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Orlando City vs. Philadelphia Union Round 2: Match Preview, Starting XIs, Predictions and More

Orlando City found the winning formula with a 2-1 victory over Montreal last week. But can the Lions keep up their good form against the Eastern Conference-leading Philadelphia Union?

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off its first win in almost two months, Orlando City (3-3-5, 14 points) won't have time to celebrate as it welcomes the upstart Philadelphia Union (5-3-3, 18 points) to Camping World Stadium.

Philly has been one of the early surprises of 2016, leading the Eastern Conference despite four straight seasons without a playoff appearance. The Union dispatched Orlando 2-1 in last month's reverse fixture, handing the Lions their first loss of the season.

That game ended with a Tranquillo Barnetta free kick in the 89th minute that secured all three points for the Union. While they haven't been perfect since then, Philadelphia has done enough to remain Eastern Conference table-toppers almost three months into the season. Doop Doop indeed.

Can the Lions make it two in a row and get some revenge against Philly?

Starting XI and Lineup Predictions:

Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union - Football tactics and formations

Orlando City:

Most coaches probably wouldn't mess with the starting XI used to end a winless streak, but Adrian Heath has never been afraid to experiment during his time in MLS. And with a shortened week and several key injuries to consider, the Gaffer will have some room to get creative on Wednesday night.

Orlando's biggest changes will be coming at the back, where Seb Hines and Rafael Ramos have both been ruled out for tonight's match with injuries picked up against Montreal. Seven-year MLS veteran Kevin Alston should have no trouble filling in at right back, after coming on for the injured Ramos on Saturday and acquitting himself well.

At center back, Tommy Redding will make his return to the starting XI for the injured Hines, pairing with David Mateos in front of goal. Redding was an opening day starter for Orlando, but lost his spot to Mateos after the former Real Madrid man returned to full health.

One change that will almost certainly be debated is slotting Antonio Nocerino back into the starting lineup. The Italian's play in MLS has been decidedly poor, but you have to think Orlando invested too much in bringing Nocerino to the club to give up on their once-prized acquisition after just seven appearances. That said, The Mane Land staff sees Heath sticking with Servando Carrasco next to Cristian Higuita against tired, traveling legs from Philly. With another match Sunday -- the third for Orlando in eight days -- we could yet see Nocerino this week.

Philadelphia Union:

Coming off a tight 1-0 win over D.C. United on Friday night, the Union will have had more time to rest when they face Orlando, but only slightly, and any advantage gained could be nullified by time spent traveling and the late-May heat in Central Florida.

A couple guys who didn't start in the reverse fixture could factor in this one, including Ghanaian youngster Joshua Yaro. The 22-year-old defender was the second overall pick in this year's MLS SuperDraft, after an impressive collegiate career with Georgetown. He's been up and down earlier this season between Philadelphia and the club's USL squad, Bethlehem Steel FC, but could be in line to start for the second straight game on Wednesday.

Player(s) to Watch:

Well, it's going to be hard to forget the name Tranquillo Barnetta after Orlando City's last trip to Philadelphia.

But the Swiss midfielder who broke City hearts last month is actually one of the more underrated European exports playing in MLS today. While hardly a legendary player across the Atlantic, Barnetta was a consistent producer in the Bundesliga for a number of years, including 187 appearances with German giants Bayer Leverkusen.

He made three World Cup rosters with Switzerland and scored a goal in the 2006 Group Stage against Togo. When his Bundesliga career stalled out with Shalke, the 31-year-old Barnetta made the move to North America, where he has become a key cog in the Union midfield.

Prediction: Orlando City 2, Philadelphia Union 2

With both teams coming off victories over the weekend, a draw on short rest seems about right.

Philadelphia is playing some of its best soccer in recent memory, and the Copa América Centenario could be a coming out party for young Jamaican goalkeeper Andre Blake. While Orlando looks to have found something in the win over Montreal, a patchwork back line playing on tired legs is cause for concern.

Look for a well-rested Kevin Molino to find the back of the net and the Lions to share the points on Wednesday night in Orlando.