After what was a rare loss last time out, Nashville SC is back on home soil to face a DC United side that has been in excellent form of late. Who will come out on top at Nissan Stadium?
This will be just the third renewal of this fixture. DC searches for a first win against Nashville. Sunday’s hosts won when the teams met for the second time in 2020, winning by a goal to bil at this venue. That victory followed a 1-1 draw in Washington, D.C.
Nashville – Strong at home
Things haven’t exactly gone awry for the Nashville boys, who continue to grind out results, but it’s not been the best few weeks for the men in yellow. They come here off the back of three games without a win, while they suffered their second loss of the campaign last time out, losing by two goals to one away against Inter Miami.
Fortunately, Gary Smith’s men aren’t likely to be short of confidence ahead of this match, as Nissan Stadium is where they’re generally at their best. The team from Music City is the only team to remain unbeaten in the Eastern Conference. They’ve won six and tied five at home.
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DC United – On a roll
It’s been a fruitful few weeks for DC and their fans, who come into this fixture having seen their team go five matches unbeaten. Sunday’s visitors have won three of those five, scoring an impressive seven goals in the process. Even away from home, Hernán Losada’s men have got themselves fired up, losing none of their last three away.
Last time out away from home, DC secured victory for only the second time on the road this season and they did it in great style, beating current MLS Cup holders Columbus Crew by four goals to two. If they can deliver a similar effort, then the visitors could easily take something from this game, though penetrating a tight Nashville defense will be anything but simple.
Expert Pick #1 – Over 2.5 Goals @+110
Over the last few weeks, Nashville has struggled to put the ball in the net, but they have played away from home in each of their last three, and it’s fair to say that there’s been a huge contrast between their travelling efforts and their exploits at Nissan Stadium this term. At home, the goals have flowed for Smith’s men, who are the joint-top home scorers in the east, with a great average of 2.00 goals per game. They’re also averaging 2.00 expected goals per 90 on their own patch, which really is impressive. Moreover, three or more goals have been scored in each of their last three home games. The goals have tended to arrive in their droves in DC’s away games as well, with three or more being scored in four of their last five.
So, with an average of 2.6 goals being scored in DC’s road matches, and an average of 2.9 going in at Nissan Stadium, a bet on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ appeals. Especially when we consider that between them, in their respective home and away games, this pair creates an average of 3.43 expected goals per 90.
Expert Pick #2 – Both Teams to Score @-110
Since entering Major League Soccer, Nashville has been built on being a side that is not easy to break down, but they have started to leak a few goals of late, even at home. The hosts have shipped at least one goal in four of their last six at Nissan Stadium. We know all about their home attacking pedigree, but they’re no longer keeping clean sheets for fun. Add in that DC have been scoring pretty frequently on the road, scoring in all but one of their last five, notching four last time out, and at the current odds, a play on both to find the net here starts to look good. It’s also worth noting that both teams have found the net in four of DC’s last five away games.
Expert Pick #3 – Hany Mukhtar to Score @+195
There are plenty of players likely to be on the field on Sunday evening with goals in them, but at the current odds, a bet on Hany Mukhtar to find the net represents the most value. Nashville’s attack-minded German has netted seven times this campaign, while he has a pleasing average of 0.44 expected goals per 90. The man who is in charge of taking penalties, also averages 3.14 shots per game too, which against a DC rearguard that isn’t too strong at the best of times away from home, is encouraging.
Nashville have been in great scoring form at home, not just of late, but for much of the campaign, while the visitors arrive here with their tails up after some high-scoring away-day action just a few short weeks ago.