Nashville SC vs Orlando City preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups and ones to watch
Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Nashville SC host Orlando City in the first round of the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs at Nissan Stadium.

The Boys In Gold finished third in the Eastern Conference with 54 points while the Lions set club records for points in a single-season (51), wins (13), clean sheets (9) and home wins (8).

 

The winner of this match will face the second seeded Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference semifinals on Sunday.

Team new

Nashville will be without forward Daniel Rios, who continues to suffer with an ankle injury. Defenseman Dave Romney is doubtful with a calf issue.

Orlando City have a mostly healthy squad, the only missing player being David Loera, out due to a lower-body injury.

Ones to watch

Hany Mukhtar (Nashville SC)

Outside of Valentin Castellanos, the German may be the most dangerous attacking player in MLS. He finished with 16 goals and 12 assists in the regular season and is the heart and soul of the Boys In Gold.

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Darryl Dike (Orlando City)

Tied for the team lead in goals with Nani (10), Dike will need to show the form in this match that he showed against Nashville during the season when he scored twice in three matchups. 

Predicted lineups

Nashville SC: Willis; Maher, Zimmerman, Miller; Lovitz, Leal, Godoy, Muyl, Johnston; Sapong, Mukhtar

Orlando City: Gallese; Mas, Antonio Carlos, Jansson, Ruan; Mendez, Junior Urso; Pereyra; Michel, Dike, Van der Water

Previous meetings

This is the fourth meeting of the year between Nashville and Orlando City with all three prior matchups ending in draws.

In August, C.J. Sapong gave Nashville the lead in the 23rd minute only to see Antonio Carlos equalize in the 58th minute.

A month later, Hany Mukhtar and Randall Leal put the Boys In Gold ahead 2-0 before the Lions fought back to earn a point through goals by Darryl Dike and a stoppage-time strike from Tah Anunga.

Last month, Dike struck in the 18th minute with Mukhtar grabbing a leveler in the 53rd minute.

How to watch

The match will be nationally televised by Fox Sports 1 in English and FOX Deportes in Spanish. Kickoff is set for 8pm Eastern time.

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