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2023 Hana 1Q K League 2 Round 31 Preview

notice 2023.09.14   I   hits 534

K League returns following the international break meaning the hotly contested promotion race can resume. There's a crucial Gyeonggi derby that sees Bucheon FC 1995 take on Gimpo FC in a playoff six-pointer, Chungbuk Cheongju take on Ansan Greeners looking to keep their top five push on track, and FC Anyang and Yago Cesar take on Chungnam Asan aiming to return to form.

Match of the Round

Bucheon FC 1995 (3rd) vs. Gimpo FC (4th), Sun. 17th September - 18:30

Locked on 48 points with just goals scored separating them, two promotion hopefuls in Bucheon FC 1995 and Gimpo FC go toe to toe this Sunday. Hosts Bucheon are in fine form, in fact, with 13 from 15 available, no team in the division has picked up more points over their last five games than Lee Young-min's men. Gimpo, meanwhile, make the very short trip to Bucheon on the back of two straight wins, bouncing back from the back-to-back defeats that had preceded those victories. 

With league leaders Busan only five points ahead of them, both teams will feel as though they can look up towards the automatic promotion place. But, with Gyeongnam only three points behind, not to mention FC Anyang in sixth and Chungbuk Cheongju with playoff aspirations of their own, neither can afford to take their positions for granted. 

Bucheon have proven to be a bit more frugal in front of goal compared to their top five rivals, dispatching the second-fewest shots. They have perhaps been a bit unlucky though as no other team has hit the woodwork as many times as Bucheon this term. Gimpo are among the most accurate shooters in the division with only Jeonnam bettering their 38%. But where Bucheon have excelled is the number of passes per minute of possession, tending to move the ball quickly when they do have it. The Reds have made 13.9 passes per minute of possession, only Gimcheon have made more.

Bucheon will be looking to An Jae-joon, the team's most accurate shooter with 51.761% of all attempts finding the target. An has eight for the campaign to sit seventh in the league's scoring charts. Gimpo's Luis Mina, meanwhile, is the division's top scorer with 14 but it was Juninho who stole the show last time out, bagging a brace in the 2-1 win over Seoul E-Land.

Team of the Round

Chungbuk Cheongju (vs. Ansan Greeners, Sat. 16th September - 16:00)

Chungbuk Cheongju's late push for the playoffs is still very much on. The Lions are on a run of 13 unbeaten with seven wins and have lost just once in their last 17 matches.The task at hand now, though, with the business end of the season looming, is to start picking up wins away from home. Three of their last four results on their travels have been 0-0 and they have win just three away matches all season. They have, however, remained unbeaten in eight and have beaten this Saturday's opponents Ansan Greeners at the Wa~ already this term. Choi Yun-kyum's men are five points off the playoffs at present and so cannot afford any more draws if they want to sneak into the top five. Their record against the Green Wolves this season is played two, won two, scored five and conceded zero.

Player of the Round

Yago César, FC Anyang (vs. Chungnam Asan, Sun. 17th September - 16:00)

Three assists in the last month is the most among all players in K League 2. Yago's have helped FC Anyang pick up four points, first in a 1-1 draw with Ansan Greeners and the other two in a 3-1 win over Jeonnam Dragons. The Violets will be looking to their Brazilian star again this weekend when they travel to South Chungcheong Province to take on Chungnam Asan. Anyang head into the game having lost their last two and have dropped out of the playoff places, three points behind Gyeongnam. A win is very much what Lee Woo-hyung's men need, then. It's not just assists that Yago provides as, along with the five goals he has set up for teammates this term, he also has five goals to give him 10 goal contributions in 22 appearances. In fact, his very first goal contribution for the club came on his debut, a 3-0 win over this Sunday's opponents Chungnam Asan. 

Elsewhere in K League 2 Round 31

Seoul E-Land in 10th host last-placed Cheonan City with a game that both teams will see as winnable. Seoul E-Land seem to be in a pattern of win, lose, win, lose so, after defeat last time out, are due a victory. Cheonan City, meanwhile, remain stuck on one win for the season but have drawn their last three matches. The last meeting between the two ended in a 0-0 draw.

Busan IPark sit just one point clear and so will be looking to keep the place at the K League 2 summit when they take on Seongnam FC this weekend. Busan have won three on the bounce while Seongnam have just one win in five.

Gyeongnam FC cling on to the last playoff place and know that anything less than a win this weekend could see them drop out. The Reds take on a Jeonnam Dragons side that is without a win in three and at a stage where it's now or never in terms of a late playoff push. Jeonnam are seven points behind meaning a win would put them right in contention.

K League 2 Table

K League 2 Round 31 Fixtures

Saturday 16th September

#ANSvCHFC: Ansan Greeners (12th) vs Chungbuk Cheongju (7th) - 16:00 
#SEFCvCCFC: Seoul E-Land (10th) vs Cheonan City (13th) - 16:00 
#BUSvSFC: Busan IPark (1st) vs Seongnam FC (9th) - 18:30 

Sunday 17th September

#GYEvJDFC: Gyeongnam FC (5th) vs Jeonnam Dragons (8th) - 13:30 
#CAFCvANY: Chungnam Asan (11th) vs FC Anyang (6th) - 16:00 
#BUCvGFC: Bucheon FC 1995 (3rd) vs Gimpo FC (4th) - 18:30 

Where to Watch

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