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2021 K League 2 Round 26 Preview

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The Hana 1Q K League 2 reaches Round 26 of the 2021 campaign this weekend. Looking to keep the pressure on league leaders Gimcheon Sangmu, Daejeon Hana Citizen take on fellow in-form side Gyeongnam FC on Saturday in what will be seen as the Match of the Round. Team of the Round Jeonnam Dragons will be looking to return to winning ways after three matches without a win when the Dragons take on a struggling Seoul E-Land side on Sunday before two Monday night football matches, including Player of the Round Jonathan Moya and FC Anyang taking on basement side Bucheon FC 1995.

Match of the Round

Daejeon Hana Citizen (3rd) vs Gyeongnam FC (5th) - Sat. 21st August, 20:00

With four wins and a draw from their last five games, Daejeon Hana Citizen are K League 2's in-form team. A 2-0 away win over Ansan Greeners last weekend earned the Purples a total of 13 points from the last 15 available and kept them within three points of first. This Saturday, Daejeon take on another of the division's in-form sides in Gyeongnam FC. The Reds have just one defeat in their last five outings and make the trip to Purple Arena on the back of a Nakdong River Derby win over Busan IPark. 

Recent matches between Daejeon Hana Citizen and Gyeongnam FC have not disappointed. Almost exactly a year ago, Gyeongnam came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 against the Purples. The two teams also met in the playoffs last year with Daejeon knocked out after a heart-breaking VAR decision. Both meetings this term, however, have gone Daejeon's way. The first Purple Arena encounter of 2021 ended 2-1 with goals from Park In-hyeok and Matheus Pato; the second ended by the same scoreline with goals from Jeon Byung-kwan and Lee Hyeon-sik. But Daejeon will have to be at their best to pick up a third win over Gyeongnam this term. Seol Ki-hyun's men are second in K League 2 for possession with 53.9%, Daejeon are fourth at 51.5%. But, Daejeon have made the most shots in K League 2 at 334, Gyeongnam are second for crosses with 390. Daejeon have had the second-most touches in the box with 427, Gyeongnam third at 387. A win for Daejeon would keep the pressure on Gimcheon Sangmu at the top. Three points for Gyeongnam, meanwhile, could move them within one win of the top four.

Team of the Round

Jeonnam Dragons (vs. Seoul E-Land, Sun. 22nd August, 19:00)

A 2-1 loss to FC Anyang last time out extended Jeonnam Dragons' win-less run to three matches. Jeon Kyung-jun's men have since slipped to fourth in the table but remain just two points behind Daejeon Hana Citizen in third and four behind FC Anyang in second. The Dragons' faithful, then, will be expecting a reaction when their team take on Seoul E-Land this Sunday evening. The Dragons have a decent record against the Leopards have lost just twice in nine meetings overall. However, five of the nine encounters have ended in stalemates including four of the last six. But, when these two sides met earlier in the campaign Jeonnam ran out comfortable 3-0 winners thanks to a hat-trick from Brazilian star Jonathan Balotelli. Jeonnam have the best defence in K League 2 this sees having shipped just 19 goals, three fewer than Seoul E-Land. 

Player of the Round

Jonathan Moya, FC Anyang (vs Bucheon FC 1995, Mon. 23rd August - 19:30)

Three goals in Jonathan Moya and FC Anyang's last three outings have been the difference in the Violets picking up seven points from nine available. Anyang's Costa Rican star is now on 10 goals for the season in what is his first in K League. As has been the case over the last three matches, Moya's goals have proved key in Anyang picking up vital points in their push for promotion. Moya's goals have been worth an extra 14 points with strikes either in draws or wins - the difference in sitting second or seventh in the table. That includes winners in 1-0 victories over Seoul E-Land and Jeonnam Dragons, two goals in the incredible 5-4 win over Busan IPark, not to mention one in a 2-0 win over Anyang's opponents this weekend, Bucheon FC 1995. Moya sits fourth in K League 2 for shots on target this season and joint third for shots in target in the box, displaying where the 29-year-old has the most success.

Elsewhere in K League 2 Round 26

Busan IPark will be looking to bounce back from the defeat to rivals Gyeongnam FC when the Royals take on league leaders Gimcheon Sangmu on Monday night. Gimcheon, though, are unbeaten in five with three wins. There's also an eighth versus seventh clash when Chungnam Asan and Ansan Greeners meet on Saturday. The two sides are locked on 29 points but the Greeners are without a win in their last five with four defeats. The Owls, on the other hand, have three wins from their last five outings.

K League 2 Round 26 Fixtures

Saturday 21st August

#ANSvCAFC: Ansan Greeners (8th) vs Chungnam Asan (7th) - 19:00 KST 
#DHFCvGYE: Daejeon Hana Citizen (3rd) vs Gyeongnam FC (5th) - 20:00 KST

Sunday 22nd August

#SEFCvJDFC: Seoul E-Land (9th) vs Jeonnam Dragons (4th) - 19:00 KST

Monday 23rd August

#BUSvGIM: Busan IPark (6th) vs Gimcheon Sangmu (1st) - 19:30 KST
#BUCvANY: Bucheon FC 1995 (10th) vs FC Anyang (2nd) - 19:30 KST

Where to Watch

Fans overseas can follow the matches LIVE, for FREE and in HD on tv.kleague.com

Paul Neat
Managing Editor
Twitter: @NeatPaul