Preview: North Carolina FC vs Nashville SC

After an abandoned match against New York Red Bulls II on Wednesday, Nashville SC travel east to take on North Carolina FC. Here's what to expect from the match.

NASHVILLE SC


Nashville SC sit in fourth place in the East with 31 goals scored. After a match at home (plus 45 minutes against NYRB II that won't count), they're back on the road against another high level opponent.

After only playing the first half against New York, I think Gary Smith will roll out the same 11 he started on Wednesday.


INJURY REPORT

To be updated when Nashville sends prematch report to the media

NORTH CAROLINA FC


North Carolina have been better than expected this season under newly-named head coach Dave Sarachan, formerly the interim manager of the US Men's National Team. He's lead his side into fifth place in the west, having handed Tampa Bay their first loss of the season just three weeks ago.

Top scorer Marios Lomis is out for the season after the forward suffered a broken ankle in training at the end of May. In his absence, Ulrich Ewolo has taken over the no. 9 role, offering a good mix of strong finishing and solid holdup play.


Their midfield has been bolstered by the addition of Nazmi Albadawi, who returned to his old club on loan from FC Cincinnati (and will most likely sign a permanent deal with them at the end of the season). He slotted right back into their XI, and is able to consistently play line breaking passes from deeper areas and dictate the tempo of the match. Alongside him, Andre Fortune brings defensive solidity and an ability to break up attacks before they develop into chances.


At the back, 'keeper Alex Tambakis has been stellar - his 41 saves rank second in the Eastern conference, and he's been able to keep NCFC in a match on multiple occasions. DJ Taylor and Aarón Guillén consistently get forward from their fullback positions, and have created a combined 22 chances between them. Overall, North Carolina are a solid side with good balance between attack and defense, as well as a consistent ability to get results at home. They'll almost certainly challenge for a home playoff match, and will pose a stern test for Nashville.

PREDICTIONS


Ben Wright

Score: North Carolina 1 - 3 Nashville

Scorers: Cameron Lancaster, Lebo Moloto

MOTM: Lebo Moloto

Bold Prediction: Nashville pick up where they left off against New York and create plenty of chances in the final third.



Andy Simmons

Score: North Carolina 0 - 1 Nashville

Scorer: Cameron Lancaster

MOTM: Cameron Lancaster

Bold Prediction: Lancaster continues his impressive run of goal-scoring form, making it five-straight appearances where he's found the back of the net.

Jonathan Slape

Score: North Carolina 1 - 2 Nashville

Scorer: Cameron Lancaster, Daniel Rios

MOTM: Cameron Lancaster

Bold Prediction: We get a full game of Rios and Lancaster together and see each get a goal and an assist


Davey Shephard

Score: North Carolina 0 - 3 Nashville

Scorer: Cameron Lancaster, Daniel Rios, Ropapa Mensah

MOTM: Ropapa Mensah

Bold Prediction: Nashville's defense bounces back and ends the game with a shut out.


John Sloop

Score: North Carolina 1 - 2 Nashville

Scorer: Cameron Lancaster (x2)

MOTM: Cameron Lancaster

Bold Prediction: Both goals for Nashville come in the first half.

Have a prediction for this week's match? Vote in our Fearless Forecast!


MATCH INFO

Date: Saturday, 06/29/19

Time: 6:00pm CST

Place: WakeMed Soccer Park, Cary, North Carolina

TV: MyTV30

Stream: ESPN+

Forecast: 94°/72°. Partly cloudy. 20% chance of rain.


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