Toronto FC look to extend their winning streak on Sunday when they welcome Nashville SC to BMO Field (7.30pm ET). The hosts have either won or tied each of their last four matches and thus are on the up. The visitors have an unbeaten run of their own to worry about.
After a poor start to the campaign, one that lingered on for much longer than anybody associated with the club would have hoped for, Toronto have turned a corner. The Canadian outfit have made it four matches without tasting defeat.
Last time out, they got the better of Chicago Fire away from home, so they ought to come into this fixture feeling confident. Mercurial summer signing Yeferson Soteldo has started to settle in after his move from Brazil, which has undoubtedly helped Sunday’s hosts to kick on. If the Venezuelan can continue to perform, then there’s no reason why Toronto can’t jump up the Eastern Conference table.
While Toronto struggled for results, Nashville was busy building solid foundations, which has allowed them to rocket to second in the table. Not the most flamboyant of sides, as mentioned in previous previews concerning the men in yellow, Sunday’s visitors are one of the toughest teams to beat, not just in the east but in the whole of Major League Soccer. Like the hosts, the travellers arrive at this point having gone for a while without losing, but their unbeaten run is almost double the length of Toronto’s. Nashville have avoided defeat in each of their last seven, four of which they have won.
Nashville can be tough to beat, regardless of where they play, but their away form is slightly worrying. While they’ve only lost one out of four on the road, Gary Smith’s men are yet to taste victory away from home. Defensively, they are predictably sturdy, as just four goals conceded in four travelling games suggests.
However, at the other end, they’ve really struggled when playing away from the comforts of home. Two goals scored in over 360 minutes of soccer isn’t good enough, even if they are strong at the back. It would perhaps be OK if they’d created plenty and had just been unlucky, but that’s not really the case. Sunday’s visitors have produced significantly less than 1.0 expected goals for in three of their four matches, posting figures of 0.4, 0.6 and 0.7.
The visitors, fruitless as their attacking efforts on the road have been, aren’t likely to have much fear ahead of this fixture, and that’s because Toronto have struggled to get going in the final third at home of late. The hosts have scored two goals in their last three home matches, which isn’t great, but what’s really worrying is the fact that they’ve posted expected goals for totals of 0.5, 0.5 and 0.3 in those three games. Such numbers don’t exactly point towards a side that carries a significant offensive threat.
In addition to such awful xG numbers, the Reds have produced just five shots on target in their last three at BMO Field. Like Nashville’s traveling attacking efforts, that is not good enough.
Lack of goals incoming?
Given what we know about this pair, a lack of goals seems reasonably likely, or rather it seems slightly more likely than the current odds suggest. Those looking to get involved here could seriously do far worse than under 2.5 goals at odds of -105. It’s not the most exciting of plays, but with the USA sports betting websites’ lines the way they are, it certainly seems to be the best in terms of value.
Toronto have been struggling for goals at home of late, scoring two in their last three, while they have not exactly made a habit of being involved in high-scoring fixtures at home, with just two of their six matches at BMO Field containing more than two goals. Only one of Nashville’s four travelling fixtures has produced more than two goals, which increases the appeal of betting on a low-scoring encounter.
The fact that both teams have struggled to produce impressive xG numbers also makes under 2.5 goals very appealing at the current odds. Nashville average just 0.87 expected goals for on their travels, while Toronto FC average only 1.08 expected goals for at home, which is better than their opponents average, but it’s still not good, nor does it suggest that they are likely to spring into offensive action any time soon.
For those looking for something different, a small bet on Yeferson Soteldo to score at any time also stands out as a viable option at odds of +265. If anybody is to sprinkle some attacking magic on this game, then it’s likely to be Toronto’s little magician, who is capable of producing moments of quality that few others at this level can muster.
It took the diminutive 24-year-old some time to adjust to life in MLS, but he seems to be coping much better now. Having scored his second of the season last time out, the tricky and explosive winger, who averages 2.62 shots per match, can make the difference. If under 2.5 goals isn’t your thing, then support Toronto’s number 30 to do the business.
So these are the two betting picks to conclude our predictions for this TFC vs Nashville preview: