Nashville kept their perfect home record in tact last week with a 2-0 win over Montreal. Today, they’re back on the road as they take on the New England Revolution. Can Nashville keep their unbeaten streak alive?
2nd (East) | 7 points | 2-1-0 | +4 GD
Out: Randall Leal (upper body), Nick DePuy (season ending injury list)
Questionable: Luke Haakenson (lower body), Alex Muyl (upper body), Aníbal Godoy (upper body), Walker Zimmerman (illness)
Three matches into the season and Nashville SC find themselves in second place in the eastern conference with two wins and one draw. Even more impressively, they haven’t allowed a single goal.
They’ve done all of this while battling a host of injuries including the likes of Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal and Anibal Godoy.
The big news heading into tonight’s matchup with New England is the announcement that the ‘Yotes signed former San Jose and Minnesota United midfielder Ján Greguš. He will provide some much needed depth to Nashville’s aging midfield. His ability to progress the ball through midfield will be a great asset, .
Against New England, I expect to see Nashville revert more to a 4-2-3-1 rather than the 4-4-2 they have been using.
The personnel should look fairly similar to what we have seen the last three weeks with one major exception. Ján Greguš should slot immediately into the midfield alongside Sean Davis. Greguš has been training with the Boys in Gold for a few weeks and is already familiar with their system. His passing ability would allow Nashville to get out on the counter quickly.
At the back, I don’t expect any changes, except if Walker Zimmerman has not recovered from his sickness. If he is not well enough to play, I expect to see Josh Bauer get the start alongside Jack Maher.
New England Revolution
Last Season: 10th (East) | 42 points | 10-12-12 | -3 GD
This Season: 6th (East) | 6 points | 2-0-1 | 0 GD
Out: Nacho Gil (right leg), Jacob Jackson (left ACL), Maciel (left achilles), Tommy McNamara (left leg)
Questionable: Carles Gil (left leg)
New England had a strong first two weeks of the season with a 1-0 win on the road against Charlotte and a 3-0 home win against the Houston Dynamo. However, it all came crashing down last week against LAFC where they suffered a 4-0 loss away from home.
New England struggled to maintain possession of the ball and were cut open on the counter attack. They’ll need to be much cleaner on the ball against Nashville, another team that thrives on the counter.
Like Nashville, the Revs find themselves with a bit of an early season injury crisis that got worse last week with the injury to Carlos Gil. While he’s listed as questionable, Bruce Arena confirmed in his prematch press conference that Gil is unlikely feature this weekend.
Arena will set up his team with a narrow 4-4-2 diamond, allowing space for the fullbacks to overlap the midfielders. The outside positions on the diamond will tuck in for the most part and look to create numerical mismatches in the middle of the park.
From a playing style perspective, New England likes to maintain possession and dictate the flow of the game with their midfielders. They’ll get the ball out to their overlapping fullbacks who will look to cross the ball into the two forwards.
Their big weakness that was exploited in Los Angeles was losing the ball when their fullbacks are pushed up the field. They struggled to get back and left huge gaps. Nashville’s best chance is to exploit these gaps.
Score: New England 0-0 Nashville
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: Neither team register a shot on target
Score: New England 1-1 Nashville
Scorers: Fafà Picault
MOTM: Fafà Picault
Bold Prediction: Revolution get their goal via a PK
Score: New England 0-2 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Teal Bunbury
MOTM: Teal Bunbury
Bold Prediction: Nashville control under 35% of possession but have at least 35% more shots than New England
Score: New England 0-1 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville gets a late winner from a Hany Mukhtar free kick buil
Teams: New England Revolution vs Nashville SC
Odds: New England (+135), Draw (+225), Nashville(+195) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, March 18
Time: 6:30 pm CT, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV: Apple TV – MLS Season Pass subscription required
Radio: 104.5 The Zone (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 53°/30°. Cloudy. 20% chance of rain. 49% humidity
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