MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Philadelphia Union

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Thursday, April 16 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: NYCFC 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Philadelphia 23/10

Match Preview

New York City FC and Philadelphia Union face off for the second time in five days when the Union travel to Yankee Stadium on Thursday night for a key Eastern Conference clash.

Philadelphia won their first game of the season against NYCFC on Saturday and that 2-1 victory put them on the same number of points as the MLS Expansion Franchise with five.

The Union won the game in stoppage time thanks to a Vincent Nogueira goal and NYCFC will be desperate to shake off a three-game winless streak with revenge on Thursday.

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David Villa scored his second of the season in the defeat last weekend, scoring the team’s first goal in 241 minutes of play and Jason Kreis needs his team to start scoring more frequently if they are to make the playoffs this year.

The Union have the worst defensive record in MLS after six weeks and so NYCFC will expect to find the net at least once in this key midweek clash.

Philadelphia will be confident after getting that first win and travel to NYCFC knowing they can move as high as second with a win, though they would need to score plenty of goals to make their goal difference up in that case.

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New York City have only won once so far, but that was at home, and supporters will expect to beat the Union in what should be an entertaining affair.

Team News

New York City FC will be without George John (knee), while Shay Facey is a doubt (hip) and is unlikely to feature. Mix Diskerud won’t make the game after playing for the USA against Mexico on Wednesday night and so Jason Kreis is likely to give Kwadwo Poku a start in midfield alongside Ned Grabavoy. David Villa and Adam Nemec are likely to start in attack once again.

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Philadelphia Union coach, Jim Curtin, could be without six players for the trip to New York. Eric Bird (hernia) and Fabinho (foot) are both out, while Cristian Maidana (knee), Raymond Lee (quad), Fernando Aristeguieta (quad) and Maurice Edu (hamstring) are all doubts. Edu is expected to make the game and will likely play at centre-back for the third consecutive game, while Aristeguieta will hope to be fit to start alongside Sebastien Le Toux in attack.

Key Points

New York City FC’s form: D/W/D/L/L

Philadelphia Union’s form: D/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Saturday’s loss to the Union was Jason Kreis’ first in seven against Philadelphia in MLS. He will be desperate to stop that from becoming two on Thursday.

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Key Player: David Villa – Perhaps an obvious choice, but Villa will have the home support on his side and will look to lead his team to a much needed victory on Thursday night. He scored his second ever MLS goal against Philadelphia on Saturday and will look to cause all kinds of problems in this one.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Philadelphia Union – This should be an entertaining game between two sides that will want the win. New York City will be desperate for revenge but the Union will be buoyed by their win on Saturday. That should lead to a close game and a score draw looks to be the most likely outcome.


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