FC Cincinnati vs North Carolina FC: How to watch and what to watch for

FC Cincinnati and North Carolina FC meet in their first match of the season tonight. The match starts at 7:30 pm EST and will be held at Nippert Stadium. You can also stream the match on the Star 64.

For North Carolina FC, the former NASL side has struggled in their inaugural USL season, currently No. 14 on the Eastern Conference table. What can you expect though as FC Cincinnati signed North Carolina FC's best player and 2017 NASL best XI midfielder Nazmi Albadawi? For Albadawi, this will be his first match against his former club.

However, there's no reason to sleep on North Carolina FC. They're unbeaten in the club's last four league matches and recently took down Lansdowne Bhoys FC 3-0 in the US Open Cup. The club's main scoring option has been Daniel Rios. Rios has scored four goals in the club's seven league matches.

For FCC, this is also one of their first time playing on a shorter week this season. With the US Open Cup underway, FC Cincinnati outlasted Detroit City FC in a 4-1 overtime match on Wednesday. Midfielder Corben Bone was subbed on later in the match, but the main duo of Bone and Walker were, for the most part, held out of the Cup match.

That said, be ready for more of the stellar midfield duo. Also, expect Albadawi to start in the midfield along with Emmanuel Ledesma who has been sensational on the wing.

Tied for the fourth most goals in the league, FC Cincinnati has found a way to consistently put the ball in the net because of their dynamic forward play. That said, either Emery Welshman or Danni Konig should draw the start up top and continue to be consistently fed.

FC Cincinnati should easily walk away with three points if the side can manage to keep Rios and NCFC out of the net. Possession for Walker and the midfield will also be crucial on the slick surface.

Prediction: FC Cincinnati 2 North Carolina FC 1