Sports Mole previews Monday’s Major League Soccer clash between Nashville SC and Portland Timbers, including predictions, team news and potential lineups.
Nashville South Carolina are aiming to start a new streak at GEODIS Park on Sunday as they head into the second half of their Major League Soccer campaign this weekend by welcoming the Portland Woods to the City of Music.
The Boys in Gold had an unbeaten streak of 25 home games in all competitions that was snapped a couple of weeks ago, losing 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City, while the reigning MLS Cup runners-up won two in a row, after beat the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Wednesday.
Sadly, for Nashville, all good things must come to an end, and while their unbeaten streak at home is over, they continue to respond well after a loss, beating DC United 3-1 last Saturday.
Resilience is one of the trademarks this group has displayed during their brief time in MLS, losing 17 games since 2020, losing consecutive games just three times.
At the US Open Cup on Wednesday, gary smith saw his team suffer another late mental lapse, allowing him to Rodrigo Schlegel to equalize in stoppage time, finally losing the match on penalties (6-5).
In their current campaign, the Boys in Gold have conceded a goal on five separate occasions in all competitions with less than 10 minutes remaining.
Halfway through its first season in the Western Conference, Nashville sits in fifth place, three points behind Real Salt Lake for third place, and three of its next four games will be played at GEODIS Park.
We’re seeing them show much more composure at the back of late, conceding a goal or less in five of their previous six games in all competitions, allowing the second-fewest goals in their Conference (19).
The Boys and Gold still tend to focus on individual quality to wake them up offensively, though they are effective when they can attack in large numbers down the pitch and dangerous when their full-backs play in more advanced positions.
Just as we saw at this stage a year ago, the Portland Timbers are beginning to move up the rankings, jumping from 11th to 8th with their win on Wednesday.
giovanni savarese he has seen his players look much more like themselves in recent outings, in part because they are healthier, allowing their continuity and strong ball movements to shine.
Starting off on the right foot, unsurprisingly, allows them to get into a solid groove and dictate the tempo of a match, as they haven’t lost this year when leading at the half.
Consistency allowed them to transform their 2021 campaign, and that area will need improvement if they want to move up to a postseason position, winning back-to-back games just once so far this year.
Sometimes good things can come in bunches, and that has happened often in Portland this year, with the Timbers scoring 16 goals in their five national wins while only scoring 11 times in their other 13 meetings.
Lately, Savarese has seen his team play much more aggressively in their opponent’s penalty area, putting opposing defenses in difficult situations.
As a result, the Timbers have received three shots from the penalty spot in their last two games, including two against the Dynamo this week, allowing them to claim three points.
Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
Form Nashville SC (all competitions):
Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:
Hany Mukhtar is having another breakout year in Nashville, with the German forward scoring multiple goals in eight regular-season games, more than any player since joining the league in 2020.
eric miller Y Alex Muyl they missed their penalties in their US Open Cup elimination against Orlando City on Wednesday.
Daniel Lovitz Y Brian Anunga were incredibly accurate with their passes in that encounter, clicking 92.6% and 91.1% respectively, while Elliot Panic recorded five saves in 120 minutes of action, replacing joseph willis in goal
Roberto Castellanos has not recovered from his right ankle operation, while Handwalla Bwana He is out with a thigh injury.
The Timbers are one of only five teams in the entire league to have five or more players with at least three goals this season.
Bill Tuiloma Y Jaroslaw Niezgoda lead the way with five each, followed by Yimmi Chara (four), Santiago Moreno (three and Sebastian White (Three).
Philip Mora earned his 50th MLS cap this week in his first appearance of the year at Providence Park, while Aljaz Ivacic he made five saves against Houston, matching his best season.
The defending Western Conference champions’ injured list is significantly shorter than what we saw earlier this season, as Diego Gutierrez has a foot problem and christian walls is out with a hamstring strain, while Tuiloma will be unavailable this weekend after being sent off in the 75th minute on Wednesday.
Potential Nashville SC starting lineup:
willis; Romney, Zimmerman, Maher; Lovitz, McCarty, Leal, Anunga; Haakenson; Sapong, Mukhtar
Potential Portland Timbers starting lineup:
Ivacic; Van Rankin, Mabiala, Zuparic, Bravo; D. Chara, Williamson; Moreno, White, Y. Chara; Blackberry
We Say: Nashville SC 1-1 Portland Timbers
These are two teams with a lot of experience, able to play in a solid and compact form, while both have improved defensively, so we anticipate that it will be a difficult game for both sides to find enough space in the attacking third.
For data analysis of the most probable results, scores and more for this match, click here.
Our expert betting partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they’re predicting for this game and for more of their tried and tested soccer tips.Less than 3.5:data