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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Toronto FC

NYCFC vs Toronto Preview and Prediction

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

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, March 13 – 16:00 ET (21:00 ET – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: New York City FC 29/20 – Draw 5/2 – Toronto FC 7/4

Match Preview

New York City FC open their 2016 home campaign against Toronto on Sunday evening, with both sides entering the second week looking to make it two wins from two.

NYCFC won 4-3 at Chicago Fire last weekend, winning an exciting game thanks to their young attacking stars. New head coach Patrick Vieira will have been worried by the defensive display however, knowing that if they concede three goals against other MLS sides they won’t be picking up many points.

City were unbeaten in all three games against Toronto last year, winning two and drawing the other. However, they will need their key players available such as Frank Lampard and David Villa if they are to keep that streak going this time out.

Toronto started their season last week with an impressive counter-attacking display against the Red Bulls, where they beat the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners 2-0 at Red Bull Arena.

The counter attack, as mentioned above, is of course spearheaded by 2015 MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco, which provides a clinical edge. The basis for the style has, however, been built from the back with new additions Clint Irwin, Steve Beitashour, Drew Moor and Will Johnson bolstering Toronto defensively and providing a firm platform for Giovinco to shine.

We are expecting Toronto to have more possession this weekend and with that Michael Bradley should play a more pivotal role. Rookie winger Tsubasa Endoh should see more of the ball on the flank after an encouraging debut last week.

Toronto players celebrate scoring vs the Red Bulls (Photo by Ashley Marshall)

Toronto players celebrate scoring vs the Red Bulls (Photo by Ashley Marshall)

Team News

New York City FC are still without Connor Brandt and Jack Harrison through injuries. Jefferson Mena and RJ Allen are both doubtful, though Frank Lampard could feature if he overcomes a calf problem.

Toronto FC are still missing Clement Simonin with a knee injury. Jozy Altidore is still doubtful, but could feature despite his hamstring problems.

Key Points

New York City FC’s form: W

Toronto FC’s form: W

Key Stat: New York City FC were the only team in MLS to concede over 25 goals at home in 2015. They shipped a total of 31 goals at Yankee Stadium last term.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian produced the goods last week by snatching three points form the Red Bulls. He will be relishing the prospect of facing a vulnerable NYCFC defence here and could quite easily produce a hat-trick.

Sebastian Giovinco Toronto FC 2016

Score Prediction

New York City FC 1-3 Toronto FC – As good as Toronto were defensively last week, this NYCFC side has goals in it. However, keeping Giovinco and co. out should prove too difficult for Vieira’s men and the away side look primed for success in New York for the second-straight week.

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About Jamie Ives (324 Articles)
MLS expert and writer for mlsgb.com. All views are my own

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