After a quick trip to New Jersey, Nashville SC is back home at GEODIS Park to take on CF Montréal. Can Nashville pick up another win at home? Will Montréal be able to pick up their first result of the season?
3rd (East) | 4 points | 1-1-0 | +2GD
Out: Randall Leal (lower body), Aníbal Godoy (upper body), Nick DePuy (lower body)
Questionable: Luke Haakenson (lower body)
Nashville SC enters this match unbeaten after a 0-0 draw on the road against New York Red Bulls. The Boys in Gold played a chaotic match that saw them really struggle to deal with the press of the Red Bulls. They really limited Nashville’s ability to play in transition which showed in their lack of attack output.
Today, Nashville plays a Montréal team that is both struggling for confidence and trying to implement a new coach’s tactics.
Head to head, Nashville has yet to lose a match against CF Montréal. In their five matches against each other, Nashville has won three of them while drawing the other two. With the form of both teams, I expect Nashville to increase that win total tonight.
The injury bug seem’s to have hit Nashville early this season. Yesterday, Nick DePuy was placed on the season ending injury list while Randall Leal and Aníbal Godoy continue to be out with injuries. Godoy’s is the shoulder injury he picked up in the opener but the seriousness of Leal’s is yet to be known.
Fortunately for Nashville, Hany Mukhtar should be making his return to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in the last two. C.J. Sapong is also off the injury list for the second week in a row and could see him from the start.
The rest of the starting lineup will remain unchaged from the Red Bulls match.
CF Montréal has struggled to limit chances in their opening two matches and with one of the best attackers in the league I would expect that to continue. Mukhtar and Sapong should have plenty of opportunites to exploit the open space that the Montréal can leave in behind.
Last Season: 2nd (East) | 65 points | 20-5-9 | +9 GD
This Season: 15th (East) | 0 points | 0-0-2 | -3 GD
Out: George Campbell (ankle), Matko Milevic (knee), James Pantemis (shoulder), Jojea Kwizera (hamstring)
After a phenomenal regular season last year, Montréal finds themselves in the midst of transition. The offseason was always going to be a bit tumultous when you lose you start attacker, Đorđe Mihailović; however, no one saw this amount of turnover coming.
Along with sale of Mihailović to AZ Alkmaar, Montréal sold Alistair Johnston and Ismaël Kone, traded Kei Kamara and saw Wilfred Nancy take the head coaching position at the Columbus Crew.
They brought in former DC United head coach Hernan Losada to implement his Maximum Overdride style of play and acquired George Cambell and Aaron Herrera from Atlanta United and Real Salt Lake.
Losada’s teams tend to prioritize a high pressing game, with an emphasis on winning the ball back quickly and efficiently. Once in possession, Losada’s teams like to build play from the back and use short, sharp passes to move the ball up the field.
At Montreal, like in DC, he has favored a three back system that will look like a 3-4-2-1 or a 3-4-1-2 depending on attacking personel. Against Nashville, I would expect to see Romell Quioto as the lone striker with two attacking midfielders in behind.
Like Nashville, Montréal is also dealing with a bit of an injury crisis and marquee signing, George Cambell, is still out with an injury leaving them a big thin at centerback. Aaron Herrera will have to slide back into the back three like he did in the opener against Miami.
Through their first two matches, Montréal have struggled to impress and have yet to manage to score a goal. They will have their work cut out for them against Nashville who through the first two, have yet to allow a goal. Montréal’s best chance of a result is leveraging the press and trying to harry the ‘Yotes in possession.
Score: Nashville 3 -1 Montréal
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg, Shaq Moore
MOTM: Jacob Shaffelburg
Bold Prediction: Shaq Moore gets his first goal for Nashville.
Score: Nashville 2 -1 Montréal
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Jacob Shaffelburg
MOTM: Jacob Shaffelburg
Bold Prediction: NSC races out to a lead. Gives up a goal and hangs on for dear life in the final mins
Score: Nashville 4 -0 Montréal
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar (x2), Jacob Shaffelburg, Teal Bunbury
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville score twice in the first 30 minutes
Score: Nashville 3 -0 Montréal
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Fafà Picault, C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville races out to an early lead and scores all three in the first hald.
Teams: Nashville SC vs CF Montréal
Odds: Nashville (-115), Draw (+250), Montréal (+300) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, March 11
Time: 7:30 pm CT, GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Apple TV – Free
Radio: 104.5 The Zone (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 55°/46°. Cloudy. 20% chance of rain. 49% humidity