The first round of midweek fixtures in K League 2 include a historic first meeting between current league leaders Bucheon FC 1995 and Jeju United on Tuesday night and high-flying Suwon FC hosting a Gyeongnam FC outfit coming off their first win of the season last weekend. The other match on Tuesday night sees Daejeon Hana Citizen host Ansan Greeners at the Purple Arena, while Wednesday night also sees Seoul E-Land at home to FC Anyang and Jeonnam Dragons hosting Chungnam Asan FC. K League United presents your Round 4 preview.
Tuesday 26th May
#BUCvJEJ: Bucheon FC 1995 vs Jeju United 19:00Bucheon have started the season a perfect three wins from three matches, conceding only once over that span. William Barbio and Kim Young-chan both have a pair of goals to their credit and will be looking to add their names to the scoresheet on Tuesday night once again. Wins over Chungnam Asan, Ansan Greeners and FC Anyang have gotten things rolling for them, but they know that a win against Jeju is important for two key reasons - there are bragging rights on the line in the division's newest rivalry and the schedule looks to get more difficult for them once June comes around, so maintaining momentum will be critical to their success in the near future.
Jeju United had three points for the taking against Daejeon Hana Citizen on the weekend until Lee Chang-min was sent off for an unnecessary challenge on Park Jin-seop. Jeju struggled defensively for the final twenty minutes of the match and it showed in the final scoreline, as Daejeon came back from a two goal deficit to win the match. That leaves Nam Ki-il with some questions to answer, as to who will fill the hole in midfield for the first edition of the Bucheon-Jeju rivalry which is sure to be one of the best in Korean football this year.
You can read George Slade's preview here
#DHFCvANS: Daejeon Hana Citizen vs Ansan Greeners 19:00
Daejeon mounted a spirited comeback in the second half against ten man Jeju United on the weekend despite being down a pair of goals and were able to turn the result in their favor at the final whistle when Yoon Seung-won struck a header three minutes from time to give Hwang Sun-hong's men all three points. Andre Luis scored again from the penalty spot, giving him four goals on the season and there is a great chance he could be in the running for the K2 Golden Boot as the season progresses providing he stays healthy. It is unlikely that there will be too many changes to the starting eleven, but Bruno Baio will get consideration if he is match fit, while Connor Chapman remains out.
After a narrow opening day win against FC Anyang, the Green Wolves come into Tuesday night's match off of two consecutive losses to Suwon FC and Bucheon FC 1995, two of the hottest clubs in the division at the moment. What is more concerning though, is that they have only scored one goal in 270 minutes and that is a statistic that needs to be reversed if they are to get anything from the match. Their last time out did not look promising; Kim Gil-sik's men will be up against stiff competition once again.
You can read Paul Neat's preview here
Wednesday 27th May
#SEFCvANY: Seoul E-Land vs FC Anyang 18:30Seoul E-Land look to continue their positive start to the season when they host a struggling FC Anyang side on Wednesday night. They played to a stalemate on Sunday night against Jeonnam Dragons making it three draws from three matches to open the 2020 season. Manager Chung Jung-yong has some very good talent at his disposal this year including twenty-five year old winger Leandro Ribeiro, who has fit in nicely thus far with his new club, notching a goal and an assist in his first three outings. Another option who could be a threat for the Leopards, but who has been used only sparingly thus far is Won Ki-jong, who played only the final eighteen minutes against Jeonnam. If given the opportunity, he has the ability to be a difference maker up front.
FC Anyang are currently the only club in K League 2 without a point through the first three rounds and their goal difference sits at minus three with them having conceded an average of two goals a game thus far in 2020. Their performance against Gyeongnam on the weekend was concerning as they conceded a pair of goals in the latter stages of the match against a side down to ten men. The bright spot is that Lee Jeong-bin scored a brace for the Violets and that is good news for a team which had most of its firepower move on following the 2019 season. With an away trip to unbeaten Jeonnam looming on Saturday, they will be in search of points in midweek.
You can read Michael Redmond's preview here
#JDFCvCAFC: Jeonnam Dragons vs Chungnam Asan FC 19:00Jeonnam have started the season on a three match unbeaten streak and have looked very solid defensively in doing so, securing three consecutive clean sheets in the process. Captain Kim Jun-su will again be a key figure in the back, but the void left by Bruno Baio's departure in the winter transfer window is being felt in a big way as the men up front still need to get going. Lee Jong-ho has yet to get on the score sheet for the Dragons this season, while twenty-three year old Norwegian center-forward Julian Kristoffersen is still looking for his maiden K League 2 goal. His minutes have been limited over the past two matches as he played only the first half against Seoul E-Land on Sunday night and was only used as a second half substitute in the team's win over Jeju United in Round 2.
Chungnam Asan had a torrid time last time out as they shipped five goals to Suwon FC. They looked to have a fair bit of control through the first twenty minutes, but a deflection led to Mo Jae-hyun's opening goal shortly thereafter. Had they been able to hold on until the end of the half without conceding, things may have ended much differently, but Masatoshi Ishida counted a second for the red and blue just before the break.
Three more goals in the second half left the newly minted citizen club completely unraveled, and there will be questions as to how the team will be able to rebound in such a short spell of time. It must be taken into consideration that it is a young squad comprised mostly of players who came to Asan over the winter transfer window for the sole purpose of gaining match experience, so it will take some time yet before things come together. Park Min-seo left Sunday's match inside of the last ten minutes with an injury knock, although the severity is yet unknown, so there is a chance he will not be available against Jeonnam.
You can read Joshua Higgins' preview here
#SUWvGYE: Suwon FC vs Gyeongnam FC 19:30
Suwon FC come into the match off of an impressive 5-0 victory over Chungnam Asan over the weekend. Two first half goals from Mo Jae-hyun and Masatoshi Ishida got the wheels turning before the break and An Byoung-jun's second half brace was complemented by a fifth from substitute Danilo Alves' 79th minute header in what was the most comprehensive performance by any side in either division through the first three rounds this season.
Alves did not start against Asan, but given his instant impact off the bench on Sunday, there is a very good chance he will earn a place in the starting eleven. Marlone has played a vital role in Suwon's early success and should be a factor again against Gyeongnam. Back to back clean sheets away from home with seven goals to their credit should give the squad confidence ahead of their second home fixture of the season.
Gyeongnam earned their first win of the season against FC Anyang last time out, but it was a bit closer in the end than they may have liked it to be. But, a first win after back to back draws to open the season should see them approach the match with confidence. Uroš Đerić finally scored his first goal of the season, but there is speculation that he is not in favor with manager Seol Ki-hyun. He may start on Wednesday night, but if not, should be counted on as an option from the bench. Jang Hyuk-jin received a pair of yellow cards against FC Anyang last time out and will be unavailable for selection.
You can read James Edrupt's preview here
K League United columnist