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Nashville SC are the heavy favorites going into their cross-conference group stage clash against Seattle Sounders on Saturday. The match will take place at Nashville’s home ground, the GEODIS Park.
Both teams have all but secured a playoff spot as the MLS regular season nears its end. Hosts Nashville SC are seventh in the Eastern Conference, while Seattle Sounders are looking to consolidate their third place in the Western Conference.
The two teams have faced off just twice so far, with Nashville SC dominating the head-to-head record against Seattle Sounders having won on both occasions.
The Sounders traveled to Nashville for their previous meeting back in July last year and were handed a 0-1 defeat by the hosts. The outcome and scoreline remained the same when the two clubs collided in February that same year.
The head-to-head record stacks the odds firmly in favor of the home side as they prepare to take on the Sounders again on Saturday.
Nashville SC have recorded just one win in their last five MLS games, and that came against Sporting Kansas. They have struggled to get the desired result against stronger sides. Nashville have dropped a couple of points against Charlotte FC, San Jose Earthquakes, and Inter Miami.
They were beaten by Atlanta United 4-0 when they visited the side. In their last eight MLS matches, Nashville have recorded just one win. Gary Smith’s side will be looking to get back to winning ways and shake off the poor run of form they have been facing.
Smith’s side has struggled defensively this season. They have conceded at least one goal per match on average in the current MLS season. The stat puts Smith’s side in first place when it comes to goals conceded. The coach will definitely be wary of this as the Sounders visit.
However, in both their previous clashes against the Sounders, Nashville have managed to keep a clean sheet, winning by a margin of 1 goal on both occasions. This should boost their spirits to keep a clean sheet on Saturday as well.
As the MLS 2023 league stage draws to a close, Nashville have a tough set of fixtures coming up. Four of their five games remaining are at home for Smith’s side, but all of them are against tough opponents. They play Seattle Sounders now who have the second-best away form.
After this Nashville face Orlando City who have the best away form in the MLS this season. Next, they will travel to face 2022 MLS Cup runners-up Philadelphia Union before returning home to play title contenders New England Revolution and New York Red Bulls, who are fighting to secure a playoff berth.
Seattle Sounders have won just two of their last five games. The team has the second-best away form in the MLS this season, behind Orlando City, and secured another away win against Colorado Rapids in their previous match.
They also managed to beat Austin FC on the road by the same scoreline as they beat Colorado. However, they have dropped a couple of points in the matches against FC Dallas, Portland Timbers, and Minnesota United.
Brian Schmetzer’s team have a good away form, having secured 1.4 points on average in away games in the MLS. However, their defensive record has been very poor. The visiting side have not been able to register a shutout in any of their last 11 games
This will be a matter of huge concern against Nashville who have a great goalscoring record in their own backyard. The Sounders are also looking for their first win against the fairly new MLS side, who joined the top division just three years ago. The two teams have faced off twice so far and the Sounders have lost both times.
Coach Schmetzer will be without Nouhou Tolou who is suspended for his team’s trip to Nashville after picking up a booking in the victory against Colorado Rapids. The left-back is a first-team starter for Schmetzer and has starred in 25 of the total 29 games played by the Sounders so far.
The 26-year-old’s absence will cause a lot of concern for the visitors who are still without Kelyn Rowe. The 31-year-old picked up a muscle injury in July and is expected to be on the sidelines for a few more weeks.
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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]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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