Preview: Nashville SC v Toronto FC

It was a disappointing road trip for Nashville SC, as they suffered their first defeat of the season at the hands of the New York Red Bulls. Tonight, Nashville returns to Nissan Stadium to take on Toronto FC. How will Nashville bounce back from their first defeat? Will Toronto get revenge for their loss in the MLS playoffs?

Toronto FC

The last time Nashville SC faced off against Toronto FC, they were coming off a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference with their eyes on another MLS Cup. Since their loss in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, Toronto has been in the midst of a transition. Several of their key players have struggled with injury and head coach Greg Vanney resigned to take the LA Galaxy job.

Chris Armas is now the head coach and has been tasked with remaking this Toronto FC. He has traditionally played a high pressing style in some variation of a 4-2-3-1/ 4-3-3 but has tweaked his style some. Expect to see a more possession-oriented style but will look for some specific pressing triggers. Nashville will look for opportunities to play on the counter and get chances over the top.

While Toronto is coming off a 2-3 loss against Orlando City, there is one positive from the match. Alejandro Pozuelo made his return to the starting lineup after starting off with an injury. The 2020 MLS MVP will add an offensive spark to a team that has struggled for goals at times.

Nashville SC

With the loss to New York Red Bulls, Nashville’s unbeaten streak comes to an end. Tonight, they will look to get back on track against a struggling Toronto FC. A win could push Nashville as back into the playoff positions as they look to take advantage of a stretch of five consecutive home matches.

Head coach Gary Smith will still be without Jhonder Cádiz, Daniel Ríos, and Dominique Badji, but Brian Anunga is back off the injury report. There could be a chance that we see Nashville return back to the 4-4-2 with Abu Danladi and CJ Sapong paired together, but I expect to see minimum rotation from Saturday’s match.

Matt LaGrassa came in for Aníbal Godoy and performed well, but Nashville missed Godoy’s physicality in the middle of the pitch. Godoy should return to the lineup alongside Dax McCarty. The added defensive presence will be key in shutting down Alejandro Pozuelo.

Availability report

Pod picks

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 2 – 1 Toronto
Scorers: Randall Leal, Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Daniel Lovitz
Bold Prediction: Lovitz registers a pair of assists.

Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 1 – 0 Toronto
Scorers: Randall Leal
MOTM: Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: Randall Leal leads the side in shots on target with four or more.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Toronto
Scorers: Randall Leal, Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Aníbal Godoy
Bold Prediction: Nashville bounces back after their 2-0 loss as Godoy leads the team in tackles and interceptions.

Davey Shepherd

Score: Nashville 2 – 1 Toronto
Scorers: Randall Leal, CJ Sapong
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar picks up two assists

Lucas Panzica

Score: Nashville 1 – 2 Toronto
Scorers: CJ Sapong
MOTM: CJ Sapong
Bold Prediction: Nashville loses their first match at home.

Fan forecast

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Match Info

Teams: Nashville SC v Toronto FC
Power RankingsNashville (6th) vs Toronto (19th)
Odds: NSH (-105), Draw (+240), TOR (+270) vs MGM
Date: Wednesday, June 23rd
Time: 7:30 PM central, Nissan Stadium, Nashville, Tennessee
TV:  MyTV 30 (local), ESPN+ (out of market)
Radio: 94.9 The Game 2 (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 86°/64°. Mostly Sunny. 0% chance of rain. 38% humidity.

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