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Preview: DC United vs. New England Revolution

Preview: DC United vs. New England Revolution

Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Major League Soccer clash between DC United and New England Revolution, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

DC United and New England Revolution will be looking to begin the 2024 MLS campaigns on a high when they go head to head in the season opener at Audi Field on Saturday.

The Revs head into the weekend off the back of securing a first-leg victory over Independiente de la Chorrera in the CONCACAF Champions Cup qualifiers and will look to keep the juggernaut rolling.

Match preview

DC United players huddle prior to their match on July 30, 2023© Reuters

DC United endured a forgettable 2023 campaign as they finished 12th in the Eastern Conference standings and failed to end their four-year absence from the playoffs.

Troy Lesesne‘s men won just 10 of their 34 games in the regular season while losing 14 and claiming 19 draws to collect 40 points, missing out on post-season football by just three points.

DC United kicked off preparations for the new MLS campaign on a high as they steamrolled Sudan 6-0 in their first pre-season fixture at the Abdullah Sports City in Saudi Arabia on January 30.

However, the Black-and-Red have failed to win each of their subsequent three outings, picking up a 1-1 draw against Al-Wehda on February 3 before losing consecutive games against Al-Hilal and Al-Ettifaq.

DC United now kickoff the season against an opposing side who have won each of the last three meetings between the teams, scoring seven goals and keeping two clean sheets since a 3-2 loss in April 2022.

New England Revolution midfielder Carles Gil (10) reacts after scoring a goal on April 2, 2023© Reuters

New England Revolution enjoyed a solid campaign in the regular season last year as they picked 55 points from 34 matches to finish fifth in the East and secure a return to the playoffs, having missed out in 2022.

However, they suffered a disappointing first-round exit from the playoffs as they lost both home and away ties against Philadelphia Union, suffering a 3-1 defeat at Subaru Park on October 28, two weeks before losing 1-0 in the return leg on home turf.

While New England Revolution will be looking to begin the new MLS campaign as they mean to go on, their performance in pre-season offers little optimism as they have failed to win any of their five warm-up matches, losing four and claiming one draw since the turn of the year.

Particularly worrisome for manager Caleb Porter has been his side’s struggles at the attacking end of the pitch, where they failed to score in three of their five pre-season matches while conceding 13 goals at the opposite end of the pitch.

However, the Revs turned in a solid team performance on Thursday morning when they picked up a 1-0 victory over Independiente de la Chorrera in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup first qualifying round courtesy of a second-half strike from Tomas Chancalay.

Porter will hope the midweek cup victory can serve as a catalyst for a fine early-season form for his side as they look to extend their recent dominance against the hosts and pick up a dream start to the new campaign.

DC United Major League Soccer form:

New England Revolution Major League Soccer form:

New England Revolution form (all competitions):

DC United head coach Troy Lesesne speaks at his introductory press conference at Audi Field on January 11, 2024© Reuters

DC United have been active in the market this off-season and will be with several new faces this weekend, including the likes of Matti Peltola, Finish international Matti Peltola and Brazilian youngster Gabriel Pirani.

With 14 goals and three assists, veteran striker Christian Benteke was a standout performer for the Black-and-Red last season and the former Belgian international looks set to lead the attack again this season.

On the injury front, DC United remain without Martin Rodriguez, who is currently recuperating from a cruciate ligament tear, while Mohanad Jeahze and Tyler Miller have been sidelined through calf and rib injuries respectively.

Former Derby County man Henrich Ravas made his New England Revolution debut against Independiente de la Chorrera in midweek and should make his first MLS appearance on Saturday.

Ravas is one of several signings by Porter’s men during the off-season, alongside former San Jose Earthquake man Jonathan Mensah and ex-Austin defender Nick Lima.

The Revs will have to make do without Colombian forward Dylan Borrero and 28-year-old defender Brandon Bye, who both continue their spells on the sidelines through cruciate ligament injuries.

DC United possible starting lineup:
Bono; Herrera, Birnbaum, Canouse, Akinmboni; Dobbelaere, Hopkins, Pirani, Klich, Ku-DiPietro; Benteke

New England Revolution possible starting lineup:
Edwards Jr.; Farrell, Kessler, Romney, Jones; Bye, Polster; Buck, Gil, Bou; Vrioni

SM words green background

We say: DC United 2-2 New England Revolution

New England Revolution have won four of their last five visits to Audi Field and will be backing themselves to come away with the desired results once again. However, we predict DC United will do just enough to force a share of the spoils.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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