Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs. New York City FC
Venue: RFK Stadium – Sunday, May 8 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: DC United 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – NYCFC 9/4
Both clubs endured poor starts to the season but have taken four points from their last two and might now be in a good position to kick on as the summer approaches.
DC came from behind to earn a point away at Chicago last week and have now scored eight in their last four.
They are a better side at home than away and will enter Sunday’s game expecting to take all three points, despite NYCFC’s apparent revival.
Patrick Vieira’s men ended a seven-game winless run with their 3-2 win over Vancouver last weekend. That win was their first since the opening day and first at home in six attempts this season.
Those three points should have given the squad a huge boost and the aim will now be to make it back-to-back victories for the first time since September.
This is the first of three-straight away games for NYCFC, with trips to Portland and Toronto coming up after this clash.
The home side won both of last year’s meetings, with DC sealing a 2-1 comeback win at RFK Stadium back in October, thanks to goals from Alvaro Saborio and Fabian Espindola after an early Frank Lampard strike.
DC United will be without Chris Rolfe for this one as he will serve a one-game suspension following an MLS Disciplinary Committee decision. Bill Hamid, Andrew Dykstra, Chris Korb, Collin Martin and Charlie Horton are all out, while Fabian Espindola is a doubt as he recovers from a hamstring injury. Sean Franklin is one booking away from suspension and will need to watch his step.
New York City will be without RJ Allen as he is suffering with an ankle injury. Frank Lampard is also expected to miss out again, along with Connor Brandt and Jack Harrison as all three continue their road to recovery. Federico Bravo and Mikey Lopez are one booking away from suspension.
DC United’s last five: D/W/L/W/D
New York City FC’s last five: D/L/L/D/W
Key Stat: Leaky – New York City have conceded at least two goals in nine of their last ten away games in MLS.
Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker scored his seventh brace since joining MLS in last week’s win over Vancouver. The NYCFC star will need to be at his best if his side are to win a second away game of the season here.
DC United 1-1 New York City FC – This should be a tight contest between two sides desperate to avoid defeat here. DC have more absences than the away side to worry about and that might prevent them from having enough to overpower NYCFC. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either but remaining unbeaten for a third week running would be a positive for both.