Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
Venue: PPL Park – Saturday, April 11 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) – Live on Sky Sports 5
Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – New York City FC 12/5
The Union have suffered three straight defeats since opening their campaign with two draws and now find themselves at the bottom of both the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.
Philadelphia head coach Jim Curtin will have a job on his hands to motivate the players after a devastating defeat away at Sporting Kansas City last weekend – the Union were leading 2-1 until the 90th minute before two SKC goals in injury time saw the game slip through their hands in the blinking of an eye.
Despite the loss, there were some definite positives for Philadelphia to take from the game, especially for Fernando Aristeguieta as he notched his third goal of the season and is leading the line well.
New York City suffered a 1-0 defeat at home to Sporting Kansas City in their last game but they weren’t in action last weekend so they should be fully refreshed and head coach Jason Kreis has had a significant amount of time to prepare his players for this one.
New York are undefeated in their two games on the road this season and coming up against a side yet to record a victory as yet, they will expect to travel back home with at least a point to show for their efforts.
The visitors are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference and a win could see them up to as high as second place depending on other results, so it’s an important game and a chance to put themselves in a solid position.
As New York City are new to MLS this season, these two sides have never met before, but they will get to know each other quickly as they will meet again at the Yankee Stadium next weekend and this game presents an opportunity to gain a psychological advantage going into that game.
Philadelphia Union will be without midfielder Fred as he serves the final game of his suspension. Fellow midfielders Cristian Maidana, Eric Bird and Vincent Nogueira are all doubts for the game due to injury, while striker Conor Casey could return to action following an abdominal strain.
New York City will be without long-term absentee George John and defender Shay Facey could miss out with a groin injury.
Philadelphia Union’s form: D/D/L/L/L
New York City’s form: D/W/D/L
Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have only won one of their last 12 games in MLS when combining the end of the 2014 season with the start of the 2015 campaign (D5, L6).
Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard hasn’t fully kicked into life for New York City just yet but if he can start to perform to the best of his ability then NYC will be a real force.Embed from Getty Images
Philadelphia Union 1-1 New York City FC – The Union will be desperate to stop the run of three straight defeats against a New York City side that wouldn’t be massively disappointed to pick up a point on the road.