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Aug 2, 2021 at 12.30am UK
TorontoToronto
1-1
NashvilleNashville SC
Gonzalez (20')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Castellanos (41')
McCarty (67')

Preview: Toronto vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Toronto vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Toronto and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Nashville SC will try to extend their unbeaten run to eight games when they pay a visit to BMO Field on Sunday to face Toronto.

Nashville are coming off a 2-0 win over FC Cincinnati last Saturday, while the Reds have yet to lose under interim manager Javier Perez, defeating the Chicago Fire last week 2-1.


Match preview

They are far from out of the woods after 15 games of the season, but there are definite signs that TFC might be turning the corner.

This team of veterans, who have made it to the MLS Cup final three times since 2016, seem to have come together after losing 7-1 to DC United, a game which cost Chris Armas his job.

Since that debacle, they have come a long way, with a victory over the Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution and then draws against Orlando City and the New York Red Bulls before beating the Fire.

Even though they came away with three points last weekend, Perez knows that his team were very fortunate as Chicago dominated most of that game, out shooting Toronto 31-8, firing 14 shots on target and holding 57% possession.

However, the results are the only things that matter, and if they can continue to be on the right side of these matches, there is an opportunity to make up ground with their next five games coming against Eastern Conference sides who are currently ahead of them in the table.

The Reds are feeling a lot better about their game lately, especially on the road, where they have won their last two fixtures after losing four in a row.

An expansion team a year ago, Nashville have quickly established themselves as a stellar Eastern Conference team, currently sitting in second with 26 points from 15 games.

Gary Smith and his side had a memorable month of July, going unbeaten in their five fixtures, winning three times.

They have found success by relying on a solid defensive game, with three clean sheets over their last five encounters, an encouraging sign for a side that conceded four goals in their opening two matches of the season.

Their recent success could also be because they have not dug themselves as many early deficits lately, scoring the opening goal within the first 15 minutes of play in their last two victories.

Now they face the challenge of trying to win away from home, which has been hard to come by for this group as they have yet to collect three points on the road this season.

Seven points separate Nashville from the top spot in the east heading into this match, but with their next fixture being against New England next Wednesday, they will know how much three points this weekend could mean in the standings.

Toronto Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Toronto will not have Ayo Akinola available for quite some time after he suffered a torn ACL for Canada at the Gold Cup, Ifunanyachi Achara is recovering from ACL surgery, Quentin Westberg has a hand injury and Auro was an unused substitute last week after recovering from a lower-body injury.

Eriq Zavaleta and Kemar Lawrence should both be available following the elimination of El Salvador and Jamaica at the Gold Cup last week, but it is unlikely that Jonathan Osorio or Richie Laryea will be available with Canada just recently being eliminated from that competition.

Alex Bono was spectacular in goal in their last fixture, saving 13 of the 14 shots that he faced, while Nick DeLeon picked an excellent time to score his first goal of the season, as it ended up being the game-winner against Chicago.

Anibal Godoy is back from international duty with Panama, but he has a hamstring problem, while centre-back Walker Zimmerman will not play in the Gold Cup final for the US after being substituted in their final group game with an injury versus Canada.

Alistair Johnston is unlikely to be back in time for this weekend after his Canadian squad were eliminated in the Gold Cup semi-final by Mexico on Thursday.

Daniel Lovitz and Jack Maher are out due to health and safety protocols, while the team traded away Dominique Badji to the Colorado Rapids for $500,000 in 2022 General Allocation Money, and they would get another $50,000 if the Burgundy Boys sign Badji next season.

CJ Sapong is starting to provide some scoring for this team with three goals in his last three games, including a brace against Cincy last week, while goalkeeper Joe Willis has recorded back-to-back clean sheets, currently leading the league with seven.

Eric Miller dropped back into a defensive role in their match last week as Dax McCarty moved into central midfield, while Dylan Nealis and Randall Leal started in midfield instead of Matt LaGrassa and Alex Muyl.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Singh, Lawrence, Zavaleta, Delgado; Okello, Bradley; Soteldo, DeLeon, Endoh; Dwyer

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Nealis, Anibaba, Romney, Miller; Leal, Anunga, McCarty, Muyl; Mukhtar, Sapong


We say: Toronto 1-0 Nashville SC

Toronto FC have improved defensively of late, and even though they have only maintained one clean sheet this year, they have limited the damage at BMO field, only allowing one goal in each of their last two home fixtures, while their goalkeeper has been able to steal them some points lately.

Nashville have been shut out of three of their four road matches this season, firing only one shot on target over their last two fixtures, so they do not create enough quality chances away from home.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City24115844281638
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112929026
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318
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