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2024 Hana Bank K League 2 Round 8 Preview

league 2024.04.18   I   hits 105

After some midweek cup action, attention now turns to league play with Round 8 of the 2024 Hana Bank K League 2. There's a top-of-the-table clash on Sunday when league leaders FC Anyang host Suwon Samsung Bluewings, Seongnam FC take on Chungbuk Cheongju looking to turn their draws into wins, and Chungnam Asan top scorer Kang Min-gyu will be looking to keep pace in the golden boot race.

Match of the Round

FC Anyang (1st) vs. Suwon Samsung Bluewing (2nd), Sun. 21st April - 14:00

There's history in this fixture, recent and going back two decades or so. It's being billed as the return of Original Clasico, the original "Super Match" by some or the Jijidae Derby, to FC Anyang it'll be seen as a chance to exact revenge for the 2022 playoffs. After a 0-0 first-leg draw in Anyang, the two teams then went to extra time in the second leg with Oh Hyeon-gyu finding a winner in the 120th minute. The Violets didn't make the playoffs last year but this year, sitting top of the table, Ryu Byeong-hun's men mean business. 

Despite playing one game fewer than most in the division, Anyang are top by a point, have scored the most goals, have conceded the fewest, and head into the weekend's match on a run of four straight wins in the league. The Bluewings, meanwhile, are on a run of three straight wins and just one loss in five. Sitting one point behind Anyang, a win for Yeom Ki-hun's men would move them top.

Anyang have recorded the third-fewest shots so far this season but with the best accuracy (46.2%), showing how the Violets make the most of the chances they do create, whereas the Bluewings are second for total shots but sixth for accuracy (38.9%). In terms of players to keep an eye on, Anyang's Matheus Oliveira is joint-top for combined goals and assists with six (four goas, two assists) while Danrlei is joint-fourth with five (three goals, two assists) with Suwon's Kim Hyun (three goals, three assists).

Team of the Round

Seongnam FC (vs. Chungbuk Cheongju, Sat. 20th April - 16:30)

Seongnam FC are now unbeaten in seven in all competitions having beaten K League 1 side Suwon FC in midweek in the Korean Cup. Said when came after three straight draws in the league but ones that may have felt like wins with Seongnam coming back from behind to salvage a point. Against Chungnam Asan in Round 5, Park Ji-won levelled in the 84th minute, at home to Seoul E-Land in Round 6 the Magpies came back from 2-0 down with Leonardo Ruiz finding an 83rd-minute equaliser, same too against Bucheon last weekend. Seongnam sit ninth in the table, but with just three points separating third from tenth, a win could move the Magpies up into the playoff positions. Up next is the visit of a Chungbuk Cheongju side that is on a run of five matches without a win.

Player of the Round

Kang Min-gyu, Chungnam Asan (vs. Jeonnam, Sun. 21st April - 16:30)

Chungnam Asan striker Kang Min-gyu has four goals for the season, placing him joint-second on the K League 2 goal chart. Two of his goals have opened the scoring but all have come in games in which the Owls picked up at least a point. His first two strikes of the campaign came in a 4-1 win over Chungbuk Cheongju; his second and third came in draws with Seongnam FC and Cheonan City. Kang sits ninth in the division for total shots but third for accuracy with 50%. The 25-year-old is fourth for shots from open play but only five of his total shots (16) have come from outside the area - he ranks fifth for touches in the box. Up next for Kang Min-gyu and Chungnam Asan is the visit of Jeonnam Dragons. Jeonnam sit third in the table but are looking for a first win in three.

K League 2 Table

K League 2 Round 8 Fixtures

Saturday 20th April

#BUCvBUS: Bucheon FC 1995 (8th) vs Busan IPark (4th) - 14:00 
#SFCvCHFC: Seongnam FC (9th) vs Chungbuk Cheongju (6th) - 16:30 

Sunday 21st April

#ANYvSSB: FC Anyang (1st) vs Suwon Samsung Bluewings (2nd) - 14:00 
#ANSvGFC: Ansan Greeners (10th) vs Gimpo FC (13th) - 14:00 
#GYEvSEFC: Gyeongnam FC (12th) vs Seoul E-Land (7th) - 16:30 
#CAFCvJDFC: Chungnam Asan (5th) vs Jeonnam Dragons (3rd) - 16:30 

Where to Watch

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