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  • Writer's pictureBenton

Next Match – Louisville City vs FC Tulsa – 09/03/2021

A draw and a loss in Louisville City’s last two matches are less than ideal for the club competing to not only secure their spot in the playoffs but also to win the title of best in the regular season. Coach Danny Cruz and the gang will have an opportunity to correct course with their only September match back at home on 09/03 against FC Tulsa. Their last meeting, also at Lynn Family Stadium, was a 2-1 win for City. However, the Roughnecks did get the better of LouCity earlier in the season. The pressure will be on for Louisville to secure a win in this Friday night fight.

Tulsa, as previously mentioned in a prior match preview, is the “team of the neutrals”. They score quite a bit (7th in the league) and let quite a few into their own net (9th in the league). At 4.4 shots on target per match (13th) and 1.7 goals per match (6th), they are a test on even the most organized defenses despite their slightly lower 1.06 xG/match. If the “good-lucky” matrix provides you any meaningful insight, they are luckier than most teams in the league as far as actual points compared to expected has panned out. Tulsa is currently 3rd in the Central Division with an 86% chance to make the playoffs and should not be taken lightly.

As for their plays to watch, it’s the same usual suspects; Rodrigo Da Costa, Marlon, Darío Suárez, and Joaquin Rivas. While they are all excellent, the focus here will be solely on Da Costa. The Brazilian striker is having quite the season. He has amassed eight goals, four assists, 1.7 key passes per match, and an average rating of 7.41. He is the team leader in all of those categories. Shutting him down isn’t a silver bullet, but it would certainly increase the odds of a LouCity win (which is 60% according to FiveThirtyEight).

The Bigger Picture

Louisville City’s odds of winning the Central Division may have dipped to 75% but it’s still theirs to lose. They need to get back to their winning ways to keep the space between them and the Legion in the standings. They are still slated to represent the East in the finals (should FiveThirtyEight be accurate) but it too dropped after the loss to Birmingham. That loss was a missed opportunity to pass Phoenix on the overall table and close in on El Paso. Nevertheless, Morados needs to take things one match at a time and focus on controlling what they can control. They may not have gotten the BHM points, but points against TUL is the next best thing!

Parting Thoughts

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