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DC United coach Hernan Losada wants his players to "have fun" against Nashville SC as they aim to continue their strong home run.

A sequence of four straight home wins - and eight in nine matches - has lifted DC to fifth in the Eastern Conference, now on course for a playoff place.

Losada believes his team have surpassed all expectations, but that means they can now enjoy their games at Audi Field, even with eighth-placed Atlanta United just a point back.

"My message is: Let's have fun. Let's enjoy the moment," Losada said. "The players put themselves in this beautiful spot where we are fifth in the East and everything's very tight.

"There's a lot of competition and quality, so there's no stress, there's absolutely nothing to lose.

"We are over-performing based on all the odds, so let's have fun, especially in our home games.

"Let's try to play dominant, let's try to stay on our line where we dictate the speed of the game, that we have our identity and keep on working on that and give it all, so at the end of the road we can tell to ourselves we have absolutely no regrets.

"(We want) that feeling of we gave it our all and we're happy with everything."

Nashville are second in the East but well aware of a daunting schedule ahead of them.

Coach Gary Smith said: "I think the international window has given most players a nice balance between refreshment, physically and mentally, but also some much-needed work on the training field, as we plan for what will be another very intense five games in 15 days against some top opposition."

DC United - Paul Arriola

Arriola failed to impress on loan at Swansea City but will hope he is now rediscovering his best form at DC. He has two goals and an assist in his past three games and needs to be more regularly involved in the team's success.

Nashville SC - CJ Sapong

Nashville have only lost three times in 28 games this season thanks to a fine defensive record, but they have been inconsistent in front of goal. As well as scoring five times on three occasions, they have been held to six goalless draws, including two in three matches. Sapong, with one goal in seven, needs to find some form.

- Nashville have won both of their meetings with DC United, including a 5-2 victory at home on August 15. The five goals conceded were the most DC have shipped in a 90-minute match since a 5-1 defeat to the Philadelphia Union in August 2019.

- DC have won eight of their past nine home matches, including the past four in a row (L1). The 24 points are the most in a nine-game home span in a single season for United since they had 25 points (W8 D1) in nine home games from April to August 2012.

- Nashville's past two road games have ended in scoreless draws, the sixth and seventh away clean sheets they have kept this season. With four away matches left this season, Nashville are two away from the MLS record for road clean sheets in a single regular season, set by the LA Galaxy (nine) in 2010.

- Ola Kamara was not involved in DC's goal against Orlando on October 2, only the fourth time in 16 starts this season he has not been involved in at least one goal. He has not gone consecutive starts without a goal contribution this season.

- Sapong has scored nine goals against DC in his career, more than against any other MLS team. Sapong has scored for four different teams against DC (Sporting Kansas City, Philadelphia, Chicago, Nashville) in MLS.

Updated October 15, 2021

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