MX23RW : Monday, September 20 20:43:07| >> :600:134689:134689:
Aug 5, 2021 at 12.30am UK at PPL Park
PhiladelphiaPhiladelphia Union
3-0
TorontoToronto
Glesnes (12'), Gazdag (33' pen.), Santos (36')
Glesnes (26'), Wagner (47'), Mbaizo (90')
FT(HT: 3-0)

Preview: Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Looking to stretch their Major League Soccer unbeaten run to six games, Toronto go on the road on Wednesday for a trip to Philadelphia Union.

The Canadian side have bounced back from a six-game losing run to quickly move off the foot of the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference table, while their hosts have slipped down to fifth spot after a disappointing patch of form.


Match preview

Philadelphia Union head coach Jim Curtin pictured in September 2020© Reuters

While Philadelphia Union only collected one point from their first three MLS games of the season, they would bounce back in style, winning five of their next seven matches and collecting 17 points to immediately establish themselves at the top end of the Eastern Conference.

In what has been a season defined by inconsistency so far, the form of Jim Curtin's side has again taken a downturn since that strong run spanning May and June.

The Union have now won just one of their last seven league outings, with the only three-point haul coming in a 2-1 home win over DC United thanks to Kacper Przybylko's 83rd-minute winner after Yamil Rodrigo Asad's penalty for the visitors cancelled out Sergio Santos's early opener.

However, that did not trigger a turnaround for Jim Curtin's men, who immediately lost 2-1 to Orlando City before playing out consecutive 1-1 draws heading into Wednesday's game.

Their most recent game saw Kai Wagner equalise against Chicago Fire after Przemyslaw Frankowski's opener, with Philadelphia failing to find a winning goal despite their opponents playing with 10 men for 60 minutes following Wyatt Omsberg's red card.

While they have kept their spot in the playoff places for now, Curtin's men will be desperate to turn their form around to stop any further slip down the league.

They take on a Toronto side in hot form, as the Reds climb towards the top seven.

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore celebrates his goal with teammates on May 12, 2021 © Reuters

Toronto had a poor start to the domestic season, winning just one of their first 11 games while collecting five points.

That included a run of six consecutive league defeats, culminating in a 7-1 thrashing at the hands of DC United, with Kevin Paredes, Nigel Robertha, Paul Arriola, Ola Kamara, Asad and Griffin Yow all taking advantage of a drained Toronto side to get on the scoresheet alongside a Ralph Priso own goal.

That triggered the dismissal of manager Chris Armas, and the Reds would immediately turn a corner under the temporary charge of Javi Perez, picking up a 3-2 win over Conference leaders New England Revolution in the first game thanks to goals from Yeferson Soteldo, Kemar Lawrence and Tsubasa Endoh to put an end to their losing run.

The Canadian side followed that up with commendable draws against Orlando City and New York Red Bulls, before picking up a 2-1 win over Chicago Fire with Soteldo again on the scoresheet alongside Nick DeLeon.

Their unbeaten run was then stretched to five games last time out by a 1-1 draw with Nashville SC, as Robert Castellanos levelled the match on the stroke of half time after Omar Gonzalez had put Toronto ahead.

The quick reversal of fortunes has seen the Reds rise from the foot of the Conference up to 10th spot, although they remain eight points behind CF Montreal in seventh place, meaning Perez's men have a long way to go if they are to repeat last season's feat of reaching the playoffs.

Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • D

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



Team News

Philadelphia Union midfielder Quinn Sullivan celebrates his goal with teammates on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Philadelphia Union come into Wednesday's game without full-back Alvas Powell through injury, while Jack de Vries and Anthony Fontana should also remain out of action.

However, they did recently welcome goalkeeper Andre Blake and attacker Cory Burke back after they spent time with the Jamaican national team at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Alongside Burke, the line should be led by Kacper Przybylko, who has hit five goals and registered two assists in 16 MLS games so far this season.

Toronto continue to have several injury concerns to deal with, as attackers Ayo Akinola and Ifunanyachi Achara both remain out of action.

In their absence, experienced forward Jozy Altidore has returned to the side to lead the line, and he should again feature up front alongside Yeferson Soteldo, who has registered two goals and an assist in the last five games, coinciding with Toronto's upturn in form.

Further back, defender Auro should remain out of contention through injury, with Richie Laryea and Justin Morrow expected to line up either side of a back three of Eriq Zavaleta, Chris Mavinga and Omar Gonzalez.

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Blake; Mbaiso, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner; Bedoya, Martinez, Flach; Gazdag, Przybylko, Burke

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Laryea, Zavaleta, Gonzalez, Mavinga, Morrow; Delgado, Bradley, Priso; Altidore, Soteldo


SM words green background

We say: Philadelphia Union 1-2 Toronto

While Philadelphia Union have had the stronger season of the two sides so far, we see Toronto's far superior form seeing them to another impressive result on Wednesday.

The Reds come into the match with plenty of momentum having reversed their fortunes to climb the table, while their opponents have struggled and fallen out of reach of the top three, and we would not be surprised to see Toronto continue their improvement with another win.



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: Philadelphia vs Toronto

Philadelphia Union
13.0%
Draw
26.1%
Toronto
60.9%
23
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Toronto FC players celebrate after a goal by forward Patrick Mullins on June 24, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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