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2023 Hana 1 K League 2 Round 14 Preview

league 2023.05.19   I   hits 497

The race for promotion is heating up with just six points separating the top six teams. Two teams that sit in the top six, Gyeongnam FC and Busan IPark, meet this Sunday for the second Nakdong River Derby of the season. Seoul E-Land, meanwhile, following a run of three unbeaten, have their sights set on the playoff places and take on high-flying Bucheon FC 1995. Elsewhere, FC Anyang sit in the final playoff spot and will be looking to Brazilian star Andrigo to guide them to a first win in three when they face Jeonnam Dragons.

Match of the Round

Gyeongnam FC (4th) vs Busan IPark (6th), Sun. 21st May - 16:00

The second Nakdong River Derby of the 2023 season sees Gyeongnam FC in fourth place entertain rivals Busan IPark in sixth. Gyeongnam are without a win in their last three matches, though, and so will be keen to return to winning ways and prevent their rivals from leapfrogging them in the table. The Roses have just a one-point lead over the Royals meaning a Busan win could mean dropping out of the playoff places. 

The Nakdong River Derby is usually a tight affair or has been for the last few seasons. Just one goal has separated the two teams in seven out of the last nine meetings stretching back to 2021. The recent head-to-head record is dead even with four wins each and two draws from the last 10 encounters and Busan's 11 goals to Gyeongnam's 10 is all that separates them. 

The two teams sit in the top four in terms of total shots dispatched this season, Gyeongnam are fourth with 167, and Busan fifth with 149. However, in terms of accuracy, Busan are seventh with 34.9% of their shots finding the target while Gyeongnam are last with 29.9%. Gyeongnam's Guilherme Castro sits joint top for combined goals and assists with nine (five goals, four assists), while Bruno Lamas is Busan's leading marksman with six goals (5th overall). 

Team of the Round

Seoul E-Land (vs. Bucheon FC 1995, Sat. 20th May - 18:30)

Unbeaten in three and into ninth in the table, Seoul E-Land are now very much looking up toward the playoff places. Last time out, the Leopards recorded a 3-2 win over Cheonan City to make it seven points from nine available in the month of May. Key throughout this run has been Brazilian star Ronan who has scored three goals. His first proved to be the winner in a 2-1 win away to Gyeongnam, he then scored two against Cheonan last week. As a team, five goals in May is joint-second in the division. At the other end of the pitch, Seoul E-Land sit second for total defensive duels and fourth for success rate at 64.2%. Up next for the Leopards is Bucheon FC 1995, a side that sits third in the table following four straight wins. A win for Seoul, though, could move them up to seventh.

Player of the Round

Andrigo, FC Anyang (vs. Jeonnam Dragons, Sat. 20th May - 18:30)

FC Anyang's Brazilian star Andrigo has been one of the Violets' standout performers so far this term, registering three goals and five assists. A total of eight goal contributions put him joint top of K League 2, level with Bucheon's An Jae-jun. Andrigo is actually out-performing his expected assists (xA) with five from 3.61. In terms of goals, too, he has three from an xG of 2.44. Last year, Andrigo managed to register seven goals and four assists in 28 appearances overall and so he's already on course to beat that tally. Up next for Andrigo and FC Anyang is the visit of Jeonnam Dragons this Saturday.

K League 2 Table

K League 2 Round 14 Fixtures

Saturday 20th May

#CCFCvCAFC: Cheonan City (1st) vs Chungnam Asan (2nd) - 16:00 
#ANSvSFC: Ansan Greeners (1st) vs Seongnam FC (2nd) - 16:00 
#ANYvJDFC: FC Anyang (1st) vs Jeonnam Dragons (2nd) - 18:30 
#SEFCvBUC: Seoul E-Land (1st) vs Bucheon FC 1995 (2nd) - 00:00 

Sunday 21st May

#NakdongRiverDerby: Gyeongnam FC (1st) vs Busan IPark (2nd) - 16:00 
#GIMvCHFC: Gimcheon Sangmu (1st) vs Chungbuk Cheongju (2nd) - 18:30 

Where to Watch

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