D.C. United head coach Troy Lesesne insisted his players must be "ready to fight" to halt their winless streak ahead of their meeting with Nashville SC this weekend.

The Black-and-Red were beaten 5-0 by Orlando City last time out, extending their losing run to 11 MLS matches, which leaves them rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference table.

D.C.’s last triumph came back in May against Atlanta United courtesy of Christian Benteke’s hat-trick.

Lesesne said his players will regroup once again, going on to explain that no one will feel sorry for his side during their baron spell of results.

“We’re in a tough spot right now, there is no doubt about it,” Lesesne said. “I think the last eight matches, there’s got to be more from us to get us out of this spot and be able to get us into a winning position.

“We have a lot of work to do and there are many things that we have to address.

“Nashville are a team that are going to be another challenge and we have to, right now, regroup in a big way.

“We have to understand that no one is going to feel sorry for us and we have got to get ready to fight.”

Nashville also find themselves enduring a losing streak of their own.

The Coyotes are without a win in their last three MLS fixtures as they were comfortably beaten 4-1 by Portland Timbers in their most recent league encounter.

The Timbers found themselves four goals to the good in just 29 minutes at Providence Park, marking the fifth time that they had conceded four goals in a match this season.

Nashville’s defeat leaves them in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. In a battle between two of the division’s out of form sides, a win for either will be crucial to get their respective campaigns back on track.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

D.C. United – Christian Benteke

With D.C. experiencing a difficult spell, the goals and experience of Christian Benteke will be pivotal in achieving a long-awaited victory.

Benteke is the Black-and-Reds’ top scorer with 14 goals in 19 appearances this season, equalling his best tally for the club (14 goals in 2023) in 22 fewer outings.

Nashville are one of only eight teams the Belgian is yet to score against since his move to the MLS in 2022, and he will be keen to add to his tally this weekend.

Nashville SC – Sam Surridge

Sam Surridge scored Nashville’s only goal against Portland Timbers last time out, ending a run of two games without a goal following his brace against Toronto FC.

Surridge is the club’s top scorer this season with 10 goals in 20 appearances in all competitions, and without the attacking threat of Jacob Shaffelburg, he will be key in the attacking areas for Nashville.

MATCH PREDICITION: NASHVILLE WIN

Nashville come into the contest with D.C. United unbeaten in their previous six encounters (W4 D2). But they will be hopeful of ending their winless run at Audi Field, with both of those draws coming at the home of the Black-and-Red.

The Coyotes, however, are enduring a winless streak of their own. They have lost three consecutive league matches, allowing eight goals in those games. Nashville had lost only two of its previous 11 league games (W5 D4), conceding just seven total times in that span.

D.C. United’s winless run reached 11 matches (D3 L8) following their defeat at Orlando City on Saturday. This is the longest winless run in MLS this season and D.C.’s third-longest in a single regular season (12 and straight, both in 2013).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

D.C. United – 32.7%

Draw – 25.5%

Nashville SC – 41.8%