Preview: Austin FC v Nashville SC

After a disappointing 1-1 draw against LA Galaxy, Nashville SC are back on the road. Tonight, they travel to the Texas capital to take on Austin FC as they look to solidify their position in the table.

Can the ‘Yotes get a big win on the road? Will Austin get payback for their loss at GEODIS?

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Austin FC

Current standing: 2nd (West) | 54 points | 16-6-9 | +18 GD
Power Rankings: 5th (16.63 score)

Injuries

OUT: Freddy Kleemann (left knee), Washington Corozo (abdomen)

Rarely do two teams play their second game against each other in such a short space of time but just 14 days after losing 3-0 at GEODIS Park, Austin and Nashville face each other again.

Austin followed up that 3-0 loss in Nashville with another 3-0 loss on the road against the Seattle Sounders. Fortunately for Austin, they broke their three-game losing streak with a big 3-0 win at home to Real Salt Lake.

The big win against Salt Lake should see them getting back into form to attempt to gain revenge against an in-form Nashville team.

Austin will look identical to what they did in the previous match against Nashville. head coach Josh Wolff has an unwavering style of play. They will look to retain possession and limit the opportunities that Nashville has to play in transition.

From a personal standpoint, Austin will look pretty similar to what they did in Nashville with a few potential changes.

In the previous match up, Danny Hoesen got the start up top due to an injury to Max Urruti. With a health Urruti, Josh Wolff will have to make a decision between starting with him or riding the hot hand in Moussa Djitte. Djitte came off the bench against Salt Lake and bagged a second-half trick. He is a significant aerial presence, and with Walker Zimmerman suspended, a potential mismatch at the back.

In Midfield, Alex Ring did not start against Nashville previously but expect to see him start next to Daniel Pereira. Ring has been the heartbeat of this midfield and will play a crucial role in dominating the possession against Nashville.

Finally, we can’t talk about Austin without talking about Sebastian Driussi. The attacking focal point of the Austin offense has seen a little bit of a dip in form. Driussi has not registered a goal or assist since their August 31st win over Portland Timbers.

Tonight’s match is another showcase of the MVP front runners. A big performance against Nashville would see Driussi take the lead in the race.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 4th (West) | 46 points | 12-10-9 | +11 GD
Power Rankings: 7th (15.15 score)

Injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Aníbal Godoy (left thigh)
SUSPENDED: Walker Zimmerman (red card on Sept 10)

Since playing Austin, Nashville played to a disappointing 1-1 draw against an LA Galaxy team that was desperate to stay in the playoff race. As disappointing the late draw was, the Coyotes still have a five match unbeaten streak as they look to secure a home playoff match.

Along with a tight playoff race, Hany Mukhtar is in a tight race for the league’s most valuable player. He currently leads Driussi in the Golden Boot by two goals and four assists. The 3-0 win against Austin swung the race in Mukhtar’s favor, and another big performance tonight could solidify his number one position.

Nashville did everything right in their previous match against Austin. Lining up in a 4-4-2, the Yotes were able to cut Austin open in transition when they won the ball back. The verticality that Jacob Shaffelburg brings to the team was key to their success.

They will look to do the same tonight but with a few key changes.

Most notably, Walker Zimmerman picked up a second yellow card with the late penalty against the Galaxy, leaving him suspended for tonight’s match. Jack Maher will slot right in, but the change leaves Nashville a little vulnerable in the air against a player like Djitte.

In the attack, Nashville is fully healthy as Teal Bunbury, and Ake Loba are finally back fit and healthy. Don’t expect to see Loba near the starting XI, but Bunbury provides an interesting option for Gary Smith. Before picking up his most recent injury, Bunbury had scored four goals in four games. With C.J. Sapong struggling to score, does Bunbury come in and replace?

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Austin 2 – 2 Nashville
Scores: Hany Mukhtar, C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Sapong ends his goal scoring drought on a header.

Lucas Panzica

Score: Austin 2 – 2 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Olivier Giroud wins 2022 People Sexiest Man Alive

Ben Wright

Score: Austin 2-1 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Austin scores twice in the second half

Jonathan Slape

Score: Austin 2 – 2 Nashville
Scores: Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville concedes the first and fights back for the draw twice.

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Austin FC vs Nashville SC
Odds: Austin (+105), Draw (+260), Nashville (+2225) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, September 17
Time: 8:00 pm CT, Q2 Stadium, Austin, Texas
TV: MYTV30, ESPN+
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 96°/72°. Partly Cloudy. 2% chance of rain. 67% 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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