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FC Cincinnati
Major League Soccer
Jul 16, 2023 at 1.32am UK
Nippert Stadium
Nashville

Cincinnati
3 - 1
Nashville

Acosta (42' pen.), Arias (74'), Boupendza (90+9')
Arias (26'), Noonan (27'), Acosta (45+7'), Miazga (62'), Vazquez (87'), Boupendza (90+10')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Zimmerman (31')
Washington (36'), Picault (62'), Haakenson (86')
Washington (68'), Picault (70')

Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

FC Cincinnati will be looking to widen the gap between themselves and the chasing pack in the MLS Eastern Conference when they take on third-placed Nashville SC at TQL Stadium on Sunday.

The hosts head into this crucial encounter off the back of a much-needed 2-1 win away to the New York Red Bulls in midweek, while the visitors were beaten 2-0 by Philadelphia Union in one of the most eventful matches of the season.


Match preview

FC Cincinnati forward Dominique Badji (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on July 2, 2023© Reuters

After going a goal down inside the first half hour against the Red Bulls on Thursday, Pat Noonan's side looked set to be heading for their fourth consecutive match without a win following a 3-0 loss to DC United and consecutive 2-2 draws against New England Revolution and Charlotte FC earlier this month.

However, Luciano Acosta stepped up to slot away his 11th goal of the season when Cincinnati were awarded a penalty late on, and Obinna Nwobodo got them over the line with a 92nd-minute winner to snap up their three-match winless run and maintain an eight-point advantage over New England in second place.

While that run of three games was the longest that Noonan's side have gone without a win this season, their record still looks very good, with 14 wins, six draws and just two losses to date, but more impressively, they are already just a single point behind the 49-point tally that they recorded last season when they finished fifth.

The hosts have been incredible at home this season, taking 31 of a possible 33 points at TQL Stadium, scoring 21 and conceding just seven in that time, and they are one of only two sides in the league, along with the Revolution, that are still unbeaten on home soil.

Cincinnati have gone on a couple of excellent runs in this campaign, including a seven-match unbeaten streak at the very beginning of the season, and after an unexpected 5-1 thrashing by St Louis City in mid-May, they went 10 games without a loss up to the end of June.

Having now got the monkey off their back, albeit with a bit of fortune in the last match, the league leaders will face a stern test here against the side in third place, but they will fancy their chances at home, especially with their opponents stumbling at the moment.

Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar (10) celebrates with teammates on June 18, 2023© Reuters

Nashville's wretched run of form in MLS continued in their last match, as their 2-0 loss saw them give up second place to New England, and they are now at risk of falling all the way to fifth in the table if they lose this encounter and Philadelphia and Columbus win their matches over the weekend.

As if heading to the TQL Stadium this season was not a daunting enough thought already for Gary Smith, he will now need to do so with two notable absentees in Daniel Lovitz and Shaquell Moore after the pair were shown red in a match that went off the rails in the closing stages at Geodis Park in midweek.

Nashville were on a four-match unbeaten run at the start of last month, but after beating St Louis City in mid-June, they have won just one and lost four of their last five matches leading up to this one.

Despite their lofty league position, Nashville's away record this season has been average at best, with just 12 points secured in 11 matches on the road, and they are now on a three-match losing streak, failing to score a single goal in that time.

Perhaps the only positive that the visitors can look to right now is that they still possess the best defensive stats in the league this season, having only conceded 19 in their 22 matches to date, though it is worth pointing out that six of those came in the last five matches alone and that they have not kept a clean sheet in their last eight matches on the road.

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:


Team News

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan reacts from the bench on June 21, 2023© Reuters

Noonan will have two absentees heading into Sunday's fixture, with Dominique Badji and Gerardo Valenzuela both ruled out with leg injuries, though Yuya Kubo could make a comeback here after missing last week's match with a knock.

Ian Murphy has served his suspension and will be in line for selection, while the USA's semi-final exit against Panama in the CONCACAF Gold Cup on Thursday means that Matt Miazga and Brandon Vazquez can rejoin the side and could feature at some point.

Lovitz and Moore will both be ineligible for selection after their red cards in midweek, which could mean that Alex Muyl will play in defence from the start here after coming off the bench against Philadelphia.

Nick DePuy is the only long-term injury absentee for Smith, and he is expected to remain sidelined for most of the season with a serious injury to his Achilles tendon.


FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Hagglund, Mosquera, Powell; Nwobodo, Barreal, Arias, Angulo, Acosta; Ordonez, Kubo

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; MacNaughton, Zimmerman, Maher, Muyl; McCarty, Davis, Leal, Picault; Mukhtar, Bunbury


SM words green background

We say: FC Cincinnati 2-0 Nashville SC

With 10 straight home wins and a draw, it is difficult to go against the hosts in this one, especially against a Nashville side that are riding a three-match away losing run and are winless in their last four in all competitions. We only see one result here, and that is for Cincinnati to win by at least two goals.

How to watch

You can watch FC Cincinnati vs. Nashville SC and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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Game History

How you voted: Cincinnati vs Nashville

FC Cincinnati
92.3%
Draw
7.7%
Nashville SC
0.0%
13
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Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Inter MiamiInter Miami24155454381650
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati24153643301348
3Columbus Crew22127346202643
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2491143930938
5New York City FCNY City2411493529637
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2410682825336
7Orlando City249693837133
8CF MontrealMontreal246993448-1427
9Toronto2583143347-1427
10Nashville SCNashville2468102636-1026
11DC United2568113550-1526
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta2467113335-225
13Chicago Fire2467112940-1125
14Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2459104242024
15New England RevolutionNew England2271142246-2422

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy25137547341346
2Real Salt LakeSalt Lake24128449311844
3Los Angeles FCLos Angeles23135545301544
4Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver2311574031938
5Colorado RapidsColorado2511594741638
6Seattle SoundersSeattle2410773426837
7Portland TimbersPortland2410684839936
8Houston DynamoHouston239773127434
9Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd2486103841-330
10Austin FCAustin2486102635-930
11Dallas2485113738-129
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas2565144051-1123
13St Louis City24410103145-1422
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes2442183159-2814


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