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Austin FC
Major League Soccer
Jun 22, 2023 at 4.07am UK
Al Saqr Stadium
FC Dallas

3 - 0

Finlay (17'), Fagundez (42'), Zardes (58')
Wolff (26'), Finlay (85')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Quignon (25')

Preview: Austin FC vs. Dallas - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Austin FC and Dallas, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Major League Soccer dishes up an intriguing Texas derby on Wednesday as struggling Austin FC host rivals FC Dallas at Q2 Stadium.

Following a thrashing at the hands of Sporting Kansas City, Austin find themselves third from bottom in the Western Conference – seven points behind fifth-placed Dallas.

Match preview

Austin FC players huddle on the field prior to the game on April 9, 2023© Reuters

Having made it all the way to the Conference Finals in 2022, Austin FC were expected to build on last year's campaign and go again this season, but Josh Wolff's men failed to pick up where they left off last term.

Indeed, the Verde and Black managed to win just two of their opening 11 MLS games, recording four wins and five losses in the process, and they also conceded 17 goals during that period, highlighting the team's defensive issues.

Austin appeared to have turned the corner when they notched three victories in four matches between mid-May and early June, securing back-to-back wins over the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC before defeating Minnesota United.

Since then, however, Wolff's side have suffered a couple of disappointing defeats, recording a 2-1 home loss against Real Salt Lake before enduring a 4-1 crushing at Children's Mercy Park against Sporting Kansas City last weekend.

Following a US Open Cup defeat to Chicago Fire last month, Austin have now lost four of their previous six matches across all competitions, with three defeats coming in their last five home games.

Dallas head coach Nico Estevez gestures during the second half on May 14, 2023© Reuters

By contrast, FC Dallas made a relatively strong start to the 2023 MLS season, winning four of their first eight games while suffering only two defeats, but the Toros have struggled for consistency since then.

Having recorded three wins, three draws and four losses across their previous 10 league outings, Dallas find themselves fifth in the Western Conference standings, although they remain just three points behind frontrunners St Louis City and Los Angeles FC.

Nico Estevez's men head into Wednesday's showdown on the back of a 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers, meaning that Dallas have lost three of their last four matches, with 2-1 defeats against Sporting Kansas City and Nashville SC preceding last weekend's loss.

It is also worth noting that Dallas have managed to win just one of their previous six encounters, taking five points from a possible 18, although they still boast the third-best defensive record in the conference.

Having won only two of their 10 away games this season – recording three draws and five losses in the process – the Toros could struggle to claim all three points at Q2 Stadium, regardless of Austin's recent struggles.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:

Dallas Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Austin FC forward Sebastian Driussi (10) gestures after his goal as he walks back to center field with teammates in the first half against St. Louis CITY SC at Q2 Stadium on February 25, 2023© Reuters

Austin FC are still without long-term injury absentees Zan Kolmanic (ACL) and Leo Vaisanen (LCL), while Aleksandar Radovanovic (shoulder) and Sofiane Djeffal (ankle) are doubts for Wednesday's clash.

After scoring last time out, Argentine forward Sebastian Driussi is expected to keep his place alongside experienced striker Gyasi Zardes in Austin's forward line.

Jon Gallagher has contributed five goals and one assist from full-back this season, so the Irishman will continue in this hosts' backline alongside Will Bruin, Julio Cascante and Nick Lima.

As for FC Dallas, their extensive injury list contains Paul Arriola (thigh), Tsiki Ntsabeleng (knee), Sebastian Lletget (thigh), Ema Twumasi (ankle), Paxton Pomykal (thigh) and Tarik Scott.

Having netted 10 goals in 18 MLS outings this year, top scorer Jesus Ferreira will fancy his chances of enhancing his tally against one of the weakest defences in the conference.

Dallas manager Nico Estevez will likely match Austin's 4-4-2 formation, meaning that Jader Obrian, Edwin Cerrillo, Facundo Quignon and Alan Velasco should continue in midfield.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Cascante, Bruin, Gallagher; Rigoni, Valencia, Pereira, Fagundez; Zardes, Driussi

Dallas possible starting lineup:
Paes; Jesus, Ibeagha, Tafari, Farfan; Velasco, Quignon, Cerrillo, Obrian; Jimenez, Ferreira

SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 1-1 Dallas

Given that Austin and Dallas have both lost three of their last four matches, Wednesday's showdown will likely be a close-fought battle between two sides desperate to avoid defeat.

With that in mind, we expect the Texas rivals to play out a tense and cagey draw at Q2 Stadium, sharing the spoils while ending their respective losing runs.

How to watch

You can watch Austin FC vs. Dallas and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

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

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Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami1594236201631
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati149321911830
3New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
4New York City FCNY City147251816223
6Columbus Crew135621913621
7Charlotte FCCharlotte FC146351413121
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia134542521417
9DC United144552024-417
10Orlando City134451520-516
11Nashville SCNashville133641720-315
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta133461716113
13CF MontrealMontreal133371731-1412
14Chicago Fire142481326-1310
15New England RevolutionNew England12219925-167

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1484227141328
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd127322114724
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy145722521422
4Austin FCAustin146441917222
5Los Angeles FCLos Angeles136342419521
6Colorado RapidsColorado146352423121
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver135441915419
8Houston DynamoHouston135351213-118
9St Louis City133731920-116
10Seattle SoundersSeattle143561617-114
11Portland TimbersPortland143472629-313
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas132562124-311
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1431102233-1110

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