucheon's Marlon de Jesus, however, is third for the most shots on target inside the box in the division and so if the Reds can work the ball into the Colombian, they may well be able to get the three points.
For the visitors, Seoul E-Land, anything less than a win will mathematically condemn the Leopards to 10th place for the second time in as many seasons. Seoul E-Land's four-match winning spell seems like a distant memory and are ten games without a win since, losing five and drawing five. E-Land have no suspensions of which to speak of, neither do Bucheon. These two teams have met four times this season already having gone head to head in the FA Cup third round as well for what the first meeting this term. On that occasion Seoul E-Land came out on top in a 3-1 extra time win but two Bucheon wins followed in April and June before E-Land picked up a 1-0 home triumph in August. The Leopards have more away wins over Bucheon from the 20 meetings with 10 overall wins to Bucheon's seven and three draws.
#DCFCvANY: Daejeon Citizen (9th) vs FC Anyang (3rd) - 15:00
The Purples against the Violets this time last year was between two sides with contrasting fortunes to those of 2019. Last term Daejeon headed into their end of season meeting with Anyang already knowing that a playoff berth was secure whilst Anyang petered out with two defeats and a draw to end any lingering playoff hopes. Daejeon will take to the field this Saturday already knowing whether or not they have managed to avoid the K League 2 'wooden spoon' depending on Seoul E-Land's result against Bucheon in Saturday's early kick off. Anyang, though, have their sights firmly set on finishing third. Kim Hyungryul's side are already on course for a best ever finish in K League 2 having only finished as high as fifth previously.
However, with home advantage at stake, and just a one point gap over Ansan Greeners, the Violets have very little room for manoeuvre and will be determined to get another positive result over Daejeon. The Violets have had the most shots on target in K League 2 and are the league's second highest scorers behind Busan who they could well face in the Promotion Final. Anyang's expected goals per game has been at 1.57 but the team have performed slightly above this with an average goal per game of 1.7. Whilst the last meeting ended in a 0-0 draw, the previous two resulted in Anyang victories - a 2-1 win in what was Lee Heungsil's first match in charge of Daejeon in early July, and a 2-0 win at Purple Arena in April. Daejeon will be without club captain and defensive midfielder Ahn Sanghyeon following his dismissal against Seoul E-Land last week but Brazilian striker Ramazotti is back having served a suspension of his own. Anyang have Ryu Eonjae out through suspension.
Sunday 3rd November
#BUSvASA: Busan IPark (2nd) vs Asan Mugunghwa (6th) - 13:00
Busan IPark are set to compete in the K League 2 playoffs for the third year in succession after finishing as runners up to Champions Gwangju FC. Cho Dukje's side lost to Ansan Greeners in Round 33 on Sunday 20th October after Gwangju put Anyang to the sword with a 4-0 win which, ultimately, sealed the league title for the Yellows. Whilst Busan's place in the Promotion/Relegation Final is secured, the South Coast side still have two games to contend with. First up is Asan Mugunghwa who will want to bounce back from a poor run of form which has seen the former police team lose their last three and are also without a win in five. A win could be enough to put Park Donghyuk's side back in contention for a top four finish but Busan themselves will looking to get back to winning ways and build momentum ahead of the forthcoming playoffs.
Busan IPark will have Park Jongoo and Kim Myoungjun suspended; Park was sent off against Ansan two weeks ago whilst Kim picked a third yellow in the draw with Jeonnam last time out. Park Jongwoo will be a huge miss given that the former Suwon Bluewings midfielder has made the most forward passes in the division this term. For Asan, Jung Dahwon is also out having picked up a third caution of the campaign against Bucheon last weekend. The first two meetings between these two sides saw 12 goals scored after IPark picked up a 5-2 away win in April before Mugunghwa got their own back with a 4-2 win at the Gudeok.
#GWAvJND: Gwangju FC (1st) vs Jeonnam Dragons (7th) - 15:00
K League 2 Champions for 2019, Gwangju FC, welcome Jeonnam Dragons for their final home match of the season. The Champions showed no signs of slowing down last time out after comfortably dispatching Suwon FC in a 3-0 away win, their fifth maximum in a row. Jeonnam make the short trip for this South Jeolla Province derby to Gwangju knowing that fifth place is still up for grabs. The 2019 campaign hasn't quite gone to plan for the Gwangyang-based side but the Dragons have shown signs of life under caretaker gaffer Jeon Kyungjun, despite the defeat to Bucheon and draw with Busan which ended any playoff hopes. A win for the Dragons could be enough to leapfrog Asan and level on points with Bucheon in fifth. Bucheon, though, have a superior goals scored and goals difference.
Gwangju striker Felipe currently sits on 19 goals for the season, the most in K League 2 this term having bagged one more than Suwon FC's Chisom Egbuchunam. With the title in the bag, the Brazilian will be determined to add the golden boot to his Championship winners medal when the towering centre forward takes to the field this Sunday. For Jeonnam, a win and a strong finish will help ease the pain of missing out on an instant return to K League 1. One shining light in an otherwise dreary season has been winger Jung Jaehee who is joint top of the K League 2 assists charts with eight. Gwangju will be without defender Jung Junyeon and goalkeeper Choi Bongjin through suspension. The pair picked up their third yellows of the season last time out, but for goalkeeper Choi, two of his three yellows came whilst on military service with Asan Mugunghwa. Jeonnam, meanwhile, will have Lee Seulchan and Choi Junki both out through suspension. The last meeting between these two sides ended in a 1-1 draw in early August after Gwangju had picked up three consecutive wins, one of which was in the FA Cup.
#ANSvSUW: Ansan Greeners (4th) vs Suwon FC (8th) - 15:00
Ansan Greeners are set for their highest ever finish in K League 2 having previous ended the season in ninth for two years running following their foundation in 2017. This season, barring any major collapse, Ansan are seemingly destined for a stab at the playoffs with a Line 4 Derby playoff semifinal with rivals Anyang waiting for them should Lim Wanseop's men get a positive result this Sunday at home to now manager-less Suwon FC. Currently, Ansan sit in fourth and five points clear of Bucheon FC 1995 in fifth and so a point would do it. However, with home advantage to play for, Ansan will need to win in order to overtake Anyang who sit just a point ahead. Jang Hyeokjin will be key for Ansan, as he has been all season, on account of having the most key passes in K League 2, 29 compared to Rômulo of Busan with 18, and is also is joint top for assists with eight, and is third for the number of dribbles made.
For Suwon FC it has been another season of disappointment so much so that manager Kim Daeui stepped down earlier this week. The Castle Park club sit in eighth place but only five points behind fifth. A positive end to the campaign could help in saving face and give 2019 a much healthier complexion ahead of more rebuilding over the winter. A win against Ansan could see Suwon move up a place but to do so they would have to put an end to a run of six games without a win. Prior to Suwon's last win, a 2-0 away victory over Anyang, Kim Daeui's side were on a run of just one win in 11. But one positive for the Castle Park faithful is that striker Chisom Egbuchunam could end the season as the league's top scorer; the Nigerian is returning from suspension and sits just one goal behind Gwangju's Felipe. Chisom is second in K League 2 for shots on target with 49, the most shots in the area with 71, and the most shots on target from inside the area with 14. Suwon have come out on top twice this season when the two sides have met but the Greeners were the victors in the last meeting in mid-August.
K League United Associate Editor