Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York City FC
Venue: RFK Stadium – Friday, October 2 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)
Match Odds: DC United 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – NYCFC 11/4
DC are in freefall at the moment. They have lost five of their last six and have not won since early August.
They seemed to be cruising towards the Eastern Conference title as well as the Supporters’ Shield at the halfway point of the season but the wheels have come off and they are now just trying to hold on to their playoff spot.
DC United’s MLS record: P31 – W13 – D6 – L12Embed from Getty Images
Currently sitting on 45 points in the East, DC United find themselves in fourth spot, eight ahead of Friday’s opponents NYCFC who are chasing a top six finish with three games to play. A win here would secure a playoff place for DC but that is by no means as likely to happen as the odds suggest.
NYCFC need to basically win all three of their remaining fixtures to stand a good chance of making the postseason on their first attempt. It has been a largely disappointing season for Jason Kreis and his team but their recent form has been impressive and they finally look to be a solid force in MLS.
Three wins on the bounce set them up well coming into this one. Last weekend’s dramatic late 2-1 win at Vancouver will only have further boosted confidence and they will be looking to win four games in a row for the first time in MLS at DC here.Embed from Getty Images
New York City FC’s MLS record: P31 – W10 – D7 – L14
The reverse fixture ended 3-1 to New York City in August as the home side came from 1-0 down to record a huge victory and they’ll be looking for a repeat performance.
DC United will be without Connor Doyle and Steve Birnbaum for the game as they will serve one-game suspensions for picking up yellow cards last weekend. Eddie Johnson and Chris Korb remain out, while Davy Arnaud is a doubt as he is dealing with concussion symptoms.
New York City have three injury concerns as Iraola, George John and Tony Taylor are all ruled out. Other than that, Kreis has a full squad to choose from.
DC United’s last five: L/L/D/L/L
New York City FC’s last five: L/L/W/W/W
Key Stat: New York City have scored at least one goal in each of their last eight MLS games, while DC United have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last six league outings.
Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker is now on 17 goals for the season. He has been a shining the light for the expansion franchise all year and is consistently delivering when needed.Embed from Getty Images
DC United 1-2 NYCFC – This should be a fiercely competitive game as both need the win for playoff implications. DC have been abysmal of late and may struggle to deal with a New York City side that looks hungry. We’re going with a narrow away win in what should be an entertaining game.