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[monks data]
Toronto FC
Major League Soccer
Apr 30, 2022 at 8pm UK
BMO Field
FC Cincinnati

1 - 2

Jimenez (65')
Achara (86')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Murphy (44'), Acosta (52')
Powell (50')

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

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

After a crazy finish on the road at New York City FC a week ago, Toronto return home to BMO Field on Saturday for a date with FC Cincinnati.

Down 5-2 with less than five minutes to play, TFC scored a pair of goals but ultimately lost 5-4 to the reigning champions of Major League Soccer, while Cincy are now winless in four consecutive games after a 2-1 defeat at home to Los Angeles FC.

Match preview

Toronto FC forward Jesus Jimenez (9) celebrates with midfielders Luca Petrasso (38, left) and Jacob Shaffelburg (22) after scoring against New York City FC in the first half at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Bob Bradley had a lot to unpack from the Reds' performance last weekend, and understandably so, as his players were lethal for the opening half-hour and then paid the price for sitting back before coming out of nowhere to nearly salvage a point.

By the 27th minute last weekend Toronto were up 2-0, then they took their foot off the gas, according to Bradley, who saw his side get exposed out wide with overloads from the Pigeons, putting the Canadians on their heels, as they conceded five times.

In spite of that defeat, there were plenty of positives for them to take away from that encounter, notably their never say die attitude, while it also seems like they have found a solid number nine who can capitalise on his opportunities in the final third.

The Reds' unbeaten run may have come to an end, but they have a chance to continue their winning ways at BMO Field, claiming victory in three straight home games by a 2-1 score.

Another triumph this weekend would mark the first time that TFC have won four consecutive home fixtures in an MLS regular season since their title-winning campaign of 2017 when they claimed three points in seven successive encounters under former manager Greg Vanney.

This team have been better at reacting when going behind than closing out a game with the lead, losing two of their three matches this year when scoring first, while dropping only one encounter all season after conceding the opener.

FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against CF Montreal in the first half at TQL Stadium on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Speaking of squandering leads, Cincinnati managed to do that on Sunday, losing to the top side in MLS, as they remained winless all-time against LAFC (0-2).

That was only the second time this year in which Pat Noonan saw his team go into half time with the lead, losing for only the second time in 2022 when drawing first blood.

The effort of the Orange and Blue has been evident in all of their matches this month, though the results have not gone their way, and according to Noonan, it has come down to an inability to make those big moments in front of goal count.

Being on the road for three of their next four MLS affairs may be a welcomed change for a team that have now lost more home games in the league when leading (seven) than they have won (six, with five draws).

Some quality individuals have proven to be difference-makers already in 2022, although when you look at the statistics, it is apparent that they need more production out of their supporting cast to be consistently successful.

Sitting in the basement of the Eastern Conference is an all too familiar feeling for Cincy, as a lot of their solid efforts have been wasted by some late mental lapses, conceding six goals this year with fewer than five minutes to play in either the first or second half.

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

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

FC Cincinnati form (all competitions):
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L

Team News

Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley calls out to his team during the second half against New York City FC at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Jesus Jimenez notched a brace to put Toronto up by two before the half-hour mark in New York as he is tied with Sebastian Driussi for the league lead in goals with six, while Deandre Kerr and Michael Bradley each scored their first of the campaign off headers, thanks to a couple of excellent set-piece deliveries from Alejandro Pozuelo.

It was a special match for midfielder Jonathan Osorio last weekend, as the Canadian international collected his 300th cap in all competitions for TFC, as well as setting up the opening goal, his third assist of the year.

Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Ralph Priso and Noble Okello are all likely to miss this match because of lower-body injuries, while Jayden Nelson sat out of their previous game through suspension.

Cincinnati are missing several regulars at the moment, including Ronald Matarrita, who recently underwent ankle surgery, Ray Gaddis will be questionable with a leg injury and their leading goalscorer Brandon Vazquez is also questionable with the same issue.

Goalkeeper Roman Celentano made his first career MLS start last weekend, replacing Alec Kann, who has a lower-body injury, as the 21-year-old stopped six of the eight shots fired his way.

Luciano Acosta has created many chances this year, and he scored their only goal in their defeat versus the Black and Gold, while Alvas Powell made his 150th league appearance in that encounter, John Nelson earned his first start domestically and Arquimides Ordonez saw the field for the first time domestically in 2022.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Mavinga, Salcedo, Chung; Shaffelburg, Bradley, Osorio, Thompson; Petrasso, Pozuelo; Jimenez

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Celentano; Murphy, Cameron, Blackett, Nelson; Powell, Kubo, Moreno; Acosta; Badji, Brenner

SM words green background

We say: Toronto 2-1 FC Cincinnati

These teams have played in some crazy back and forth games this month, and while we do not expect as much unpredictability in this encounter, we believe that Toronto will come out on top.

The Reds have reacted well this season when faced with adversity, and that resilience could be the difference in this one, even if Vazquez is cleared to play for Cincy.

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Data Analysis

Our analysis of all available data, including recent performances and player stats up until an hour before kickoff, suggested the most likely outcome of this match was a Toronto win with a probability of 54.32%. A draw had a probability of 23.8% and a win for FC Cincinnati had a probability of 21.87%.

The most likely scoreline for a Toronto win was 1-0 with a probability of 11.32%. The next most likely scorelines for that outcome were 2-0 (9.75%) and 2-1 (9.75%). The likeliest drawn scoreline was 1-1 (11.32%), while for a FC Cincinnati win it was 0-1 (6.58%). The actual scoreline of 1-2 was predicted with a 5.7% likelihood.

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Game History

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CF Montreal midfielder Djordje Mihailovic (8) reacts with midfielder Joaquin Torres (10) after scoring a goal against Atlanta United during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 19, 2022
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Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami16104238211734
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1510322314933
3New York City FCNY City158251916326
4Columbus Crew146622113824
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652125-418
10Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
11Orlando City144461522-716
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143471717013
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581427-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England132110926-177

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1585230171329
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd137422417725
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy156722722525
4Los Angeles FCLos Angeles147342519624
5Austin FCAustin156542018223
6Colorado RapidsColorado156452726122
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver145452017319
8Houston DynamoHouston145361315-218
9Seattle SoundersSeattle154561818017
10Portland TimbersPortland154472830-216
11St Louis City143742022-216
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas142572226-411
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1532102334-1111

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