Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, May 21 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 6/4 – Draw 12/5 – NY Red Bulls 7/4
Both sides were in action on Wednesday night and will hope fatigue doesn’t affect them here in what is a huge game for the city.
NYCFC have turned their season around in recent weeks and are in sublime form. Their 1-1 draw at Toronto on Wednesday saw them move to the top of the Eastern Conference and they are now unbeaten in five.
New York City have only lost one of their six home games this term, but have only managed to win one too. Saturday’s game will be the first of four consecutive home games for the club in what is now an exciting period.
The Red Bulls aren’t quite in the same rich vein of form, but they have only lost one of their last five and have climbed up to fifth in the East ahead of the weekend’s fixtures.
Jesse Marsch watched his side win all three New York Derbies last season and getting three points here would be a major boost for the 2015 Supporters’ Shield winners.
The problem is that New York haven’t performed well on the road at all this term. They have lost five of six games away from Red Bull Arena, drawing the only other one, and have only scored twice in those six outings.
As mentioned above, the Red Bulls emerged victorious in all three New York Derby clashes last season – the first year in MLS that the New York Derby was played – and so NYCFC would love to get a first-ever win over the Red Bulls on home soil here.
New York City FC will be without Connor Brandt yet again, while Frank Lampard’s long spell on the sidelines is also set to continue. Patrick Vieira made a number of changes for the midweek game at Toronto but the likes of Andrea Pirlo, David Villa, Andoni Iraola and RJ Allen could all come back into the starting lineup for this huge clash.
New York Red Bulls remain without Damien Perrinelle, while Ryan Meara is still listed as ‘doubtful’. Gonzalo Veron might come into the starting lineup here but Jesse Marsch is unlikely to make many changes from the side that beat Chicago on Wednesday.
New York City FC’s last five: D/W/W/W/D
New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/D/L/W
Key Stat: New York City FC are on their longest unbeaten streak since joining MLS last year. Avoiding defeat here would stretch their run to six and would keep them in contention at the summit of the Eastern Conference.
Key Player: David Villa – The Spanish striker started Wednesday’s game in Toronto on the bench but should be even sharper here as a result. He has eight goals this season and has scored four in five at Yankee Stadium. Expect him to be in fine form on Saturday evening.
New York City FC 2-1 New York Red Bulls – The Red Bulls have really struggled to produce results on the road this year and facing the conference’s most in-form team in an enormous rivalry game will really test the squad. NYCFC look in great shape and should retain their place at the top of the East with three huge points on Saturday.