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FC Cincinnati
Major League Soccer
May 5, 2022 at 12.30am UK
Nippert Stadium
Toronto FC

2 - 0

Harris (2'), Acosta (57' pen.)
Nwobodo (59'), Blackett (75'), Barreal (88')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Nelson (12')
Priso-Mbongue (6')

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

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Major League Soccer clash between FC Cincinnati and Toronto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

FC Cincinnati and Toronto face each other for the second time in less than a week as both teams have a shot at climbing back into a playoff position in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer.

The Orange and Blue are just a single point behind TFC following a 2-1 road victory against them on Saturday as they look for their second victory of the year on Wednesday at TQL Stadium.

Match preview

FC Cincinnati defender Ronald Matarrita (22) reacts to the crowd after scoring a goal against Inter Miami CF in the first half at TQL Stadium on March 19, 2022© Reuters

It was another promising start for Cincinnati on Saturday, though this time, they were able to finish the job and earn three points, ending a four-game winless run domestically in the process.

Fighting through adversity has not been easy for this side so far in 2022, scoring first in every match played last month but capturing only four out of a possible 12 points in MLS.

Manager Pat Noonan has been pleased with how determined his team have played in stretches of their games of late, although they seemed to get rattled when conceding to the Reds on Saturday, narrowly escaping only thanks to some near misses by the opposition.

Cincy have racked up 17 wins in three-plus MLS seasons, with one-third of those victories coming against Eastern Canadian opponents (three versus Toronto and three against CF Montreal).

Since the opening of TQL Stadium in 2021, the Orange and Blue have rarely been able to use home field to their advantage, winning a mere two of their 21 regular season affairs played there, one of which came against Toronto last year (2-0).

A win on Wednesday would mark their best-ever opening to an MLS campaign after 10 games, breaking the old record of 11 points set in 2021.

Toronto FC forward Jesus Jimenez (9) celebrates with midfielders Luca Petrasso (38, left) and Jacob Shaffelburg (22) after scoring against New York City FC in the first half at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

After some solid performances which saw Toronto build up a four-match unbeaten run, their momentum has been derailed in recent matches.

The Reds have dropped consecutive games for the second time in 2022, and according to manager Bob Bradley, their tempo on Saturday was too slow, which played right into the hands of Cincinnati.

When you consider the youth movement happening in Toronto, it is puzzling to see them want to slow down the pace of a game like they did against the Orange and Blue, as they saw their three-game winning streak at BMO Field come to an end.

Bradley cannot be pleased with the way that his players have defended in recent matches, as they were caught flat-footed on a couple of occasions versus Cincy, less than a week after conceding five goals on 11 shots on target against New York City FC.

TFC have yet to win away from home this season, with their previous road victory dating back to July of last year when they beat the Chicago Fire 2-1.

Finding the proper balance of patience and control, while picking the right moments to press is still a work in progress for the Reds, who have looked dynamic going forward but have not always maintained a high energy level over 90 minutes.

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

FC Cincinnati form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

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

Team News

FC Cincinnati head coach Pat Noonan during the first half against the Charlotte FC at Bank of America Stadium on March 26, 2022© Reuters

Ian Murphy scored his first career goal in MLS in what was the 90th all-time tally for Cincinnati, while Luciano Acosta notched the winner early in the second-half half against Toronto, his 10th for the Orange and Blue, one fewer than Brandon Vazquez, the current record goalscorer for this franchise.

Ronald Matarrita remains out following his ankle surgery, while Ray Gaddis, Allan Cruz and Tyler Blackett all have leg issues.

Alec Kann continues to nurse a lower-body injury, and Yuya Kubo missed their match on Saturday with a sore foot.

Junior Moreno made his 100th career MLS start in what was the 100th regular-season game for Cincinnati, while Obinna Nwobodo saw the field for the first time since joining the club from Goztepe in Turkey.

On Saturday, Toronto missed Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Noble Okello, Ralph Priso and Jacob Shaffelburg with lower-body injuries, while Deandre Kerr was ruled out because of concussion protocol.

In the Golden Boot race, Jesus Jimenez kept pace with Sebastian Driussi, scoring his seventh of the campaign over the weekend, putting him in a tie for the league lead, while Shane O'Neill collected the first assist of his TFC career.

Themi Antonoglou sat out for the entire 90 minutes last weekend after seeing his first action in the previous match, while Jayden Nelson replaced Shaffelburg in the starting 11.

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; John Nelson, Murphy, Hagglund, Powell; Nwobodo, Moreno; Acosta; Vazquez, Brenner, Badji

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; O'Neill, Salcedo, Mavinga; Priso, Osorio, Bradley, Petrasso; Pozuelo, Jayden Nelson; Jimenez

SM words green background

We say: FC Cincinnati 1-2 Toronto

For whatever reason, Cincinnati seem to struggle at home and are not quite as sharp on the ball over 90 minutes.

Although Toronto have struggled on the road, we expect Bradley and his young team to make the proper tactical adjustments in this one as they have done an excellent job at learning from past mistakes.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a FC Cincinnati win with a probability of 40.64%. A win for Toronto had a probability of 34.44% and a draw had a probability of 24.9%.

The most likely scoreline for a FC Cincinnati win was 2-1 with a probability of 8.76%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 1-0 (8.6%) and 2-0 (6.44%). The likeliest Toronto win was 1-2 (7.95%), while for a drawn scoreline it was 1-1 (11.69%). The actual scoreline of 2-0 was predicted with a 6.4% likelihood. Our data analysis correctly predicted that FC Cincinnati would win this match.

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Game History

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New York City FC head coach Ronny Deila (right) looks on during the first half against the Seattle Sounders at Red Bull Arena on April 13, 2022
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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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