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Aug 7, 2022 at 12.30am UK at Nippert Stadium
Cincinnati
3 - 1
Philadelphia
Vazquez (50'), Brenner (55'), Barreal (71')
Cameron (34'), Acosta (54'), Hagglund (66')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Aaronson (77')

Preview: FC Cincinnati vs. Philadelphia Union - prediction, team news, lineups

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

FC Cincinnati are fighting an uphill battle to try to end their seven-game winless run in MLS as they welcome Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union to the TQL Stadium on Saturday.

Pat Noonan's side played out an enthralling 4-4 draw with Inter Miami last time out, while the visitors humiliated the Houston Dynamo 6-0.


Match preview

A lack of ruthlessness is not the issue for Cincinnati, but shutting up shop in their defensive third is proving to be a significant challenge for Noonan, whose side have now gone seven games without victory in MLS.

In what was described by the Cincinnati boss as a "chaotic" encounter, Brenner and Brandon Vazquez both hit braces against Inter Miami, but Gonzalo Higuain rolled back the years with a hat-trick before an unlikely hero in Christopher McVey hit the final equaliser for Phil Neville's side in the seventh minute of second-half injury time.

Incredibly, that represented Cincinnati's second 4-4 draw in the space of a month - Noonan's side also shared eight goals around with New York City at the end of June - and it is now six draws in seven for this weekend's hosts.

Cincinnati are clinging onto the seventh and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, despite conceding the second-most goals in their section with 42 - only basement side DC United (44) have a worse record in that regard.

As many as four sides are capable of usurping Cincinnati should results not go Noonan's way this weekend, but not since March have the Orange and Blue failed to score in front of their own supporters, and each of their last four at the TQL Stadium has ended level.

Goal-laden performances have also been on the menu for Jim Curtin and the Philadelphia Union in recent weeks, but unlike their leaky hosts, the Eastern Conference leaders tend to only make the net ripple at the other end of the pitch.

Six goals from five different scorers got the job done in emphatic fashion against the Houston Dynamo last weekend, as Mikael Uhre netted a brace alongside Daniel Gazdag, Julian Carranza, Jack McGlynn and Quinn Sullivan.

A fifth successive victory leaves the Union sitting pretty at the top of the Eastern Conference - three points clear of New York City having played a game more - but Los Angeles FC are still leading the race for the Supporters' Shield.

Curtin's prolific crop have struck 18 goals and conceded a mere two during their five-game winning run, but a paltry record of three victories from their last 10 away from home will give Cincinnati some hope that an upset could be on the cards.

Cincinnati managed to hold the Union to a 1-1 draw as recently as last month, but the hosts are still waiting for their first victory in this fixture and have only ever breached the Union's defence twice in seven matches.

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

Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W


Team News

Cincinnati should come into Saturday's game with no fewer than three confirmed absentees, as Ronald Matarrita, Kenneth Vermeer and Dominique Badji prepare to watch on from the sidelines.

Sergio Santos will also need assessing as he battles back from a leg issue, while captain and creative hub Luciano Acosta reportedly came off with a physical problem of his own in the dying embers of the 4-4 draw with Inter Miami.

Acosta is not thought to be nursing anything serious and will expect to take his place in the XI here, while Nick Hagglund could threaten Geoff Cameron or Tyler Blackett's spots in the rearguard.

Meanwhile, Philadelphia Union's remarkable form has coincided with an empty treatment room, as Curtin is set to be working with a fully-fit squad once more.

Sullivan's goal off the bench may give Curtin some food for thought, but the visiting coach will be loath to make any changes to his first XI for Saturday's game.

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Hagglund, Murphy, Blackett; Powell, Moreno, Acosta, Nwobodo, Barreal; Vazquez, Brenner

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Blake; Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner; McGlynn, Flach, Bedoya; Gazdag; Uhre, Carranza


We say: FC Cincinnati 1-3 Philadelphia Union

Cincinnati fans are sick of the sight of stalemates now, but most would most likely accept a draw versus the Eastern Conference leaders, whose penchant for goals should become apparent here.

Carving their way through a leaky Orange and Blue backline should be an easy ask for the Union, who also have the defensive nous to end the hosts' unbeaten run at the TQL Stadium.

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
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022
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