MX23RW : Wednesday, October 27 12:04:24| >> :600:92866:92866:
Oct 17, 2021 at 2am UK at Austin FC Stadium
AustinAustin FC
0-1
Minnesota UtdMinnesota United

Cascante (42')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Fragapane (16')
Reynoso (59'), Gasper (90+2'), Alonso (90+3')

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

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

Minnesota United currently sit seventh in the Western Conference, only one point above the chasing pack which is led by Vancouver Whitecaps in eighth, making Sunday's encounter with bottom-placed Austin FC a must-win match for the visitors.

Adrian Heath's side have allowed teams to catch up with them in the last few weeks, recording just one point on the board in their last three games, while Austin have picked up six points in that same time.


Match preview

Austin FC head coach Josh Wolff reacts during the match against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on August 8, 2021© Reuters

Austin handed Minnesota a favour during their last outing by beating a playoff rival 2-1, when Real Salt Lake travelled to the Q2 Stadium in Texas.

A brace from Cecilio Dominguez was enough to see off Salt Lake, and Austin were deserved winners in that tie having created 18 chances on goal, which does not come as a surprise considering Josh Wolff's side have tended to create many chances in their matches throughout the season.

Despite being quite creative in the attacking third, Austin have only averaged one goal per game this campaign, which is among the lowest out of all the MLS teams, and they are the lowest scorers in the Western Conference.

Having won two of their last three games, Austin are in the best form that they have been in since the end of June, and with a game in hand on 12th-placed Houston Dynamo, Wolff's side have given themselves a good opportunity to not end the season as the bottom-placed team.

Minnesota United midfielder Will Trapp (20) is congratulated by defender Brent Kallman (14) and defender D.J. Taylor (26) for scoring a goal against the San Jose Earthquakes during the first half at PayPal Park on August 17, 2021© Reuters

Minnesota are in danger of dropping out of the top seven towards the end of this season, and for sure they will need to turn their form around if they are to qualify for the playoffs.

Adrien Hunou gave Minnesota an early lead last time out, but Colorado Rapids managed to turn the game around, despite being down to 10 players for the final 30 minutes, and the Loons ended up as 3-1 losers last weekend.

Perhaps an even more disappointing result was the goalless draw Heath's side had to settle for against Dallas at the beginning of October, and they can not afford to drop any more points to teams below them in the table.

Towards the end of October, Minnesota play against Los Angeles FC and Vancouver, who are currently both within touching distance of catching the Loons, so Heath will want his side to remain above those teams by winning their next two games prior to those fixtures.

Sunday's encounter will be the third time Minnesota have faced Austin this season, and each team have a win a piece from their previous two matches, with Minnesota winning the most recent outing 2-0 in June.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L



Team News

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath during the first half against the San Jose Earthquakes at PayPal Park on August 17, 2021© Reuters

There is a whole host of players unavailable to Wolff this weekend, including Aaron Schoenfeld, Ben Sweat, Danny Hoesen, Matt Besler and Ulises Segura.

Goalkeeper Brad Stuver returned to Austin's starting lineup last time out, after Andrew Tarbell made his first appearance of the season against Colorado, and Stuver will remain between the posts for the home team.

After a fine win against Real Salt Lake, the hosts are likely to name a similar starting 11, including an attacking midfield unit made up from Dominguez, Sebastian Driussi and Diego Fagundez.

Dayne St Clair, Jukka Raitala, Robin Lod and Romain Metanire will all return to Minnesota this weekend after representing their respective nations during the international week.

Despite scoring in their last outing, Hunou is expected to be replaced by Lod, who will lead the line for the visitors, with Osvaldo Alonso also a certain starter in midfield.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Jimenez, Romana, Cascante, Kolmanic; Ring, Pochettino; Dominguez, Driussi, Fagundez; Djitte

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Gasper, Dibassy, Boxall, Metanire; Alonso, Trapp; Fragapane, Reynoso, Finlay; Lod


SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 1-1 Minnesota United

Austin will have taken confidence from their last game and another home fixture gives them a good opportunity to record back-to-back wins for the first time since the beginning of the season.

However, Minnesota will be desperate to get back to winning ways and the conflicting scenarios in each squad currently sets up an interesting encounter which neither side may be able to win.






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How you voted: Austin vs Minnesota Utd

Austin FC
58.8%
Draw
23.5%
Minnesota United
17.6%
17
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Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against DC United at Audi Field on August 24, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

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