FC Cincinnati vs Nashville SC: Preview and Prediction

FC Cincinnati will look to continue the recent winning run when they welcome Nashville SC to TQL Stadium on Wednesday.

The 2024 MLS season continues this midweek with Matchday 16, with all games coming on Wednesday. FC Cincinnati will be in action at home in the latest round of fixtures, hosting Nashville SC at TQL Stadium.

FC Cincinnati finished the 2023 regular MLS season atop the Eastern Conference standings ahead of Orlando City. The Garys have continued being among the best teams in the league this season, losing only twice in 15 outings thus far while trailing the table-topping Inter Miami by one point with a game in hand.

On the other hand, Nashville SC finished seventh on the table to qualify for the final series. However, they have fallen in stature this season, managing only three wins in 14 outings. But the Boys in Gold have lost four times, with the remaining seven games ending in stalemates. So, they have been the draw specialists in MLS 2024.

The corresponding fixture last season saw FC Cincinnati come from a goal down to beat Nashville SC 3-1, with the away team losing two players to red cards. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.

Team News & Tactics

FC Cincinnati

Pat Noonan has several pressing injury concerns hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Nashville SC on Wednesday, the FC Cincinnati manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.

Aaron Boupendza (jaw) and Corey Baird (hip) are the most notable absentees, with the duo putting the offensive department in a spot of bother. Alvas Powell (hamstring) and Yuya Kubo (leg) are the other players on the sidelines.

Roman Celentano will take his spot between the sticks, with FC Cincinnati lining up in a 3-4-3 formation against Nashville SC on Wednesday. The central defensive unit should feature Miles Robinson, Matt Miazga, and Ian Murphy. Meanwhile, Bret Halsey and Luca Orellano should be the two wing-backs. The duo will aim to make an impact on both ends of the pitch.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Obinna Nwobodo and Pavel Bucha. The duo will look to keep things tight in the middle of the park, allowing the attackers to freely express themselves. Finally, Luciano Acosta, Gerardo Valenzuela, and Kevin Kelsy should form a dynamic attacking trifecta, with Acosta reprising the no. 10 role more often than not.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Celentano; Robinson, Miazga, Murphy; Halsey, Nwobodo, Bucha, Orellano; Acosta, Valenzuela, Kelsy

Nashville SC

Like his counterpart in the FC Cincinnati dugout, Rumbani Munthali, who replaced Gary Smith to become the interim manager, has a few pressing issues to deal with ahead of the trip to TQL Stadium. The Nashville SC manager might be without five first-team players on Wednesday.

Lukas MacNaughton (ankle) and Randall Leal (hip) are the confirmed absentees. However, Munthali is sweating over the fitness of Walker Zimmerman (knee), Shaq Moore (hip), and Dru Yearwood (ankle).

Nashville SC will line up in a 4-4-2 formation against FC Cincinnati, with Joe Willis taking his spot between the sticks. The backline should feature Moore, Zimmerman, Jack Maher, and Daniel Lovitz, with Moore and Zimmerman likely to shrug off their issues.

As for the midfield unit, there is no looking past Anibal Godoy and Sean Davis in the central areas. The duo will aim to keep things tight, allowing the wide midfielders to charge forward. So, Tyler Boyd and Jacob Shaffelburg should provide support to the two central strikers, Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Willis; Moore, Zimmerman, Maher, Lovitz; Boyd, Godoy, Davis, Shaffelburg; Mukhtar, Surridge

Ways to Watch

Key Stats

  • The last 13 meetings between FC Cincinnati and Nashville SC favour the Coyotes, who have picked up five wins, with Cincinnati managing only three victories (D5).
  • FC Cincinnati are on a seven-game winning run in MLS.
  • On the other hand, Nashville SC are yet to win a game on the road this season.
  • FC Cincinnati have kept six clean sheets in their last ten home matches.
  • Nashville SC have failed to score in six of their last ten away games.

Player to Watch

Luciano Acosta

Embed from Getty Images

FC Cincinnati might have been top-notch in MLS thus far in the 2024 season. However, goalscoring has been an issue for the Garys, who have found the back of the net only 23 times this term. That brings Luciano Acosta into the equation for this section.

The Argentine attacker has been the standout for FC Cincinnati this season, amassing eight goals and ten assists in 19 appearances across all competitions. Acosta is the top scorer for FC Cincinnati in MLS 2024, and the hosts will hope to have the 29-year-old on song this midweek to continue their winning run.


FC Cincinnati 2-1 Nashville SC

FC Cincinnati might be flying high in the 2024 MLS season. However, they have some underlying issues that Nashville SC can theoretically exploit. But the Coyotes have been horrendous on the road and are yet to win an away game in the league thus far this term.

Luciano Acosta should deliver the goods again, although Nashville SC will also score a rare away goal. In the end, the home side will have more than enough quality to eke out a narrow 2-1 at TQL Stadium on Wednesday.

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