This could very well be a preview for the playoffs with both Gyeongnam FC and Bucheon FC1995 harbouring hopes of extending their seasons beyond October 15th. Currently, hosts this Saturday, Gyeongnam, sit fifth and are 10 points behind Bucheon in fourth meaning it might be now or never if they are going to try and mount a push for fourth and seal home advantage in the first playoff match. Bucheon, though, still have one eye on third place despite having played two games more than Daejeon Hana Citizen.
Both Gyeongnam and Bucheon are free-scoring teams, the former have scored 56 for the second-best goal return so far this season while the latter have 47 and sit fourth in that regard. Gyeongnam have the best shooting accuracy in K League 2 at 41.8% while Bucheon are actually fourth from bottom at 33.7%. Tiago will be seen as Gyeongnam's danger man, he has 19 combined goals and assists from an xGA of 16.96. Bucheon might look to Song Hong-min who sits fourth in K League 2 for passes to the final third per 90 at 10.21 while Mo Jae-hyeon is 10th for key passes per 90.
There's been a decent amount of goals scored in this fixture this season too, 10 in total across the three previous meetings. The most recent ended as a 3-1 Bucheon win, the first 3-2 in Bucheon's favour but Gyeongnam ran out 1-0 winners back in May. There's usually a winner in this fixture, too, with only three draws from 22 previous meetings.
Team of the Round
Seoul E-Land (vs. Ansan Greeners, 18:30)
Seoul E-Land's run of four straight wins, coupled with their two games in hand over Chungnam Asan and one of Gyeongnam, has put the Leopards in the race for the playoffs. Chung Jung-yong's men are six points behind but with games against both Gyeongnam and Asan to come, a place in the top five is in their hands. Seoul's most recent win was against one of the main contenders for fifth place, Chungnam Asan, who they put three past. A brace from captain Kim In-sung and a first goal of the season from Hwang Tae-hyeon sealed the win and a second 3-0 victory in succession. The Leopards, in part, owe their run of good form to their willingness to shoot. Seoul are third for shots despatched per 90 minutes and are also third for headed attempts on goal. This Saturday, Seoul E-Land make the relatively short trip to the Wa~ Stadium to take on Ansan Greeners, a side that lost 7-1 last time out.
Player of the Round
Cho Yu-min, Daejeon Hana Citizen (vs. Jeonnam Dragons, Sat. 17th September - 13:30)
Daejeon Hana Citizen captain Cho Yu-min scored his sixth goal of the season on Tuesday night as the Purples picked up a vital 3-1 away win over Busan IPark. Cho, who on the same day learned that he was part of Paulo Bento's Korean national team squad for the forthcoming friendlies, nodded in from close range to make it 2-1. With that, the centre back is now joint second-top goalscorer alongside Leandro and Willyan and is just one behind top scorer Ishida Masatoshi. His heading prowess isn't limited to the opposition penalty area either. Cho sits sixth in K League 2 for aerial duel success rate at 68% and is fourth for passes made to the final third. Up next for Cho and Daejeon is the long trip south to Gwangyang to take on Jeonnam Dragons. Daejeon won 2-1 when the sides met in South Jeolla last time and Cho had a goal chalked off. Jeonnam, meanwhile, picked up their first win in 21 matches last time out, beating Ansan Greeners 3-0.
Elsewhere in K League 2 Round
Both Gimpo FC and Busan IPark will be determined to turn their fortunes around when the two teams meet on Saturday. Gimpo have lost their last four in a row and are without a win in six while Busan have lost four out of their last five and remain bottom of the table. Gimpo were the victors when these two sides last met, running out 3-0 winners in July and 1-0 at home in May.
Chungnam Asan take on FC Anyang looking for a first win in four. The Owls lost to Seoul E-Land on Wednesday night and sit outside the playoff places while Anyang's incredible, 15-match unbeaten run was brought to an end in midweek and so will be looking to get back on track.
K League 2 Table
K League 2 Round 40 Fixtures
Saturday 17th September
: Jeonnam Dragons (10th) vs Daejeon Hana Citizen (3rd) - 13:30 #GYEvBUC
: Gyeongnam FC (5th) vs Bucheon FC 1995 (4th) - 16:00 #GFCvBUS
: Gimpo FC (9th) vs Busan IPark (11th) - 16:00 #ANSvSEFC
: Ansan Greeners (8th) vs Seoul E-Land (7th) - 18:30 #CAFCvANY
: Chungnam Asan (6th) vs FC Anyang (2nd) - 18:30
Where to Watch