The Nashville SC vs. Toronto FC game will be another road game for TFC. Despite TFC being winless on the road, they have only lost one game in three games.
Nashville SC vs Toronto FC Predictions for Saturday
Nashville SC Run Of Form (2-2-1)
Goal. Assist. Salute.
— Nashville SC (@NashvilleSC) April 2, 2023
Nashville SC comes into this game with a high. They won the road game against Orlando City SC by a scoreline of 2-0. Even with getting outshot, they still found a way to get the win. Fafa Picault and Hany Muktar were the goal-scorers for Nashville in last weekend’s game. This is what head coach Gary Smith from Casey Dunau of MLS Soccer said about one of the goal scorers, Mukhtar when he assisted on Picault’s goal:
“It’s pure inspiration from Hany,” raved Smith. “… He’s a genius. If he was in any other walk of life, if he created new lightbulbs, you know, he’d probably [find] another way to create electricity or something. He’s just such an intelligent lad. He sees things quicker than a lot of other people.”
Mukhtar has one goal and three assists in his last four games. He will be a player to watch out for come Saturday. Shaquell Moore is second with two assists. Jacob Shaffelburg, the former TFC player and Nova Scotian native, will play against his former team for the first time on Saturday. It was a bit surprising not to see Shaffelburg make the CanMNT roster for the Concacaf Nations League games in March.
Nashville currently has a record of three wins, one draw, and two losses. The problem Nashville has is scoring enough goals to earn themselves results in close games. They will look to improve that at home at GEODIS Park.
Toronto FC Run Of Form (1-4-0)
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) April 5, 2023
Toronto FC started the game brightly, scoring two goals, including one within the first 10 minutes of the game. In particular, TFC succeeded with their set-pieces against Charlotte FC as that is how TFC scored their first two goals.
However, it was their inability to keep a lead that once again led to their downfall. This is what Bernardeschi said about his goal scored and the need to control the game in the second half (source: Toronto FC Twitter Account):
“I’m happy about the goal, but I’m a little bit frustrated for the result… we played very good football, we controlled the game in the first half, and we are at home, in our stadium. In the second half, we have to control the game.”
Toronto is going to need to play 90+ minutes against Nashville this upcoming weekend. TFC was a bit fortunate to not give up a goal after Bernardeschi scored in the sixth minute. Their defence does need to improve quite a bit as the goalkeeper, Sean Johnson, cannot be the one to save them in every game.
TFC only has one win to show in their last five games. However, they also are in a five-game unbeaten run. They are a team that has generally started off strong and had a lead sometime in the second half, but give up the win late against their MLS opposition, even at home against the Columbus Crew SC and Charlotte SC.
Since Nashville SC began MLS play in 2018, the overall head-to-head has been fairly even between both teams. In the last three games though, TFC has won two and drew one game against Nashville. The road wins against Nashville were one of only two road wins Toronto had all year last year.
However, the most notable game went in favour of Nashville SC. This was the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs, where Nashville shocked Toronto and defeated them in extra-time by a scoreline of 1-0 in Hartford, Connecticut.
TFC is missing Lorenzo Insigne, who has been out since the MLS season-opening loss to D.C. United. He is out with a calf injury; it is not known when he will return. The player who might return is Cristian Gutierrez. Gutierrez was recently signed by Toronto less than a month ago but has been out because of the flu according to transfermarkt. On the same site, centre-back, Nick DePuy, had Achilles tendon surgery and it is unknown when he will return.
Jacob Shaffelburg says that he’s super excited to play against Toronto FC for the first time since being traded this weekend. If he scores….
“I won’t celebrate. I’ve got a lot of respect for Toronto, so I won’t celebrate.” pic.twitter.com/UqCPi8MLiv
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) April 6, 2023
Nashville SC 3 – Toronto FC 2
TFC have only lost one game this year, and even in that game, they led 2-1 until late in the game. Toronto is a team right now that does not win a lot of games, but they also do not lose many either.
So, this game will be very tight. However, with Nashville getting that road victory, they can take advantage of TFC’s defensive frailties and the home crowd to win their second-straight game this year in MLS play.
Photo Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports on August 6, 2022, of a Jonathan Osorio Headshot.
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