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Oct 17, 2021 at 12.30am UK
DC UnitedDC United
0-0
NashvilleNashville SC

Canouse (33'), Mora (46')
FT

Williams (62'), McCarty (90+4')

Preview: DC United vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: DC United vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between DC United and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

DC United have a chance to maintain their current fifth-place standing in the ultra-competitive Eastern Conference of MLS with a victory on Saturday against Nashville SC at Audi Field in the American capital.

In their last match, the Black-and-Red came away empty-handed, conceding a late injury-time goal in a 2-1 defeat to Orlando City, while Nashville drew for a third successive match, 0-0 at New York City FC.


Match preview

With the standings as tight as they have ever been down the stretch of the 2021 MLS regular season, every point is crucial, and when you do not get one, it could be disastrous.

Luckily for Hernan Losada and his side, their late collapse versus the Lions did not impact their position in the standings, but it has put pressure on them to get back to winning ways in a hurry.

DC currently sit in fifth, but Atlanta United and the New York Red Bulls, who are both on the outside of the playoff picture, for now, are just one and three points back of them, respectively.

This team have recently been quick out of the gate, scoring six first-half goals in their last three fixtures, including two in the opening 10 minutes, having scored multiple goals in four of their previous five encounters.

They will be happy to return home to the friendly confines of Audi Field, where they have been incredibly dominant lately, winning their previous four contests there and outscoring their opponents 13-4 over that span.

Losada had hoped that his side could be as high as third following their match with Orlando, and if they want to get into that position by the end of the regular season, three points will be crucial against the second-best side in the Conference at the moment.

Many expansion teams have enjoyed early success when entering MLS, and Nashville are another major success story.

Gary Smith has his Black-and-Gold team in position to finish in second in the Eastern Conference, currently sitting on 47 points, two more than the third-place Philadelphia Union.

This side certainly recognize the importance of winning points, and they have done that better than most in 2021, losing only three matches all year, the fewest in MLS.

Even though defence is a strength of theirs, conceding the second-fewest goals in MLS this year (26), it seems that their opponents have underestimated their ability to attack, and Nashville have made teams pay for that, scoring 46 goals so far this season.

They have not been intimidated when playing away from home either, collecting 11 points on the road since August 28, and they will be the visiting side in four of their final six regular-season affairs.

In their two previous regular-season meetings against the Black-and-Red, Nashville have handled them with ease, putting five past them in mid-August and winning their first encounter against them last season 1-0 with both matches being played in the music city.

DC United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • D



Team News

Julian Gressel opened the scoring for DC in Orlando, his second of the year, while Russell Canouse picked up his second assist on the play, putting him in a tie with teammates Paul Arriola, Junior Moreno and Adrien Perez in that department.

Brendan Hines-Ike is out with a hip injury, Perez has a foot problem, Ramon Abila is nursing a groin strain, Chris Odoi-Atsem is questionable with a quad injury and Drew Skundrich has an undisclosed issue and could be a game-time decision.

Ola Kamara leads the league with 17 goals, one more than Raul Ruidiaz of the Sounders, as he and defender Frederic Brillant scored the only goals in their 5-2 loss to Nashville in August.

David Romney remains the only Nashville player to see the field in every minute of every game in club history, having played in 4,830 minutes since the Black-and-Gold entered MLS play in 2020.

Walker Zimmerman is back from international duty and played a significant role in their 0-0 draw versus the Boys in Blue with six clearances and three blocks, while Joe Willis collected his league-leading 12th clean sheet.

Hany Mukhtar has been a force for this team all season long, providing a much-needed offensive spark to their game which was missing in their inaugural year, leading his side in 2021 in goals (13), assists (nine), shots (78) and shots on goal (37).

DC United possible starting lineup:
Hamid; Alfaro, Birnbaum, Pines, Brillant; Najar, Moreno, Gressel, Flores; Arriola, Kamara

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Romney, Zimmerman, Lovitz, Johnston; Washington, Anunga, Godoy; Mukhtar, Sapong, Rios


We say: DC United 2-2 Nashville SC

These two teams know how to find the back of the net, with DC netting the second-most goals in the Eastern Conference (49) and Nashville right behind them in third (46).

DC are at their best when playing in front of their home fans, but Nashville are equally good on the road and always seem to avoid defeat.



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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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England31216462382469
2Nashville SCNashville301116347272049
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia301210842321046
4Orlando City30121084342146
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
6CF MontrealMontreal30119104340342
7New York City FCNY City301181145341141
8DC United30125135144741
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls29117113530540
10Columbus Crew30108123740-338
11Inter MiamiInter Miami30105152847-1935
12Chicago Fire3187163551-1631
13Toronto3067173459-2525
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3048183259-2720

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England31216462382469
2Nashville SCNashville301116347272049
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia301210842321046
4Orlando City30121084342146
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
6CF MontrealMontreal30119104340342
7New York City FCNY City301181145341141
8DC United30125135144741
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls29117113530540
10Columbus Crew30108123740-338
11Inter MiamiInter Miami30105152847-1935
12Chicago Fire3187163551-1631
13Toronto3067173459-2525
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3048183259-2720
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Forest Green RoversForest Green1383223111227
2Harrogate TownHarrogate136522516923
3Swindon TownSwindon136521811723
4Port Vale136432014622
5Tranmere RoversTranmere13643116522
6Northampton TownNorthampton136341511421
7Exeter CityExeter134812113820
8Sutton UnitedSutton126241813520
9Hartlepool UnitedHartlepool136251413120
10Leyton Orient134722012819
11Barrow134541716117
12Bradford CityBradford134541716117
13Newport CountyNewport134541717017
14Crawley TownCrawley135261519-417
15Salford City134451412216
16Walsall134451617-116
17Bristol Rovers134361520-515
18Rochdale133551416-214
19Colchester UnitedColchester12354912-314
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22Oldham AthleticOldham133281019-911
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24Scunthorpe UnitedScunthorpe13157826-188
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