Preview: New England Revolution vs Nashville SC

After a disappointing draw on the road against Toronto, Nashville continues their 3 game road trip. Tonight, they travel to Foxborough to take on the New England Revolution. Can Nashville get their first win of the season against the best team in the league?

New England Revolution

The last two time these two teams played against each other almost feels like another season. New England may have been beaten by Nashville but their quality still shown through. Currently, New England sits at the top of the supporters shield race and in the midst of a 4 game winning streak. Nashville will certainly have to play their best against a hot Revs team.

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The New England Revolution’s winning streak is even more impressive when you factor in the international absences of Matt Turner, Tajon Buchanan and Henry Kessler. With the conclusion of the Gold Cup, all three of those players will be back and available for selection against Nashville.

Adam Buksa and Gustavo Bou have been in exceptional form, scoring seven goals in their last four matches. They will be responsible for not only scoring chances tonight but will need to create them as well. Since building a predicted lineup, reports have surfaced that Carles Gil will miss the next several weeks due to a sports hernia.

Fortunately for Arena, the return of Tajon Buchanan could help to alleviate the absence of Gil and force Arena to make a slight change in his system. We could see more of a 4-4-1-1 with Bou has the withdrawn striker and Teal Bunbury and Tajon Buchanan out on the wing, or Arena could tweak the 4-4-2 diamond system he’s used to fit his available personnel.

Regardless of how this Revolution choose to lineup, they have enough firepower to trouble the Nashville backline. Their 32 goals are the most in the league, and they’re one of just three teams in MLS to have a higher expected goals total. While Gil has obviously been a major part of that, Bou has finished his chances opportunistically, resulting in 10 goals. Adam Buksa has finally found his form with eight goals. Bou and Buksa are both in MLS’s Top 10 for goals scored this season, the only teammates on the list.

While Gil’s absence will hurt, there’s a lot more to this team than just one player. Even without the leading MVP candidate, this team is still incredibly dangerous.

Nashville SC

For Nashville, this is the second in a three-game road stretch. When they two team last played, Nashville walked away with a resounding 2-0 win. On the road it should be a much different match, especially given the struggles Nashville have experienced away from Nissan Stadium.

With a compressed schedule, head coach Gary Smith will keep the Inter Miami match in the back of his mind as he selects a starting lineup against New England. We saw some rotation against Toronto, albeit with some of it forced due to some logistical hurdles. Tonight, we could see closer to a full strength lineup with some key individuals returning.

Dave Romney continues to be the rock of the Nashville defense and against Toronto he was pair with several new faces on the backline. Jalil Anibaba was kept out of the starting lineup due to some issues at the Canadian border that slowed his arrival, but will be available for selection, alongside Daniel Lovitz and Jack Maher who are both back from health and safety protocols. Walker Zimmerman is the lone first choice defender out.

Smith will undoubtedly be happy to have Aníbal Godoy back from a hamstring injury that kept him out of the Panamanian Gold Cup, but I don’t expect him to be rushed back. The coaching and medical staff always try to ease players back into the lineup after coming back from injury, and the great form Brian Anunga is in will buy them even more time to bring him back. This will require Anunga and Dax McCarty to keep an active New England midfield in check, but they’ve developed a strong chemistry in the last month and are a more than capable starting pair.

Finally, the front three of C.J. Sapong, Randall Leal, and Hany Muhktar have been quite impressive the last month but I expect to see some slight rotation, with Aké Loba starting over Sapong. Loba has looked quite impressive through all of his appearances and his ability to play off the shoulder as well as in tight spaces will come in handy on the counter. Sapong has been great, but he has played a very heavy workload in a short span and could be rested with an eye on a much weaker Miami side.

Nashville typically plays up to their competition and they will need to be at the top of their game to get a result against New England.

Availability report

Pod Picks

Ben Wright

Score: New England 1-1 Nashville
Scorers: Jack Maher
MOTM:  Jack Maher
Bold Prediction: New England takes close to 20 shots but have less than 1.00 expected goals.

John Sloop

Score:  New England 2-1 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville scores first before giving up two goals.

Jonathan Slape

Score:  New England 1-1 Nashville
Scorers: Aké Loba
MOTM:  Aké Loba
Bold Prediction: Loba starts and gets his first goal for Nashville SC.

Lucas Panzica

Score:  New England 0-0 Nashville
MOTM: Joe Willis
Bold Prediction: Willis saves a penalty.

Andy Simmons

Score:  New England 1-0 Nashville
MOTM: Alistair Johnston
Bold Prediction: Nashville outshoots and out possesses New England after the Revs go up in the 20th minute.

Chris Ivey

Score:  New England 2-1 Nashville
Scorers: Randall Leal
MOTM:  Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: New England shows why they are going to win the Supporters Shield.

Fan Forecast

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Match Info

Teams: New England Revolution (1st) vs Nashville SC (3rd)
Power RankingsNew England Revolution (5) vs Nashville SC (4)
Odds: New England (-140), Draw (+250), Nashville (+375) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, August 4
Time: 6:00 PM central, Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts
TV:  MyTV 30 (local), ESPN+ (out of market)
Radio: 94.9 The Game 2 (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 76°/62°. Scattered Showers. 50% chance of rain. 70% 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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