It’s Halloween night in Nashville as the Fire get set to take on the 2020 MLS newcomers for the first time at Nissan Stadium on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. CT (WGN, ESPN+).
The Fire were narrowly defeated 2-1 in Philadelphia on Wednesday, and will now look to pickup three points in Music City to bolster their positioning towards the MLS Cup Playoffs. Nashville and former Fire captain Dax McCarty enter the matchup currently in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, having clinched their place in the postseason with a 1-0 win against Montreal on Tuesday.
With lineups now released ahead of kickoff, here’s how head coach Raphael Wicky has set up his team for Saturday night’s All Hallow’s Eve affair:
- There’s been one change made to the lineup from Wednesday’s match in Philadelphia. Defender Miguel Navarro returns to the opening XI for the first time since Oct. 3, having recently completed quarantine following participating in World Cup Qualifying with Venezuela. He replaces Jonathan Bornstein. Navaro will lineup out wide defensively opposite Boris Sekulić this evening.
- Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth crosses off a league milestone tonight, making his 200th regular season appearance in MLS as tonight’s starter in net.
- Captain Francisco Calvo is back in the starting lineup after nearly being suspended for Saturday’s match due to a red card shown in Philadelphia. The Fire successfully appealed Calvo’s one-game suspension on Friday.
- Forward Robert Berić got his team-leading 10th goal of the season on Wednesday in Philadelphia and returns tonight to lead the Fire attack.
- Returning to the midfield is Djordje Mihailović, who’s assist to Berić on Wednesday gave him five on the season — a new single-season career high for the 21-year-old.
- Gastón Giménez returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday after time spent with Paraguay in World Cup Qualifying, and gets his 15th start of the season.
- He’ll partner with Álvaro Medrán, who — alongside Mauricio Pineda — will start for the 20th time this season. Medrán and Pineda are the only Fire players to start every Fire match in 2020.
- Przemysław Frankowski and Ignacio Aliseda will patrol the wide channels in midfield together for the third straight match.
- Available to Wicky as substitutions tonight are midfielders Micheal Azira, Fabian Herbers, Brian Gutiérrez and Elliot Collier, defenders Jonathan Bornstein, Carlos Terán, Wyatt Omsberg, and Andre Reynolds II and goalkeeper Connor Sparrow.
- Forward CJ Sapong is unavailable for tonight’s match, having been granted an excused absence to be with his newborn daughter.
- Goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm and midfielder Luka Stojanović are not medically cleared for tonight’s match.