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Austin FC to win
Pick made on 08/16/2022 at 06:18 PM EST
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This is a clash between two sides at the higher end of the Western Conference standings. Austin FC sit comfortably in second place in the conference stands, while Minnesota FC United are in fourth place. There’s, however, a difference of 10 points between the two sides.
The two sides have faced each other only four times with two wins apiece. Everything suggests that this should be a fairly tight affair. The two teams have been part of some high scoring games recently and this could end up being quite similar. Austin FC will have a psychological advantage heading into this one because of their position on the table and the result from their previous meeting.
The two sides contested in a game back in April with Austin FC coming out on top in a tight game that ended 1-0. Maximiliano Urruti scored the only goal of the game for Austin FC in the 58th minute. They were well worth all the three points, dominating proceedings with 56% of the possession and 10 shots on goal compared to Minnesota’s 7. This was also a highly competitive game with 30 fouls in total but no red cards. The upcoming game also promises fireworks.
Sebastian Driussi scored a late winner to give Austin FC all three points against Sporting Kansas City in an enthralling 4-3 win.
It was a brilliant comeback from the Texan side, going two goals down, hitting one back and going down again before scoring three goals to complete the comeback. Donny Hoesen tied the score in the 85th minute and the momentum shift was palpable. Driussi scored his 17th of the season to give the side a win that saw them move further away from the chasing pack in the Western Conference.
Sebastian Driussi has now scored in eight straight games and added another goal to make sure that he’s the favorite for that Golden Boot award. The Argentine has scored 17 goals this season but it’s the all-round nature of these performances that have been most impressive. He presses from the front and also contributes with assists, getting five of them this season.
He has overperformed on his 10.9 expected goals but Austin FC fans won’t care because the hard work for the regular season is over.
There’s been a lot of good fortune in Austin FC’s form off late. They’ve been involved in two games with 13 goals in them but haven’t dropped any points. Since qualification for the playoffs is almost certainly confirmed, it shouldn’t matter to0 much for now. They’ve scored 54 goals, more than any other team in the league, despite having an expected goal value of just 38.3.
They’ve also conceded 34 goals despite having an expected goal against value of 39.4. The nature of their games suggests that this kind of run is not normal and that these high-scoring games with them coming out on top will stop eventually but there’s no reason for them to look at the negatives for now. They’ve just got to ride the wave.
Hector Jimenez and Freddy Keelman have been out with groin and knee injuries.
Doubts were starting to creep in after two thrillers were Minnesota FC dropped points but a 2-1 victory over Nashville has calmed the nerves. Alan Benitez scores his first goal in professional football to give Minnesota a much-needed victory. They’re in fourth place in the Western Conference standings but can’t afford to get complacent with the chasing pack not very far off them in terms of points.
The most encouraging aspect of Minnesota FC’s play is how they distribute the goals among the forward line. Emanuel Reyoso has scored nine, Luis Amirilla has scored eight and Robin Lod has scored six goals this season. All three of them managed two or more assists as well. With a flexible forward line, defenders have had trouble all season when it comes to marking their front players.
Like Austin FC, this side has also had a lot of good fortune and been part of some high scoring games, which goes to show that they can be got at. They’ve hit 40 goals and conceded 35 but a closer look at the underlying numbers suggests that they’ve been lucky when it comes to finding the back of the net.
Their 40 goals have come from an expected goal value of just 33.2 and the 35 goals conceded have come from an expected goals against value of 39.7. They’ve got a negative expected goal differential, just like Austin FC, but still find themselves quite high up the western conference table.
For all the reasons stated for both sides, this promises to be an end to end game like those that the two teams have taken part in recently. Austin FC have had those margins all season and it’s hard to see Minnesota FC getting them heading into this game.
The team has a long list of injuries. Romain Metanire is out with a hamstring injury, Patrick Weah’s got a knee injury, Hassani Dotson’s got a cruciate ligament rupture, Will Trapp’s got a leg injury and Jacori Hayes has got a fractured leg. None of them have got a set expected return date.
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|Teams||Minnesota United FC vs Austin FC|
|Location||Allianz Field, Minnesota|
|Time||Saturday, 20 August at 8pm ET onwards|
|How to watch||ESPN+, DAZN, Bally Sports North EXTRA, The CW Austin and UniMas Austin (Delay)|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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