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Jun 25, 2022 at 12.30am UK at Nippert Stadium
Cincinnati
1 - 0
Orlando City
Brenner (65')
Brenner (80')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Smith (72')

Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Major League Soccer clash between FC Cincinnati and Orlando City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

FC Cincinnati have a chance to sweep their regular-season series with Orlando City on Friday when the two sides meet at TQL Stadium.

At the moment, Cincy are trailing Charlotte FC for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference on goal difference, with the Lions currently fourth, earning a point in their last two MLS affairs.


Match preview

Being outside of the playoff picture is a familiar feeling for the Orange and Blue, who are winless in three successive league fixtures.

Pat Noonan may not have this team at the level he wants at the moment, but after 15 games, the former Philadelphia Union assistant has them performing much better than we have seen in any of their previous campaigns.

Having finished dead last overall in each of their three domestic seasons, you might think that things could only look up for the Midwestern club.

With six wins, Cincy have already matched their regular-season record from 2019, and there are still 19 matches to play in 2022.

They are among the top teams in the league regarding expected goals, with their attacking players causing fits for backlines with late runs and numbers in the box.

While they are still a work in progress, the Orange and Blue have yet to fix one issue which has plagued them since entering the league, an inability to prevent goals, conceding the third-most in the Eastern Conference (26).

In the Magical Kingdom that is Orlando, the Lions have been squeaking through of late by grinding out results, currently two points behind New York City FC for first in the East.

By no means is their football the most appealing to observe, but it has generated many positive results, with Orlando edging the Houston Dynamo 2-1 last Saturday just a few days after coming back to draw the New England Revolution (1-1).

Manager Oscar Pareja likes to stretch the field, giving his fullbacks the freedom to push high down the flanks to provide more width.

The Lions have always been a well-organized and structured unit who, according to their boss, need to find a way to be more polished while also finishing matches strong.

Orlando have earned points in three straight road encounters and have never lost a road game in Cincinnati, blanking them 1-0 in their previous away fixture last year.

It has taken some time for the new players on this team to acclimate to their new surroundings, which has at times affected their chemistry on the field.

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

FC Cincinnati form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Orlando City Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • W

Orlando City form (all competitions):
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W


Team News

Cincinnati striker Brandon Vazquez tallied his eighth goal of the campaign in their draw versus Philly, equalling the single-season mark set last year by Brenner, while Haris Medunjanin wore the captain's armband last week for the first time since 2020.

Tyler Blackett picked up his first assist of the campaign in their previous outing, while Vazquez notched a brace in a 2-1 win against the Lions earlier this year, with Luciano Acosta and Dominique Badji providing assists in that encounter.

Isaac Atanga and Calvin Harris are nursing leg injuries, Alec Kann is out with a problem in his lower body and Ronald Matarrita continues to recover from his ankle surgery.

A brace from Ercan Kara was all Orlando City would need to get past Houston, with Facundo Torres and Mauricio Pereyra being the providers.

Alexandre Pato already has three assists in 2022, while Robin Jansson levelled their previous road match against the Revs, scoring his first of the campaign.

Antonio Carlos is nursing a problem in his left thigh, Silvester van der Water has an issue in his left lower leg and Mason Stajduhar could be out with a jaw injury.

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Blackett, Murphy, Hagglund; Barreal, Medunjanin, Nwobodo, Gaddis; Barreal; Badji, Vazquez

Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Ruan, Schlegel, Jansson, Moutinho; Urso, Araujo; Torres, Pereyra, Michel; Kara


We say: FC Cincinnati 1-1 Orlando City

There is no doubt that Cincinnati are vastly improved, although they continue to struggle at home, winning only twice at TQL Stadium in 2022.

Orlando have shown that they can be potent in the attacking third once in a while, but we have not seen enough consistency in that department to believe they will manage to shut down a dynamic attacking team in Cincy for a full 90 minutes.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls199552920932
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia187922213930
3New York City FCNY City1785433191429
4CF MontrealMontreal189273233-129
5New England RevolutionNew England186752928125
6FC CincinnatiCincinnati187472932-325
7Orlando City187472328-525
8Charlotte FCCharlotte FC1972101923-423
9Columbus Crew175752018222
10Inter MiamiInter Miami176471826-822
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta175572626020
12Toronto1853102434-1018
13DC United165292330-717
14Chicago Fire184591624-817

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls199552920932
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia187922213930
3New York City FCNY City1785433191429
4CF MontrealMontreal189273233-129
5New England RevolutionNew England186752928125
6FC CincinnatiCincinnati187472932-325
7Orlando City187472328-525
8Charlotte FCCharlotte FC1972101923-423
9Columbus Crew175752018222
10Inter MiamiInter Miami176471826-822
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta175572626020
12Toronto1853102434-1018
13DC United165292330-717
14Chicago Fire184591624-817
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