Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Orlando City SC
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, May 29 – 16:30 ET (21:30 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 1/1 – Draw 13/5 – Orlando 13/5
Both clubs come into this one in low spirits and know that Sunday’s clash is a big one for both sets of fans. A rivalry between the clubs has existed since they entered MLS together in 2015 and so there is lots at stake here.
NYCFC come into this one off the back of last week’s 7-0 thumping at the hands of arch rivals New York Red Bulls. That heavy defeat ended a five-game unbeaten run and Patrick Vieira’s squad will now have their mental strength tested to see if they can bounce back immediately.
City still sit second coming into the weekend, two points off Philadelphia at the top of the East. A win here would certainly do them the world of good, as they look to try and recover from last weekend’s humiliation.
Orlando have already taken three points from Yankee Stadium this season and will be looking to do the same here, despite a poor run of form.
The Lions come into the game outside the playoff places by one point and need to start winning more regularly if they are to remain competitive through the course of the season.
Adrian Heath has watched his side win just one of their last eight – a run that has seen them slide down the table after a solid start to the campaign.
They have only won once on the road this term but that did come at New York City so they will be confident of leaving with another positive result here.
This will be the fifth meeting between the two sides. Orlando currently hold a 2-1-1 advantage over NYCFC (1-2-1), with the Lions looking for a third consecutive win against their Eastern rivals.
New York City will be without Mikey Lopez as he will serve a one-game ban as a result of yellow card accumulation. Frank Lampard made his first appearance of the season last weekend and will be looking to start now. Connor Brandt is the only player ruled out through injury.
Orlando travel to Yankee Stadium without four players. Pedro Ribeiro, Darwin Ceren, Seb Hines and Rafael Ramos are all sidelined and so Adrian Heath will have to rely on the depth of his squad to shine through.
New York City’s last five: W/W/W/D/L
Orlando City’s last five: D/D/L/W/D
Key Stat: Yankee troubles – New York City FC have only picked up seven points from seven home games so far this season, compared to ten points from six games on the road.
Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Orlando striker has scored six goals against New York City FC since the start of 2015 – more than against any other MLS side.
New York City 2-2 Orlando City – Goals look certain here as both sides will go for this game from the off. NYCFC need to show resilience to bounce back from last week and should be able to at least find the net this week against an Orlando side that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in nine. However, they don’t look to be in a position to go and win this game and the Lions will arrive in relatively good spirits. They drew 2-2 with Philadelphia last week and the same scoreline could be on the cards here.