Preview: Nashville SC vs Orlando City SC

After a 0-0 draw against the Seattle Sounders, Nashville is back at home against an Eastern Conference Rival. Tonight, they take on Orlando City as the Boys in Gold look to try and improve their seeding. Can Nashville pick up their first home win since August? Will Orlando make it two wins in a row?

Nashville SC

7th (East) | 45 points | 12-9-9 | +8 GD |
Power Rankings: 11

Injuries / Absences:

Questionable: Lukas MacNaughton (lower body)
Out
Nick DePuy (Achilles)

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The ‘Yotes went into Saturday night’s match against Seattle looking to do two things; qualify for the playoffs and get players like Sam Surridge and Randall Leal reintgrated into the squad. They accomplished the first task, albeit, not the easy way.

A win would have qualified them outright but instead, they had to rely on several other results to punch their ticket for their fourth straight playoff appearance.

In the pre-match press conference, Gary Smith was quite confident in his team as they look to these last four games. He sees it as a chance to prepare for the playoffs against teams that we could be matched up with.

However, there is a lot of concern about this team’s form. They haven’t won a league game at home since July 1st, and their last win in all comps was the August 15th game against Monterrey. Nashville has to start winning some games at home.

Against Seattle, we saw Smith go with a very attacking lineup and change from a 4-4-2 diamond to a flat 4-4-2, with Jacob Shaffelburg and Randall Leal playing as your wingers. Leal would tuck inside a bit to allow Shaq Moore room on the overlap but he still stayed wider than normal.

Against Orlando, I expect to see Nashville get back to the diamond. Nashville has struggled to score goals since the Leagues Cup and a return to the formation and lineup that was successful in those matches could be what is needed.

Orlando City SC

2nd (East) | 54 points | 15-9-7 | +12 GD |
Power Rankings: 7

Injuries / Absences:

Questionable: Antonio Carlos (right lower leg)
Out
Adam Grinwis (left thigh), Favian Loyola (left arm)

Orlando City come into tonight’s game second in the Eastern Conference fresh off a big home win against Montreal. With three games left, they will be looking to ensure their position as one of the top seeds.

Oscar Pareja made some changes in the off-season, shipping out a few long time members in the defense and midfield which has resulted in a much more balanced team.

Facundo Torres as been electric from the right wing in his second season. With 13 goals and 4 assists, the Nashville defense will have their hands full trying to nullify the threat he possesses. That being said, the surprise of the season is Duncan McGuire.

The Rookie forward drafted from Creighton has acclimated to the league very quickly, scoring nine goals and eventually replacing Ercan Kara, freeing up a designated player spot. McGuire is a more traditional poacher who will cause trouble for Zimmerman and Maher all game.

Pod Picks

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 0-1 Orlando
Scorers:
MOTM:
Bold Prediction: The offensive woes continue and there is a loud grumbling about what the loss means ahead of a likely three-match series against Orlando in the playoffs.

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 2-1 Orlando
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Sam Surridge
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville take 10+ more shots than Seattle

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 1-1 Orlando
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville gives up a late goal to only get a draw

Valair Shabilla

Score: Nashville 1-1 Orlando
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville will again have 55+ possession

Fan Forecast

Press Conference: Match Day -2

Match info

Teams: Nashville SC vs Orlando City SC
Odds: NSH (+100), Draw (+250), ORL (+250) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, October 4
Time: 7:30 pm CDT, GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: Apple TV
Radio: 104.5 The Zone (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 87°/66°. Mostly Sunny. 0% chance of rain. 68% 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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