Preview: DC United vs. Philadelphia Union – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between DC United and Philadelphia Union, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

DC United set out to end their run of three consecutive defeats when they go head to head with Philadelphia Union at the Audi Field on Saturday.

This will be the second meeting between the sides in the space of three weeks, with the Union packing up a penalty-shootout victory in their Leagues Cup last-16 clash on August 4.

Match preview

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

DC United failed to snap their five-match winless run against New York Red Bull as they fell to a 1-0 defeat when the sides squared off last Monday.

American international John Tolkin came up clutch at the Red Bull Arena as he scored the only goal of the game in the 88th minute to hand the hosts their seventh league win.

Prior to that, DC United suffered a penalty-shootout defeat against DC United in the 2023 Leagues Cup round of 32 following a goalless 120 minutes at Subaru Park.

With Monday’s result, Wayne Rooney‘s men have now failed to win any of their last three league matches, picking up one point from a possible nine since a 1-0 victory at Dallas on July 5.

The Black-and-Red have now lost 11 of their 25 MLS matches this season while picking up eight wins and six draws to collect 30 points and sit 10th in the Eastern Conference table, two points off the playoffs qualification spot.

Philadelphia Union midfielder Daniel Gazdag (10) celebrates a hat-trick on July 27, 2023© Reuters

Philadelphia Union, on the other hand, turned in a performance of the highest quality last Saturday when they picked up a resounding 3-0 victory over Monterey in the Leagues Cup third-place playoff.

In a one-sided affair at Subaru Park, Jesus Bueno, Mikael Uhre and 36-year-old Alejandro Bedoya all found the back of the net to hand the hosts a comfortable victory.

Having edged out the likes of DC United, New York Red Bulls and Mexican outfits Tijuana and Queretaro, Philadelphia Union’s quest for a first-ever Leagues Cup title came to an end in the semi-finals courtesy of a 3-1 loss against a Lionel Messi-inspired Inter Miami side.

Jim Curtin‘s men now turn their attention to the MLS, where they are on a run of two back-to-back wins, edging out Nashville 2-0 on July 13, three days before picking up a 2-1 victory over New York City FC.

Next up for Philadelphia Union is an opposing side who have failed to win the last four meetings between the teams, losing three and conceding 13 goals since a 3-1 victory in August 2021.

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Team News

DC United defender Steve Birnbaum (15) reacts after being shown a red card on June 18, 2023© Reuters

DC United will take to the pitch without the services of Mohanad Jeahze and Martin Rodriguez, who continue their spells on the sidelines through calf and knee injuries respectively.

They are joined on the club’s injury table by Dutch forward Nigel Robertha, who has missed the last two matches after coming off with a thigh problem against Pumas on July 30.

Veteran midfielder Alejandro Bedoya was forced off injured inside the opening half-hour against New York City last Wednesday and is out of contention for Philadelphia.

In his absence, Jesus Bueno could be handed his fifth league start of the season, teaming up with Jose Martinez and Jack McGlynn at the centre of the park.

Off the back of an eye-catching cameo, Donovan could be rewarded with a starting role, which could see Quinn Sullivan, who has failed to score since last September sweat over his place in the XI.

DC United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Ruan, Birnbaum, Williams, Hines-Ike; Canouse, Durkin, Pirani; Dajome, Benteke, Santos

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Blake; Mbaizo, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner; Martinez, Bedoya, McGlynn; Gazdag, Sullivan, Uhre

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We say: DC United 0-2 Philadelphia Union

The last five league meetings between DC United and Philadelphia Union have seen a combined 20 goals and we anticipate another action-packed contest at Audi Field. Curtin’s men head into the weekend as the more in-form side and we fancy them picking up all three points.

How to watch

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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