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Austin FC
Major League Soccer
Jun 4, 2023 at 1.30am UK
Al Saqr Stadium
Real Salt Lake

1 - 2
Salt Lake

Cascante (90+2')
Rigoni (43'), Urruti (62'), Gallagher (64')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Rubin (15', 81')
Davis (7'), Glad (34'), Loffelsend (66')

Preview: Austin FC vs. Real Salt Lake - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Austin FC and Real Salt Lake, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austin FC will be looking to consolidate their place in the MLS playoffs when they take on Real Salt Lake at the Q2 Stadium on Saturday evening.

The hosts are eighth in the table, having acquired 19 points in 15 games, while the visitors are down in 12th after a disappointing start to the campaign.

Match preview

Austin FC players celebrate after a goal on May 10, 2023© Reuters

Austin got off to a very poor start this season, picking up just four points from their opening eight MLS games, but recent performances indicate they have finally started to turn the corner.

The Verde and Black have won three of their last four MLS games, meaning they have shot up the table, and they could climb into the top seven with another win on Saturday evening.

In their most recent match, Josh Wolff's side defeated Minnesota United 2-1 courtesy of a first-half Jon Gallagher effort and a late goal from Sebastian Driussi, the forward's first since returning from a seven-game injury layoff.

Recent history is on Austin's side heading into Saturday's game, as they have won their last three games against their opponents, and the visitors look set for a very tough test given their poor start to the season.

Indeed, Real Salt Lake have struggled to get to grips with MLS so far this season, collecting just 16 points from 15 games, but they are still just two points off the playoff places.

As such, Salt Lake still have every chance of making a success of his season, but they will have to start improving soon, having now won just one of their last seven MLS games.

The most recent result will be particularly disappointing for manager Pablo Mastroeni, with his side succumbing to a 3-2 defeat at home against Los Angeles Galaxy, the team that were bottom of the Western Conference before the match.

If there is one positive to take into Saturday's game, it is that the Claret and Cobalt are undefeated in their last three league away games, although they have only won one of those, defeating Colorado Rapids 3-2.

Another improvement Real Salt Lake have made is in the goal-scoring department, having scored six in their last three games after previously going four games without a goal, but Mastroeni will need his side to improve defensively if they are to take anything from the match.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff directs his team in the first half at America First Field on March 11, 2023© Reuters

Austin have a couple of players in the treatment table, with Zan Kolmanic out due to a long-term knee issue, while Leo Vaisanen will be unavailable due to a more recent injury, which has caused him to miss the last two games.

Given that his side have improved considerably recently, Wolff may choose to stick with the vast majority of the team that started last week, but Driussi is likely to be handed a start in attack after scoring as a substitute, replacing Gyasi Zardes in the starting lineup.

As for Real Salt Lake, Zackery Farnsworth remains absent due to a muscle problem, with fellow defender Erik Holt also ruled out due to an injury which has seen him miss the last three matches.

After the disappointing 3-2 loss against LA Galaxy last time out, Mastroeni may bring Maikel Chang back into the side, replacing Andres Gomez at right-wing, while Bertin Jacquesson could come in for Damir Kreilach in attack.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Cascante, Ring; Gallagher, Djeffal, Pereira, Lundqvist; Finlay, Fagundez, Driussi

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
Beavers; Eneli, Silva, Ramirez, Brody; Chang, Ojeda, Ruiz, Savarino; Jacquesson, Musovski

SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 1-1 Real Salt Lake

Although Austin FC have shown signs of improvement recently, Real Salt Lake have been decent away from home in recent weeks, picking up five points from their last three games.

As such, we expect Saturday's game to finish all-square, with Austin just about managing to keep their place in the MLS playoffs.

How to watch

You can watch Austin FC vs. Real Salt Lake 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 CincinnatiCincinnati159331912730
4New York City FCNY City157351816224
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Columbus Crew145721913622
7Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
8DC United155552124-320
9Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
10Orlando City144551520-517
11Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143561716114
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152491327-1410
15New England RevolutionNew England13229925-168

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1484227141328
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd127322114724
3Los Angeles FCLos Angeles146442419522
4Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy145722521422
5Austin FCAustin146441917222
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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