Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Major League Soccer match between Austin FC and Houston Dynamo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austin FC will wait Houston Dynamo at Q2 Stadium on Thursday for Game 13 of the 2023-24 season Major League Soccer season, hoping to avoid a three game winless streak.

Both teams are separated by a single point and a single position in the table, with the hosts needing all three points to climb into the automatic playoff places.

Match preview

Austin FC Head Coach Josh Wolff on May 10, 2023© Reuters

Austin’s three-game unbeaten streak ended after a 2-1 loss to Dallas at Toyota Stadium last Sunday.

Josh Wolff‘s team conceded in each part before Sebastian Driussi pulled a goal back from the penalty spot with six minutes remaining, but they could not complete the comeback.

The Verde and Black have now lost two of their last seven regular season games and ended their streak of three consecutive clean sheets.

Austin sits eighth in the Western Conference with 16 points from 12 games, just outside of the automatic playoff spots.

They return home on Thursday looking to get back to winning ways and will be confident of doing so against a team they boast a perfect home record against. They have won all four meetings they have hosted against Houston.

The Verde and Black have also won the last two meetings between the two sides, including their match last month, and now have the chance to win three games in a row against the visitors for the second time in their history.

Houston Dynamo midfielder Sebastian Kowalczyk (27) is congratulated after scoring a goal on February 21, 2024.© Reuters

The Houston Dynamo ended a three-game league winless streak with a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park last Saturday.

Hector Herrera put Houston ahead after just half an hour, but they surrendered the lead in the 61st minute when Daniel Salloi equalized for Kansas City. However, Aliyu Ibrahim scored the winning goal in the 78th minute to secure all three points for Texas.

El Naranja moved up to seventh in the Western Conference standings, one point clear of their next opponents and taking the last automatic playoff spot.

In what will be their second consecutive away game and fifth non-league game of the season, Pat OnstadHis side have a record of three wins and two losses, which is better than their home form so far.

Austin FC Major League Soccer Form:

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer Form:

Team news

Austin FC defender Guilherme Biro (29) celebrates scoring on February 24, 2024© Reuters

Ethan Finlay is the only likely absence for the hosts as he remains doubtful with a hamstring problem.

Diego Rubio is the top scorer for the Green and Black with three goals and should lead the line again for Austin in this matchup.

Nelson Quinones remains sidelined for Houston as he still has a knee problem he picked up on international duty that has kept him sidelined since February.

Franco Escobar is questionable for the away team due to injury, but the defender is closing in on a return to full fitness.

Sebastian Ferreira has also been confirmed as an absentee for this match as he currently has a lower body problem.

Austin FC Probable Starting Lineup:
Stever; Gallagher, Cascante, Hines-Ike, Biro; Ring, Perreira; Obrian, Driussi, Oregano; Rubio

Houston Dynamo Probable Starting Lineup:
Clark; Steres, Sviatchenko, Micael, Dorsey; Herrera, Arthur; Ibrahim, Bassi, Carrasquilla; Kowalczyk

Green background of the words SM

We say: Austin FC 2-1 Houston Dynamo

Austin knows they need to bounce back quickly from their last game loss and they will feel this is a perfect opportunity to do so against a team they have beaten in all four times they have hosted this fixture. We expect a home win here.

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

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