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[monks data]
Charlotte FC
Major League Soccer
Apr 21, 2024 at 11pm UK
Bank of America Stadium
Minnesota United

Charlotte FC
0 - 3
Minnesota Utd

Petkovic (82')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Oluwaseyi (31'), Lod (49'), Dotson (53')
Bran (90+3')

Preview: Charlotte FC vs. Minnesota United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Charlotte FC and Minnesota United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

For the first time in the regular season of Major League Soccer (MLS), Charlotte FC and Minnesota United will square off on Sunday at Bank of America Stadium.

A late goal at home to Toronto last week enabled the Crown to claim a 3-2 victory, while the Loons conceded in the latter stages versus the Houston Dynamo, losing 2-1.

Match preview

Charlotte FC striker Kerwin Vargas© Reuters

Over the past few weeks, their season has been about leaving it late, but Charlotte squeaked through again last Saturday, scoring the winner five minutes before the 90.

Their form at home this season has kept them above the Eastern Conference playoff line, unbeaten at Bank of America Stadium in 2024, currently in seventh, with just two points separating them from the Philadelphia Union in third.

Dating back to the 2023 campaign, the Crown have points in 13 successive home matches in the MLS regular season and have only been behind in one of those encounters for a mere six minutes versus the Seattle Sounders last June (3-3 draw).

Sunday will be their second match of the current MLS campaign against a Western Conference opponent, with Charlotte playing to a 1-1 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps last month.

With 11 points after eight league fixtures, Dean Smith has this team off to their best-ever start to an MLS campaign, eclipsing the previous franchise-best by two points after eight games in 2022.

The Crown are unbeaten this year when scoring the opening goal but have also dropped four points during this campaign in that scenario.

Minnesota United manager Eric Ramsay© Reuters

Since the end of March, things have not been nearly as rosy in Minnesota after this team got off to such a strong start to the domestic campaign.

The Loons were unbeaten in their first four domestic fixtures this year, winning on three of those occasions, though only one of those triumphs came under current manager Eric Ramsay.

Minnesota have just one point from their previous three matches played in this competition, dropping them down to seventh in the Western Conference with 11 points after seven encounters, the same amount they had at this stage of the 2022 and 2023 campaigns.

Two of their three domestic triumphs in 2024 have occurred away from home, and both of those victories were dramatic, with the Loons netting a winning goal in the 90th minute or beyond on each occasion.

All three of their victories this year have come when they were ahead at the interval, while they have not won an MLS encounter when trailing at the half since a 2-1 triumph over the Houston Dynamo in late August 2022.

While this will be their first-ever MLS regular-season encounter in Charlotte, the Loons played them in a February pre-season friendly at the Empire Polo Club in California, with that match ending in a 0-0 draw.

Charlotte FC Major League Soccer form:

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Charlotte FC striker Enzo Copetti© Reuters

In their encounter last weekend, Charlotte were without Nick Scardina and Adilson Malanda as they were both dealing with thigh issues.

Ben Bender remains sidelined due to a knee injury, Brandon Cambridge has an issue with his right ankle and Nathan Byrne is getting his visa sorted out and also dealing with a sore thigh.

Kerwin Vargas and Liel Abada scored for the first time this season, while Patrick Agyemang's 85th-minute strike enabled the Crown to collect all three points against Toronto.

Emanuel Reynoso skipped his green card appointment and is reportedly still in Argentina, while Miguel Tapias and Zarek Valentin sat out versus the Dynamo because of thigh injuries.

Kervin Arriaga, who had been dealing with a knee injury, was an unused substitute last weekend, while Joseph Rosales is eligible to return from suspension.

Franco Fragapane had the only Minnesota goal in their previous encounter, with Robin Lod serving as the sole Loons provider for a second successive contest.

Charlotte FC possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Lindsey, Tuiloma, Privett, Uronen; Westwood, Diani; Abada, Dejaegere, Vargas; Copetti

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
St. Clair; Taylor, Boxall, Bacharach, Padelford; Rosales, Trapp; Sang-bin, Lod, Hlongwane; Pukki

SM words green background

We say: Charlotte FC 2-0 Minnesota United

The environment and big crowds at Bank of America Stadium seem to give the home side a decisive advantage, and we believe it will again this weekend, as the Loons look like they are still searching for their identity under new management and are struggling to create much without the presence of Reynoso.

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

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