MX23RW : Sunday, August 14 15:42:12| >> :120:84806:84806:
[monks data]
Jul 4, 2022 at 1.30am UK at Nissan Stadium
Nashville
2 - 2
Portland
Davis (19'), Williams (57')
Zimmerman (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Asprilla (64' pen.), Niezgoda (70')
Ayala (29'), McGraw (50')

Preview: Nashville SC vs. Portland Timbers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Major League Soccer clash between Nashville SC and Portland Timbers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Nashville SC aim to start a new streak at GEODIS Park on Sunday as they move into the second half of their Major League Soccer campaign this weekend by welcoming the Portland Timbers to the Music City.

The Boys in Gold had a 25-match unbeaten run at home across all competitions snapped a couple of weeks ago, losing 2-1 to Sporting Kansas City, while the reigning MLS Cup runners-up have won two in a row, after edging the Houston Dynamo 2-1 on Wednesday.


Match preview

Nashville SC head coach Gary Smith reacts during the match against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on March 12, 2022© Reuters

Sadly, for Nashville, all good things must come to an end, and while their undefeated streak at home is done, they continue to respond well following a defeat, beating DC United 3-1 last Saturday.

Resilience is one of the trademarks this group have shown a lot of throughout their brief time in MLS, losing 17 games since 2020, dropping consecutive fixtures on only three occasions.

At the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday, Gary Smith saw his team suffer another late mental lapse, allowing Rodrigo Schlegel to equalise deep into injury time, eventually losing the match on penalties (6-5).

On their current campaign, the Boys in Gold have conceded a goal on five separate occasions in all competitions with fewer than 10 minutes remaining.

Halfway through their first season in the Western Conference, Nashville are sitting in fifth, three points behind Real Salt Lake for third, with three of their next four matches to be played at GEODIS Park.

We are seeing them show a lot more composure on the back end in recent times, conceding a goal or fewer in five of their previous six matches in all competitions, allowing the second-fewest goals in their Conference (19).

The Boys and Gold still tend to focus on individual quality to spark them offensively, though they are effective when they can attack in numbers up the field and are dangerous when their fullbacks play in more advanced positions.

Portland Timbers defender Bill Tuiloma (25) receives a red card during the second half against the Houston Dynamo at Providence Park. The Timbers won 2-1 on June 29, 2022© Reuters

Just like we saw around this stage a year ago, the Portland Timbers are starting to move up the standings, jumping from 11th to eighth with their victory on Wednesday.

Giovanni Savarese has seen his players look much more like themselves in recent outings, partly because they are healthier, enabling their continuity and strong ball movements to shine through.

Starting on the right foot, as you would expect, enables them to get into a solid rhythm and dictate the tempo of a match, as they have not lost this year when leading at the half.

Consistency enabled them to transform their 2021 campaign, and that area will need improvement if they are to climb into a postseason position, winning consecutive games only once so far this year.

Sometimes good things can come in bunches, and that has often occurred in Portland this year, with the Timbers scoring 16 goals in their five victories domestically, while only tallying 11 times in their other 13 encounters.

Lately, Savarese has seen his team play a lot more aggressively in their opponent's penalty area, putting opposing defences into difficult situations.

As a result, the Timbers have been awarded three spot-kicks in their last two games, including two against the Dynamo this week, enabling them to claim three points.

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Nashville SC form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L

Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W


Team News

The Nashville SC celebrate after scoring a goal against the Seattle Sounders during the second half at Lumen Field on February 27, 2022© Reuters

Hany Mukhtar is having another big year in Nashville, with the German striker scoring multiple goals in eight regular-season affairs, more than any other player since he joined the league in 2020.

Eric Miller and Alex Muyl missed their penalties in their elimination from the U.S. Open Cup against Orlando City on Wednesday.

Daniel Lovitz and Brian Anunga were incredibly precise with their passing in that encounter, clicking at 92.6% and 91.1% respectively, while Elliot Panicco recorded five saves in 120 minutes of action, replacing Joe Willis in goal.

Robert Castellanos has not recovered from his right ankle surgery, while Handwalla Bwana remains out with a thigh injury.

The Timbers are one of only five teams in the entire league who have five or more players with at least three goals this season.

Bill Tuiloma and Jaroslaw Niezgoda lead the way with five each, followed by Yimmi Chara (four), Santiago Moreno (three), and Sebastian Blanco (three).

Felipe Mora collected his 50th career MLS cap this week in his first appearance of the year at Providence Park, while Aljaz Ivacic made five saves versus Houston, matching his season-best.

The injured list for the defending Western Conference champions is significantly shorter than we saw earlier this season, as Diego Gutierrez has a problem in his foot and Cristhian Paredes is out with a hamstring strain, while Tuiloma will not available this weekend after being sent off in the 75th minute on Wednesday.

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Romney, Zimmerman, Maher; Lovitz, McCarty, Leal, Anunga; Haaakenson; Sapong, Mukhtar

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Ivacic; Van Rankin, Mabiala, Zuparic, Bravo; D. Chara, Williamson; Moreno, Blanco, Y. Chara; Mora


SM words green background

We say: Nashville SC 1-1 Portland Timbers

These are two highly experienced teams, capable of playing with a solid and compact shape, while they have both improved defensively, making for what we anticipate will be a tough match for either side to find enough space in the attacking third.


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


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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How you voted: Nashville vs Portlvs

Nashville SC
70.0%
Draw
20.0%
Portland Timbers
10.0%
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

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