Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
Two teams that are only separated by three points in the MLS Western Conference will compete against each other on Sunday if Austin FC host Dallas at Q2 Stadium in Texas.
The Verde-und-Schwarzen ended a three-game losing streak with a 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers and the Toros drew 2-2 against Houston Dynamo.
Prediction for this match
When there is a team Josh Wolff would like to compete against each other again and again, it would be the Timbers who seem to get the very best out of his youthful expansion team.
Last Saturday, the team with the lowest score in the MLS was relentlessly on the attack, firing three goals in less than half an hour on the way to a very comfortable win from all cylinders.
There were many parallels from that game to their 4-1 win over Portland earlier this year, but this team will hope to maintain that momentum this time around, which they failed after their July 1 win with three losses in league games after their four -Gates breakout.
Austin made a point of finding more attack opportunities during the final transfer window, and early on it looks like the addition of. the end Sebastian Driussi paid off as he was instrumental in their win last weekend, unlocking the Timbers Defense on many occasions, and playing a much more favorable role right behind it Cecilio Dominguez.
After such a performance, they probably wish they didn’t have an eight-day break before their next game, knowing what momentum they are currently in.
Technically, this team is strong indeed, with a passing accuracy consistently in the high 80s, but it might be a good idea to be a little more selfish at times in the final third and not fire more than two shots on goal in three of the final four games.
It has to be frustrating for you Luchi Gonzalez Worrying about how his team can do so well against the competing teams in the league, but then struggle to get three points against a beatable opponent.
On Saturday, the Toros had three points under control with the go-ahead goal in the 58th minute, but conceded a goal 15 minutes later in an even game in Houston.
Although they have certainly earned their fair share of chances with six shots on goal, they’re far too easy to break on the defensive when they play away and allowed two goals out of four shots on goal last weekend.
Their 4-2-3-1 formation was particularly shaky on the road, conceding 19 goals in 10 games and only getting away with one win.
Gonzalez has pointed out to his team the importance of channeling the opponent’s energy this weekend and they need to find a way to do it against a noisy home crowd expected on Sunday.
The Toros are only four points behind the San Jose Earthquakes in the playoff chase, but they’ll have to put together a winning run to get over the postseason line and their next three games could tell us a lot about their playoff chances if they follow suit End this game with a visit to Real Salt Lake before hosting the Quakes. The two teams currently hold sixth and seventh places in the Western Conference.
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Diego Fagundez scored the game winner for the Verde-und-Schwarzen last Saturday, his fourth of the year, and is only one behind Dominguez in the team leadership while Nick Lima got his first assist of the season on this goal and was only two behind Jared Stroud so far in this category.
Ulises Segura and Aaron Schönfeld stay on the sidelines with left knee injuries, Ben Sweat has an ACL problem and Danny Hoesen is still on the road with a left hip problem.
Wolff has made three changes to his starting XI against Portland since his previous encounter Julio Cascante replaced Jhohan Romana, Zan Kolmanic started as a left-back instead of Hector Jimenez and Jon Gallagher played as an attacking midfielder and took over from Tomas Pochettino.
Ricardo PepiDallas’ top scorer with nine regular-season goals, scored the all-star penalty for his MLS team in the All-Star game and scored his first goal in the league last week since his hat-trick against the Los Angeles Galaxy back in July .
They are still missing on the injury front Beni Redzic with an ankle sprain, Paxton Pomykal has a knee injury, Johnny Nelson struggles with back cramps and Facundo Quignon is a groin strain.
Franco Jara may return to the team after missing their last game against Dynamo due to a yellow card suspension while Nkosi Burgess made the most of his chance to play this season and scored his first MLS goal of his career last week.
Austin FC possible starting line-up:
Stuver; Lima, Cascante, Besler, Romana; Pereira, ring; Pochettino, Driussi, Fagundez; Dominguez
Dallas possible starting line-up:
Bricklayer; Hollingshead, Bressan, Burgess, Che; Acosta, Cerillo; Fine, Ferreira, Jara; Pepi
Probability: Austin FC 2-0 Dallas
Austin have had limited attacking opportunities all season but they seem to have found the solution with signing Driussi who can add an offensive element to an already solid midfield.
Whenever the postseason is within reach the Toros seem to have a disappointment and they look defensive when playing away.