Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, August 29 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: New York City 6/5 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus Crew 2/1
New York City FC come into this one off the back of a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Supporters’ Shield leaders LA Galaxy last weekend, and will be hoping to grab three points as they try to remain contenders for a playoff place in the Eastern Conference.
That heavy loss was a blow but they were not the first, and won’t be the last team to be thumped by the Galaxy and so an improved showing is expected here.
NYCFC are still waiting for their team to click and with Frank Lampard still not a regular in the side, it remains difficult to see them making the playoffs at their first attempt.
New York City FC’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W7 – D7 – L12
Columbus Crew are one of the strongest sides in the Eastern Conference and have all but cemented their spot in the playoffs with eight games to go.
Sitting in third in the East, the Crew have been a force at home but have had their struggles on the road this term, winning just twice in 12 games.
They do, however, boast the league’s leading goalscorer in Kei Kamara, who has an incredible 18 goals so far this season and he remains a constant threat for opposition defences. As long as he is healthy, the Crew have a chance at MLS Cup glory.
Columbus Crew’s 2015 record in MLS: P26 – W10 – D8 – L8
New York City FC will be without George John, Tony Taylor, Connor Brandt, Javier Calle and Mehdi Ballouchy, who all miss out through injury. Frank Lampard and Khiry Shelton remain doubts.
Columbus Crew have Sergio Campbell missing with a calf strain and Emanuel Pogatetz is doubtful with a knee sprain. Jack McInerney is out through suspension.
New York City FC’s last five: L/L/W/D/L
Columbus Crew’s last five: D/L/W/D/W
Key Stat: Columbus Crew have only lost two of their last twelve matches.
Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard has been sensational so far this season and another stellar performance could lead his side closer to the playoffs as points become increasingly vital.
New York City FC 2-1 Columbus Crew – New York City now possess the tools to attack anyone in the league. With the likes of David Villa and Andrea Pirlo now providing much needed experience, they will expect to seal another three important points in front of their own fans here.