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March to the Match: FC Cincinnati

WHO:

FC Cincinnati, 10-4-4, 34 points, 3rd place Eastern Conference, #1 in USL’s hearts

WHAT:

Game 3 of the Dirty River Derby

WHEN:

Saturday, July 23, 2016, 4:00 p.m. EDT

WHERE:

The greatest soccer stadium ever constructed in the universe. The game’s spiritual home. The hallowed grounds of Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio!

WATCH:

You’re going, of course. But in case you can’t because a judge told you you can’t leave the state, you can catch the live broadcast for the first time ever on WLKY-32, which is pretty cool. In the alternative, here’s the reliable old YouTube stream:

WHO, AGAIN?

At this point, we know our enemy. Cincinnati is a good team, but this is a strength vs. strength kind of game, and our strength, offense and possession, is better than theirs. City beat FCC at home before, should have won the home leg of this Derby, and is in a good spot to win today. Cincinnati’s coming off a dizzying high of playing, and losing to, Crystal Palace last week and a 1-2 loss to New York on Wednesday. It’s gonna be hot. They’ll probably be a little tired. Austin Berry isn’t himself. Kenney Walker probably isn’t 100%. What’s left of the ‘Nati back line won’t be glad to see Chandler Hoffman running around in front of, or hopefully behind, them. Sean Okoli is probably pouting somewhere for no reason at all.

This is a winnable game for Louisville City. Expect some physical play from the team in orange and blue, of course, but also expect Louisville City to try and attack the wide areas of the Nippert turf and stretch apart the Cincy defense. Do that enough times, and the goals will come.

STATISTICAL COMPARISONS OF DUBIOUS VALIDITY:

It’s a little weird how comparable Cincy and LouCity are from a shooting perspective. The two teams both have good shot ratios and Cincy actually has more shots on goal this season than Louisville does. The big difference, though, is conversion. Cincinnati has 26 goals on 107 shots on goal, while Louisville has 37 on 98. NICE.

PREDICTIONS:

Cincinnati 1-3 Louisville City. GET THOSE POINTS.

COME ON, CITY!