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Club America vs Nashville SC Prediction: Two Major Absentees for Club America

Written by: Nikhil Kalro
Published August 8, 2023
11 min read
  • Nashville SC overcame FC Cincinnati 5-4 on penalties in the first knockout round to qualify for the Round of 16
  • Ten-man Club America beat Chicago Fire FC by a slender margin in the Round of 32 to book their spot in the Last 16
  • Both clubs will face off for the first-ever time in a bid to qualify for the Leagues Cup quarterfinals

Club America vs Nashville SC Odds

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Club America vs Nashville SC Prediction

Club America vs Nashville SC Prediction 

Club America will head into the Round of 16 encounters as the favorites over their American counterpart.

The 14-time Liga MX champions claimed a hard-fought 1-0 win over Chicago Fire in their last fixture. The club faced a major jolt as they lost their talismanic forward, Henry Martin, to an injury during the warm-up session. However, Club America dominated the proceedings in the early minutes, with Chicago managing a few odd forays forward.

The second half started off slowly, with Chicago striker Kacper Przybylko missing an open goal, which could have been enough to cancel out Club America and move the fixture to the penalties. The deadlock was broken in the next minute as a teasing cross from Club America’s midfielder Alejandro Zendejas was turned into his own net by Gaston Gimenez. However, the major disappointment for Club America in the fixture was Richard Sanchez being sent off in the dying minutes of the match. 

Meanwhile, Nashville SC edged past Cincinnati 5-4 in the penalties in their previous fixture. The American outfit conceded an equalizer after striking first off a corner in the 64th minute as the Round of 32 fixture went to penalties.

Their Panamanian midfielder Anibal Godoy netted the goal off a rebound from a deflection off the Cincinnati goalkeeper Alec Kann. However, with mounting pressure from Cincinnati, Nashville SC could not maintain its defensive resilience as the defender Jack Maher took down Brandon Vazquez inside the box. Vazquez made no mistake in converting the spot kick into the equalizer. 

In the penalties after regulation time, Nashville SC converted all their spot kicks to make it through to the next round.

Previous Meetings 

Incidentally, the MLS and Liga MX clubs have never faced off across any tournament. Their meeting in the Leagues Cup 2023 Round of 16 encounters will be the start of a fresh new rivalry. 

Two Major Absentees for Club America

Club America has confirmed the injury of their talismanic forward Henry Martin, and he has been ruled out from the Leagues Cup. As per reports, his injury is more serious than a torn calf, and he will likely miss out on action for at least one month.  

The Mexican outfit will also be without the services of prolific midfielder Sanchez, who received his marching orders in the previous fixture. As a result, Andre Jardine’s side will face challenges in their defensive stability.

However, the likes of Sebastian Caceres and Israel Reyes, along with goalkeeper Luis Malagon, will look to create a strong backbone for the club. 

Pressure to Perform Increases With an Expensive Squad

Club America will, however, bear the burden of performing in all competitions after their management invested heavily to build a squad that can perform well in domestic and international leagues.

After the recruitment of star players Kevin Alvarez and Julian Quinones, the value of the club was estimated to be the highest in the CONCACAF region. The total valuation of the club is approximately $96.7m, which is substantially higher than the second-placed Inter Miami ($77.34).

Club America Expected to Boost Leagues Cup Winning Chances

Club America entered the Leagues Cup as one of the favorites to win the title. The extra pressure to challenge the title was added due to their expensive squad.

However, in the absence of Martin and Sanchez, their squad depth will be duly tested. It will not be a big challenge for the Brazilian coach to name a strong and balanced XI. But the Mexican giants will boost their title-winning chances if they get past the Round of 16.

Nashville SC Resilient at Home

Nashville SC, meanwhile, will look to display their resilience at home to knock out one of the Leagues Cup favorites in the Round of 16. The Gary Smith-managed club has featured in two home matches in the Leagues Cup so far and registered a win and one loss.

The hosts clinched a 2-1 win over Colorado in their first group stage fixture in the Leagues Cup, but a 10-man Nashville SC slumped to a 3-4 loss to Toluca in the second match. However, the club has a strong record in the 2023 MLS to back their cause.

They have won eight out of their 12 fixtures at home, while two matches ended in a draw, and losing as many. Nashville SC have the fifth best home record in the MLS this season.

Coach Relies on a Defensive Formation

The hosts can impose a major threat to the opposition through their defensive approach. Smith relies on a five-man defense, which makes it difficult for the opposition to penetrate through the backline.

Smith has also experimented with the 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-1-1 formations. Moreover, Nashville SC play with a compact structure that is hard to break down and relies on accuracy along with speed in their build-up game.

However, their consistency and fluency in the midfield have been a major concern. But the club has established itself as a regular contender for the MLS playoffs spot and will be looking to use their experience to the fore against the visitors.

Golden Boot Winners Struggling to Score

Nashville SC is currently fourth in the Eastern Conference, but their major concern has been their MVP and golden boot winner from the last edition, Hany Mukhtar. The German attacker has registered a slump in form in the ongoing season as he has failed to carry his goal-scoring momentum in the ongoing season. However, the club still continues to back him, and he will be a vital cog in the Nashville SC line-up against Club America.

Meanwhile, Haiti midfielder Fafa Picault, who has also represented the United States senior team, will be crucial for the hosts in front of the goal. He is the leading goal scorer for the club in the 2023 MLS season, netting four times in 20 appearances. The 32-year-old was also amongst the goals in the Leagues Cup group stage round for his club. 

His Canadian compatriot Jacob Shaffelburg and Costa Rican midfielder Randall Leal will be the other players to watch out for in the hosts' team setup. The duo have netted three goals each in the 2023 MLS and will be looking to make their presence felt in the forthcoming fixture. 

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How To Watch Club America vs Nashville SC 

  • Teams: Club America vs Nashville SC
  • Location: Geodis Park 
  • Time: Tuesday, August 8 at 08:00 pm ET
  • How to Watch: Apple TV, Televisa, Univision, FOX Sports, TSN and RDS.
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Nikhil Kalro

681 Articles

With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]

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