MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 09:00:58| >> :120:49303:49303:
May 2, 2021 at 12.30am UK at Exploria Stadium
Orlando CityOrlando City
3-0
CincinnatiFC Cincinnati
Akindele (1'), Nani (19'), Urso (80')
Mendez (26'), Mueller (62')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Stanko (78')

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

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

Orlando City take on FC Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference of MLS on Saturday, with both sides looking to record their first victories this season.

Orlando are unbeaten after two draws, while Cincinnati have lost one and drawn one so far.


Match preview

Orlando City head coach Oscar Pareja during the second half against the Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in September 2020© Reuters

Having finished fourth in last season's Eastern Conference table and subsequently qualified for the playoffs for the first time in the club's history, Orlando City will be looking to build on that achievement this season.

Indeed, last season was by far the club's most successful campaign since being founded in 2013, with former Colombia international Oscar Pareja demonstrably instilling more professionalism within the ranks.

However, the 52-year-old will be hoping that his side can get off the mark in terms of wins this season after two draws against Atlanta United and Sporting Kansas City.

Former Manchester United winger Nani - who is currently Orlando's club captain - earned a share of the spoils with a late equaliser last time out, taking his tally to 22 goals for the club.

FC Cincinnati head coach Jaap Stam during the second half against the Atlanta United FC at ESPN Wide World of Sports in July 2020© Reuters

Cincinnati, meanwhile, are an even newer club than their forthcoming opponents, having only been founded in 2018.

They have certainly found life tough in the MLS so far, finishing 12th in their debut campaign and rock-bottom last season.

Former Man Utd defender Jaap Stam has struggled to provide any major improvement since being appointed as head coach last May, having been thrashed 5-0 at New York City FC last time out after squandering a two-goal lead to Nashville SC on the opening day.

Stam will be keen to avoid becoming the Eastern Conference's whipping boys, with NYCFC's tally of 10 shots on target across the 90 minutes an alarming statistic ahead of Saturday's match against an Orlando side packed with attacking talent.

Orlando City Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L



Team News

Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani pictured in action for Portugal in 2017© Reuters

Former AC Milan forward Alexandre Pato missed Orlando's 1-1 draw in Kansas City last time out, and will likely be absent once again due to a leg injury.

Robin Jansson, Oriol Rosell and David Loera are all suffering with leg injuries, too, so are unlikely to be considered by Pareja for selection.

Tesho Akindele is likely to lead the line, with Nani hoping to profit from any space in behind.

Cincinnati, meanwhile, are likely to travel to Orlando without Maikel van der Werff, Franko Kovacevic and Isaac Atanga due to injury.

Jurgen Locadia, who is on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, could make his first league start of the season having only been used from the bench by Stam in the opening two matches, with other changes possible after the drubbing suffered in New York.

Gustavo Vallecilla remains unavailable due to visa issues.

Orlando City possible starting lineup:
Gallese; Teixeira, Carlos, Schlegel, Smith; Urso, Mendez, Perea; Michel, Akindele, Nani

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Cropper; Gyau, Bailey, Pettersson, Matarrita; Barreal, Mokotjo, Kubo, Locadia; Cruz; Brenner


SM words green background

We say: Orlando City 2-1 FC Cincinnati

We expect the hosts to earn their first win of the season against a Cincinnati side which looked desperately out of sorts in their 5-0 defeat to NYCFC.

However, Stam's side will almost certainly show more fight and spirit than in that loss, with Orlando likely to be made to work much harder for a win.



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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Daryl Dike in action for Orlando City on November 20, 2020
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England25174447291855
2Nashville SCNashville231011238211741
3Orlando City2410863533238
4New York City FCNY City23105841271435
5DC United24104103933634
6CF MontrealMontreal249783430434
7Atlanta UnitedAtlanta248973228433
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2586112934-530
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2465132438-1423
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2348112342-1920
14Toronto2436152650-2415

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England25174447291855
2Nashville SCNashville231011238211741
3Orlando City2410863533238
4New York City FCNY City23105841271435
5DC United24104103933634
6CF MontrealMontreal249783430434
7Atlanta UnitedAtlanta248973228433
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2586112934-530
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2465132438-1423
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2348112342-1920
14Toronto2436152650-2415

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