Preview: Portland Timbers vs Nashville SC

Nashville SC is back on the road after a disappointing 1-1 draw at home to the Vancouver Whitecaps. Tonight, they take on the Portland Timbers as they look to stay above the playoff line.

Can the ‘Yotes pick up a win on the road? Will Portland extend their eight-match unbeaten streak to nine?

Portland Timbers FC

Current standing: 8th (West) | 7-10-6 | +4 GD
Injuries

QUESTIONABLE: George Fochive (groin), Cristhian Paredes (ankle), Eryk Williamson (hamstring)
OUT: Diego Gutierrez (foot), Felipe Mora (knee)

Predicted Portland XI

Since these two teams faced off on July 3rd, Portland has been on a hot streak. The Timbers currently find themselves amid an eight-match unbeaten streak, with their last loss coming on May 28th. They have four wins and four draws in those eight matches, averaging 2.25 goals per game.

They come into tonight’s match hunting down a spot in the playoffs. A win against the Coyotes would vault them as high as fifth place and see them knock Nashville out of the playoff positions.

Portland will have to deal not only with a few injuries but also the fact that they are in the midst of a three-match week. Most notable, Felipe Mora and Eryk Williamson are both listed as questionable and their absence would be a blow to Portland.

With the short week, I am not expecting a high-scoring match and am anticipating a draw but if Portland has their forwards firing a win is not out of the question.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 7th (West) | 8-8-7 | 0 GD
Injuries

OUT: Aké Loba (trunk), Aníbal Godoy (thigh)

Predicted Nashville XI

Against Vancouver, Nashville was missing a few players due to injury and others due to Yellow Card Accumulation. Alex Muyl and Daniel Lovitz will both be available for selection after serving their suspension, and while Aníbal Godoy is listed as out, he did travel with the team. Smith should have plenty of options available to him.

For the past few weeks, Nashville has been deploying a four-man backline that looks something like a 4-4-1-1 or 4-2-3-1 depending on possession, and going into tonight; there is no indication that it will change.

At the back, Shaq Moore should get his second start as he plays opposite Daniel Lovitz. It should be a fascinating look into how the team deploys two fullbacks that are good defenders, along with their ability to create chances. Lovitz and Moore will have Walker Zimmerman and Dave Romney as their centrebacks sitting in front of Joe Willis in net.

Initially thought to be just a few weeks absence has turned into months for Aníbal Godoy, who is still listed as out on the injury report but looks to be edging closer. With three matches in 7 days, Nashville will have to rotate their midfield. I expect Sean Davis and Brian Anunga as your starters with Dax McCarty available off the bench.

In the attack, Teal Bunbury has started to find a bit of form and has begun scoring goals now that he is playing in his more wide position. I would expect to see him be given another opportunity to continue his good run of form even with Alex Muyl back from suspension. Bunbury will start on the right with Randall Leal as the left winger behind Hany Mukhtar and C.J. Sapong.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Portland 1 – 1 Nashville
Scores: Randall Leal
MOTM: Randall Leal
Bold Prediction: Portland scores a late equalizer

Jonathan Slape

Score: Portland 0 – 0 Nashville
Scorers: 
MOTM: Sean Davis
Bold Prediction: Nashville keeps a clean sheet but has to settle for an equalizer

Lucas Panzica

Score: Portland 1 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: C.J. Sapong
Bold Prediction: Nashville concedes first, equalizes early in the 2nd half, and sits back to secure a draw

Ben Wright

Score: Portland 1 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville scores early but can’t hold onto the lead.

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Portland Timbers FC vs Nashville SC
Odds: Cincinnati (+115), Draw (+250), Nashville (+2100) via BetMGM
Date: Wednesday, August 3
Time: 9:30 PM Central, Providence Park, Portland, Oregon
TV: MyTV30
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 88°/60°. Sunny 10% chance of rain. 41% humidity

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