Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. New England Revolution
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, March 26 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 5)
Match Odds: NYCFC 5/4 – Draw 5/2 – New England 2/1
NYCFC lost for the first time in 2016 as they fell 1-0 to Orlando City in front of their own fans. Patrick Vieira will have been left frustrated, especially as his side completed 631 passes – the most in one game in franchise history – and dominated the game from start to finish.
They lacked the finishing touch on several occasions and will be desperate to bounce back with a strong performance against fellow Eastern Conference playoff chasers here.
New England have started 2016 in poor form, having yet to win a match in three attempts. They followed back-to-back draws with a 3-0 thumping at the hands of Philadelphia last weekend.
They had to play with ten men for most of the game and also gave away two penalties – both of which Bobby Shuttleworth saved – and so Jay Heaps will have had a lot to deal with in preparation for this one.Embed from Getty Images
The international break has left both sides without key players and so this could come down to a battle of squad depth.
New York City and New England Revolution met three times last year, with the Revs winning two of those clashes. NYCFC did win the first-ever meeting 2-0 at Yankee Stadium last March, though, and will be expecting to take three points and climb back into the playoff places at this early stage on Saturday night.
New York City FC will be missing three players as a result of the international break. Mix Diskerud (USA), Khiry Shelton (USA U23) and Ronald Matarrita (Costa Rica) will all miss out, while Frank Lampard and Jefferson Mena remains doubts. Jack Harrison, RJ Allen and Connor Brandt all remain out with injuries.
New England will travel to Yankee Stadium without star playmaker Lee Nguyen, as he is with the USMNT. Je-Vaughn Watson is also absent on international duty with Jamaica, but wouldn’t have been eligible anyway as he will serve a suspension for last week’s red card. Charlie Davies is still a doubt with a hamstring problem. Juan Agudelo may be prefered to Teal Bunbury in attack if Davies misses out again.
New York City’s form: W/D/L
New England Revolution’s form: D/D/L
Key Stat: New England have not started an MLS season without a win through their first four games since 2001, when they lost all four of their opening games.
Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC striker has looked sharp so far this term and has two goals in three games – both coming in the 2-2 home draw with Toronto. He netted twice against the Revs last season and will look to hurt them once again here. If given the service, Villa is almost unstoppable.Embed from Getty Images
New York City 3-1 New England Revolution – Both sides will have to contend without key players on Saturday night, as a result of international call-ups, but NYCFC have home advantage and some solid depth to the squad. Kwadwo Poku will hope to make his first start of the season for NYCFC and could prove dangerous. The home side have goals in them and might pile more misery on the Revs at this early stage.