MX23RW : Monday, September 27 18:55:37| >> :600:282647:282647:
Aug 8, 2021 at 12.30am UK at Nippert Stadium
CincinnatiFC Cincinnati
1-1
Orlando CityOrlando City
Brenner (42')
Matarrita (53')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Nani (56')
Schlegel (68'), Mueller (77'), Dezart (84')

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

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

After a surprising draw against Inter Miami, who currently sit bottom of the MLS Eastern Conference, second-placed Orlando City must now travel to the TQL Stadium on Sunday in a bid to get back to winning ways.

However, FC Cincinnati will also be keen to get three points on the board, with the team having not won a game since the end of June.


Match preview

Orlando City SC forward Nani celebrates with teammates after winning on June 26, 2021© Reuters

Orange and Blue are one of the newest sides in the MLS, having only joined the division as a franchise back in 2019, but they are on course for their best season to date after finishing 12th in their maiden season, and 14th last year.

Cincinnati currently sit in 10th place, but they do have a game in hand on several of the teams ahead of them, including Orlando City, which does provide the opportunity to close the gap on several teams to potentially reach the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time.

However, Cincinnati will not be able to take much confidence from the fact they are at home considering they are yet to win a game in front of their own fans this season.

Jaap Stam has been improving the defensive capabilities of his team as of late, with the former Manchester United defender having guided them to back-to-back clean sheets in their last two performances.

However, goals have been hard to come by in that period which has resulted in consecutive 0-0 results, while only Inter Miami have scored fewer goals than the club in the MLS Eastern Conference this season.

Orlando City midfielder Mauricio Pereyra celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against D.C. United on May 16, 2021 © Reuters

Cincinnati head into this game searching for their first victory in seven games, a period which may not have been littered in three points, but has seen the team build some consistency with five draws.

Orlando City also head into this fixture on the back of a draw, as Phil Neville's Inter Miami earned a surprise point in a hard-fought 1-1, with a first goal of the year from Antonio Carlos not being enough for his team.

It has been an inconsistent period for Oscar Pareja's side, who have picked up three victories, three defeats and two draws in their last eight fixtures, which has led to them falling eight points behind league leaders New England Revolution.

The Lions are on course for their greatest ever season though, with 2020's fifth place being their best until this point, and the club will be hoping to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs for only the second time in their history.

Portuguese attacker Nani has been a big part of Orlando's success this season, having found the back of the net eight times, but he has also provided six assists throughout the campaign as well, making him the true danger man within this match.

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

Orlando City Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D



Team News

FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam against DC United at TQL Stadium© Reuters

Orlando City will continue to be without two vital members of their squad for this game, with experienced striker Alexandre Pato unavailable with a knee injury, while number one goalkeeper Pedro Gallese remains a doubt after coming off injured against New York City FC.

Both Wilfredo Rivera and Jhegson Mendez will also likely be missing this Sunday, though the team was boosted by the return of Junior Urso against Inter Miami, and he will look to retain his place in the starting lineup.

Nani will lead the line for The Lions as his impressive season continues, while Mauricio Pereyra will also be a threat, with only one player in the MLS having created more assists than him.

Stam will be without Maikel van der Werff, who is still recovering from a torn groin, while Calvin Harris also remains out of action with a meniscus injury, yet the club could be bolstered by the return of Zico Bailey, who is expected back this month.

Other than Caleb Stanko having to be careful due to being one yellow card away from a suspension due to accumulation, Cincinnati will unlikely want to change too much from a side that has proven to be very resilient in recent performances.

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Vermeer; Hagglund, Cameron, Vallecilla, Matarrita; Cruz, Kubo; Barreal, Acosta, Gyasu; Brenner

Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Stajduhar; Teixeira, Carlos, Jansson, Smith; Perea, Urso; Mueller, Pereyra, Nani; Akindele


SM words green background

We say: FC Cincinnati 1-2 Orlando City

This is the exact type of fixture that Orlando City needs in order to get their season back on track, as FC Cincinnati might be tough to defeat, but they equally struggle in picking up three points themselves.

The experience factor that The Lions possess over their opponents should be enough to see them through, potentially setting them up on another run to push for the top spot.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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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How you voted: Cincinnati vs Orlvso City

FC Cincinnati
10.0%
Draw
20.0%
Orlando City
70.0%
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Inter Miami CF teammates celebrate on June 26, 2021
Read Next:
Wednesday's MLS predictions including Orlando City vs. Inter Miami
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England28195453332062
2Nashville SCNashville261112344242045
3New York City FCNY City26116944301439
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2510873225738
5Orlando City2610883738-138
6DC United26114114538737
7CF MontrealMontreal2610793732537
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta269983531436
9Columbus Crew2797113236-434
10Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2586113129230
12Chicago Fire2766152643-1724
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2548132648-2220
14Toronto2647152851-2319

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England28195453332062
2Nashville SCNashville261112344242045
3New York City FCNY City26116944301439
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia2510873225738
5Orlando City2610883738-138
6DC United26114114538737
7CF MontrealMontreal2610793732537
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta269983531436
9Columbus Crew2797113236-434
10Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2586113129230
12Chicago Fire2766152643-1724
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2548132648-2220
14Toronto2647152851-2319

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