One, Win, A Tie
As of now, the Revolution currently sits in fifth place with 28 points. Nearing the end of the season, Atlanta United currently keeps them in check for a place in the ten playoff positions. A win and a tie are what New England will currently need to get rid of any chance that they miss the playoffs. In fact, a road win here would get the Revs off to a great start in clinching. They face a Nashville team that has been scoring freely for the past two games.
Additionally, Nashville SC will likely have other words to say about the situation. They are currently trying to establish their own spot in the playoffs. Nashville currently sits in eighth place with 24 points. This year, a triumph over the Revolution will allow Music City to return to the thick of playoff positions. The game, a must-win, is definitely a six-pointer for Nashville, who can keep the Revs down as they climb up.
Offense Needs To Arise To Challenge
The Revolution had 22 shots last game against Philadelphia. In that game, they only struck eight of those 22 in on goal. Obviously, Andre Blake is the reason behind the lack of goals from the eight on target, but, to be frank, we need to find more space to take better shots. Also, more of the shots on target need to be from our strikers who are meant to be in those positions.
Tajon Buchanan had the most shots on goal in the game. He was also the only player to score. Meanwhile, the designated player signing Adam Buksa and veteran player Teal Bunbury combined for 10 total shots. From those shots, between the two, they only had two shots on goal. In these games, the pressure from shots in on the keeper needs to be felt from those important offensive positions.
The Revolution needs that pressure against this Nashville team who has only allowed one goal in the past two games. Adam Buksa said this week that "one game you can miss a few chances but in another game, you can score three or four goals, that’s soccer.". I agree, in theory, but heading into a game that matters for clinching playoffs, it's time to be clutch. If we don't have the clutch finishers, it's going to be impossible to win a playoff game. In essence, they need to create more to feel more comfortable during the end of the season.
Revs Defense Needs To Return To Form
The defense in the past two games has allowed four goals. DeJuan Jones taking over for Brandon Bye at right-back is partially to blame. As well, the poor pairing of Toni Delamea and Mancienne at center-back in the Montreal game. A lack of chemistry and communication seems to have led to some of those goals. It's likely that we see a return of Bye to the right-back position. He will be ready to go after a couple of games off to rest.
In the last game, the Philadelphia Union managed to get quite a few passes off into the final third. The Revolution will need to close down these chances during the game, as this is what led to goals. The Union infiltrated the 18-yard box. In the end, the Revs gave them too many chances too close to home. They paid the price for it. In all reality, though, New England only allowed three shots on goal and seven shots total. It comes down to closing down good finishers.
The Revolution has been better away from home this year. They are 6-2-2 in away games, scoring 15 of their 21 goals scored this year. In the end, they do need to become a team that wins at home. I can see New England putting two past Music City. As a team, they will pounce on open space and make sure to get shots on target. As opposed to the past two games, the defense will also step up to grab a win over Nashville SC, only allowing one goal past.
My prediction is the Revolution win 2-1 against Nashville SC.
For What It's Worth
Here's a picture of Carles Gil boarding the plane to the Nashville SC game. However, it is unlikely that he will get a tryout this week.