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[monks data]
St Louis City
Major League Soccer
Apr 14, 2024 at 9.45pm UK
Austin FC

St Louis City
1 - 0

Klauss (57')
Ostrak (3'), Carnell (4'), Durkin (37')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Cascante (10'), Gallagher (67')

Preview: St Louis City vs. Austin FC - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Matchday nine of the Major League Soccer (MLS) campaign concludes on Sunday, with St Louis City seeking just their second domestic victory of the year when they host Austin FC at CityPark.

Last Saturday, St Louis settled for a 0-0 draw with Dallas, while the Verde and Black completed a perfect two-game homestand with a 4-3 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Match preview

St Louis CITY SC head coach Bradley Carnell looks on on March 10, 2024© Reuters

After smashing most of the MLS records for an expansion side in 2023, we have seen a regression from St Louis City in their sophomore campaign.

Bradley Carnell's men have eight points from seven league fixtures, seven fewer than they had at this same stage of their inaugural season.

While it has not been as strong of a start for them in 2024, the standings are still reasonably tight in the Western Conference, with St Louis only one point behind the Colorado Rapids and Austin for the final two wildcard spots, with just three points separating them from Real Salt Lake, who are third.

On Sunday, they will wrap up a two-game homestand and can remain unbeaten at Citypark in all competitions this year, posting two clean sheets in their last three domestic home fixtures.

Among their biggest problems so far this year has been their complacency when going in front, squandering seven points in this competition when either scoring first or having the lead in the second half.

They have never lost an MLS encounter versus Austin, winning two of three head-to-head matches domestically, including their only previous home game against them in 2023 (6-3).

Austin FC defender Guilherme Biro (29) celebrates scoring on February 24, 2024© Reuters

The Verde and Black have been wildly inconsistent and out of sorts many times throughout this season, but to their credit, they have shown plenty of resilience.

Josh Wolff's side somehow escaped from Silicon Valley last weekend with a victory despite trailing by a pair of goals on two occasions in the second half, netting three times in six minutes and finding a winner in the 11th minute of stoppage time.

Of their 11 goals scored this season, 10 have come in the second half, with Austin claiming six points when behind after the interval but also dropping four when leading in the final 45 minutes.

With nine points so far in the 2024 MLS campaign, the Verde and Black have one more point than they had at this stage a year ago.

Part of their downfall in 2023 was their struggles away from home, winning only three games, and things have not got any better for them in that regard this season, failing to score in their two away contests this year, collecting just a single point.

They last won three successive matches in this competition from late June to mid-July 2022, claiming four consecutive domestic victories on that occasion.

St Louis City Major League Soccer form:

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:

Team News

St Louis City midfielder Hosei Kijima (85) is congratulated after scoring a goal against the Houston Dynamo during the second half at CITYPARK on February 21, 2024© Reuters

Joshua Yaro will not be available for St Louis due to a sore hamstring, and Njabulo Blom has been ruled out because of a nagging knee injury.

Joakim Nilsson might be a possibility to return this weekend from a broken rib, while Eduard Lowen is close to full strength after previously sustaining a hamstring ailment.

Rasmus Alm made his first start for St Louis a week ago, Anthony Markanich led the team with four chances created against Dallas, while Roman Burki collected his second clean sheet of the campaign and his 10th over the past two seasons.

Zan Kolmanic will be doubtful for Austin on Sunday because of a hamstring issue, while Leo Vaisanen has a plantar fascia injury.

Emiliano Rigoni has been an unused substitute by Wolff in their last two encounters, Matt Hedges is seeking his first start since their 2-0 defeat to Orlando City last month, while Gyasi Zardes has not started since their 2-2 draw against St Louis.

Sebastian Driussi helped spark their comeback against the Quakes, scoring just beyond the hour mark and rounding out the scoring in the latter stages with Jader Obrian and Guilherme Biro netting in between.

St Louis City possible starting lineup:
Burki; Totland, Hiebert, Parker, Markanich; Durkin, Ostrak; Alm, Jackson, Pompeu; Klauss

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Jimenez, Cascante, Hines-Ike, Gallagher; Ring, Pereira; Obrian, Driussi, Wolff; Zardes

SM words green background

We say: St Louis City 2-2 Austin FC

Both sides have played their share of exciting games this season, but neither have been all that convincing nor shown the ability to hang onto an advantage for long, which is why we project they will each collect a point.

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

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