MATCH PREVIEW: Nashville SC vs Orlando City SC

Nashville SC secured their first home win on sunday, beating Inter Miami 1-0. Tonight, the Boys in Gold take on a red hot Orlando City and lok to get revenge for last week. Can Nashville get a result? What could the lineup look like? Let’s take a look at how the game might play out.

Nashville SC

Since the restart, Nashville SC has been playing every 3-4 days with only minor rotation and tweaks. Against Miami, Coach Gary Smith make some more drastic changes. Principly, resting Hany Mukhtar and Dax McCarty. The later, had played every minute thus far. Randall Leal was moved centrally to the #10 while Alex Muyl got a start on the left. The biggest surprise, though, Brian Anunga made his first appearance, starting for McCarty. The question is, what changes do we see tonight?

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Against Orlando, I expect to see Coach Smith make a similar pattern of rotational subs, potentially resting the likes of Aníbal Godoy and Randall Leal and lining up a bit different than they did at Exploria Stadium last week. Coach Smith had utilizes a 4-4-2 against Oscar Pareja’s Orlando City that generated a few chances and even got the first goal. However, Orlando was able to force Nashville into a few defensive mistakes that they then capitalized on.

On Sunday, Gary Smith returned to the 4-2-3-1 but with some personnel changes. I expect that he sticks to that formation along with some rotation. This will be Nashville’s sixth game in 22 days and with two more in the next seven, getting players some rest will be paramount.

Up front, Nashville has had a steady pattern of rotation Dominique Badji and Daniel Ríos every other game with Badji getting the start against Miami. Tonight, Dominique Badji should get the start to give a different look to Orlando from last week. Centrally, Hany Mukhtar will return as the creative focal point of the attack with Alex Muyl and David Accam playing on the left and the right.

 In the Midfield, Dax McCarty was rested in favor of Brian Anunga who came in and was “absolutely outstanding in midfield” according to Coach Smith. Expect to see Brian Anunga get his second start alongside Dax McCarty. Godoy will get some much needed rest but do not be surprised to see him make an appearance off the bench.

At the back, Walker Zimmerman, Dave Romney, Daniel Lovitz, and Joe Willis have played every single minute of Nashville’s season thus far and should all continue that streak tonight. Lovitz will need to be careful though; he is currently on four yellow cards and will receive a one match suspension with his fifth. At right back, Jalil Anibaba should get the start at right back. Alistair Johnston has performed well, but I expect a more defensive option if Accam starts on the right wing.

Orlando City SC

Óscar Pareja’s Orlando City followed up their win over Nashville with a 3-1 win over rivals Atlanta United. This Orlando side has continued to impress and improve as the season has progressed and now find themselves in 4th through eight games. Pareja has brought a new mentality to this team. Our very own Ben Wright discussed this with Julia Poe in the latest edition of Zoomed N.

Orlando will come in to this match knowing that they were able to create chances and walk away with a two goal win over Nashville but will need to keep in mind that through the first 15 minutes, they were vulnerable. Nashville was able to create multiple opportunities but were just unable to finish them. Pareja will look to minimize those mistakes.

Much like Gary Smith did on Sunday, Óscar Pareja chose to rotate and rest a few of his players, including both Nani and Mauricio Pereyra. Tonight, both players should return as a part of a 4-2-3-1.

Up top Daryl Dike should get the start. Post MLS Is Back, Dike has scored 3 goals, including a brace against this NSC team. On the wing, red hot Chris Mueller will start on the right with Nani on the left. Mauricio Pereyra return to the starting lineup after getting the night off against Atlanta.

In the midfield two, Oriol Rossell and Sebastián Méndez will be tasked with shielding the defense and helping to start counter attacks.

At the back, Pedro Gallese will be in net with Robin Jansson and Antonio Carlos as the centerback pairing. João Moutinho left the game on Saturday with a groin injury. Expect to see Kamal Miller get the start for Moutinho at left back with Ruan on the right.


Orlando City SC

OUT: Dom Dwyer (knee)
QUESTIONABLE: João Moutinho (groin)

Nashville SC

OUT: Ken Tribbett (calf), Jimmy Medranda (hip)


Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 1 – 2 Orlando City SC
Scorers: Alex Muyl
MOTM: Alex Muyl
Bold Prediction: Daryl Dike scores another brace to give Orlando the win.

Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 1 – 1 Orlando City SC
Scorers: Randall Leal
MOTM: Dax McCarty
Bold Prediction: Gary Smith sticks with heavy squad rotation, leaving midfield exposed as Godoy gets a rest.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 1 – 1 Orlando City SC
Scorers: Randall Leal
MOTM: Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: Leal comes off the bench in the second half to bag the equalizer

Davey Shepherd

Score: Nashville 2 – 2 Orlando City SC
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar; Abu Danladi
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar gets a goal and an assist but Nashville gives up a late goal to drop points.

John Sloop

Score: Nashville 2 – 2 Orlando City SC
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Dax McCarty
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Both of Nashville’s goals come in the first half.

Have a prediction for this week’s match? Vote in our Fan Forecast!


Date: Wednesday, 09/2/20
Time: 7:30 PM, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: MyTV30, ESPN+ (out of market)
Radio: 94.9 The Game 2 (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 87°/73°. Thunderstorms. 80% chance of rain. 74% humidity.

Author: Jonathan Slapeoriginated from outside of Atlanta but has lived in Nashville since 2005. Original member of Speedway Soccer and has been talking and occasionally writing about Nashville SC since the USL days. Self proclaimed official fashion correspondent. Outside of Nashville SC you can find him singing the praises of Jurgen Klopp, discussing the latest in sneakers and soccer fashion with a good stiff drink.

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