Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Nashville SC

Nashville SC broke their winless streak with a big 4-0 win over FC Dallas on Sunday night. Tonight, they are back on the West Coast as they travel to Canada to face the Vancouver Whitecaps and look to keep pace with the play off race.

Will Nashville get a much needed result on the road? Is Vancouver able to get a win and move above Nashville in the standings?

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Current standing: 9th (West) | 9-7-11 | -14 GD
Injuries

OUT: Deiber Caicedo (right knee, meniscus surgery)

The start of Vancouver’s season has left a lot to be desired but in the last 4 matches have won two, lost one and drawn another. This has allowed them to pick up some crucial points in what is a very tight title race.

Currently, Vancouver find themselves in ninth place on 34 points and just two points from Nashville in 6th place. A win at home would see Vancouver move back into the playoff positions and begin to solidify their position in the table.

Predicted Vancouver SC XI

Head Coach Vanni Sartini will line his team up in their preferred 3-4-2-1 set up with two attacking midfielders behind a lone striker. Those attacking midfielders, especially Ryan Gauld, will drift outside and times but will try and stay more central. He will be the big focal point of the attack, either playing balls to Lucas Cavallini up top or out to Julian Gressel on the overlap.

One of the biggest weaknesses of this team is their defense. Tyler Blackmon was acquired from LAFC in the offseason in hope that he helped to shore up their leaky defense. However they have struggled to keep a clean sheet and find themselves with a -14 goal difference.

The last Vancouver clean sheet came on June 26th against New England Revolution. Nashville will have to exploit those defensive frailties in order to get a result.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 6th (West) | 9-9-9 | +2 GD
Injuries

OUT: Teal Bunbury (thigh), Aké Loba (trunk)

The Boys in Gold got the monkey off their back with their big win over FC Dallas. It arrested their slide down the table and keeps them in the playoff hunt.

Tonight, the go on the road to a Vancouver team that is also beginning to find their footing and pick up points. When these two teams last faced each other, the Whitecaps picked up a very late equalizer after a dominating performance from Nashville.

In order to keep pace in the playoff race, Nashville has to get points on the road.

Predicted Nashville XI

Against Dallas, the team looked bright and purposeful after several turgid performances. There was a renewed vigor and fight in the team that hopefully will fuel them forward during the run in. Along with that, the first half performance allowed Gary Smith to make some early substitutions and get guys rest.

The added rest will serve the team well as they follow up this trip out to Vancouver with a midweek home match against Colorado.

I expect to see the lineup out of the gate to look very similar to the team that lined up against Dallas. The biggest change should be Anibal Godoy coming back in the lineup to give McCarty some rest. The other change will more than likely be Jacob Shaffelburg coming off the bench rather than starting.

Shaffelburg was a revelation in the previous match but after a bit of a break from playing matches, is working to get back into match fitness. He was pulled at halftime due to a slight tweak but Coach Smith said that he is available for selection.

If Nashville can put in the same level of performance against Vancouver as they did Dallas, points should be a given.

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Vancouver 1 – 2 Nashville
Scores: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Nashville’s goal comes on the counter attack.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Vancouver 1 – 2 Nashville
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Randall Leal
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Leal Scores a late winner from outside the box.

Chris Ivey

Score: Vancouver 0 – 0 Nashville
Scorers: 
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: Classic defensive performance.

Ben Wright

Score: Vancouver 0 – 1 Nashville
Scorers: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: C.J. Sapong
Bold Prediction: CJ Sapong scores his first goal since May 21

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Vancouver Whitecaps FC vs Nashville SC
Odds: Vancouver (+165), Draw (+230), Nashville (+165) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, August 27
Time: 9:00 PM Central, BC Place, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
TV: MYTV30
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 71°/57°. Partly Cloudy 20% chance of rain. 62% 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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