Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Friday, April 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: NE Revolution 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – NY Red Bulls 11/5
Both sides have started 2016 in disappointing fashion. New England have yet to win any of their four games so far, while the Red Bulls have taken just three points from three matches.
New England were one of just six MLS sides to play last weekend. They earned a 1-1 draw at New York City but have not won any of their first four games for the first time since 2001.Embed from Getty Images
Jay Heaps’ men look to be in trouble, even though it is early in the campaign. Failure to win on Friday would only intensify problems and they will need the home crowd to inspire them to success.
The Red Bulls travel to Gillette Stadium in poor form too. They did win their last outing 4-3 against Houston but have conceded as many goals as anyone else so far and defensive injuries are not helping their cause.
Jesse Marsch will have been left extremely disappointed with their 3-0 loss to Montreal in their only away game so far. A better performance will be expected here, though leaving New England with at least a point will be the main aim.
These two sides met three times last season, with the home side winning on each occasion. The Revs won both games at Gillette Stadium by a 2-1 scoreline, with the Red Bulls winning the only other meeting 4-1.
New England will be without Je-Vaughn Watson and Gershon Koffie, who will both serve one-game suspensions on Friday evening. The good news is that Jay Heaps has no remaining injury returns and so Charlie Davies could lead the attack here.
Jesse Marsch has a defensive crisis on his hands with four centre-backs currently sidelined with injuries. Damien Perrinelle is still recovering from knee surgery, while Gideon Baah and Ronald Zubar are out with hamstring problems. Gonzalo Veron is also out with a hamstring strain.
New England Revolution’s form: D/D/L/D
New York Red Bulls’ form: L/L/W
Key Stat: The home team has won this fixture the past four times they have clashed in the regular season, with two wins each in that time.
Key Player: Felipe – The Red Bulls’ playmaker stepped up for his side in their last outing by scoring two goals late on to win the game against Houston – the first time he has scored more than one goal in a game in his MLS career. He will hope to pick up where he left off by hurting the Revs defence on Friday night.
New England Revolution 1-1 New York Red Bulls – It’s almost impossible to separate these sides based on their poor starts to the 2016 season. The Revs will expect to take at least a point, though the Red Bulls will arrive with the same ambition and so a share of the spoils looks to be the most likely outcome.