Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Thursday, June 2 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 23/20 – Draw 5/2 – RSL 9/4
New York City have been fairly good this season – a point proven by the fact they are only two points off the top of the East – but Patrick Vieira will be concerned with his side’s form over the last two weeks.
City have only picked up two points from their last three games, with that heavy 7-0 defeat at the hands of the Red Bulls sandwiched between draws with Toronto and Orlando.
A win on Thursday would keep NYCFC right in contention at the top of the East heading into the two-week international break, although that is no foregone conclusion given their struggles at home so far.
Real Salt Lake are preparing for their fifth-straight away game in MLS and will be desperate to get this one out of the way so they can enjoy the international break.
That’s because RSL have lost four of their last six, with last weekend’s 4-3 defeat at Columbus particularly hard for Jeff Cassar and his side to take.
Real Salt Lake have now scored three goals in each of their last two games. They have never scored three goals in three consecutive MLS matches but have the chance to set that record here.
They sit fourth in the West but are eight points behind Colorado at the top of the table and are looking over their shoulder after a worrying run of form.
New York City FC have two injury injury concerns heading into Thursday’s game as Connor Brandt and Federico Bravo are both ruled out. Ronald Matarrita is away with the Costa Rican side ahead of the Copa America and will not be available for selection here.
Real Salt Lake are fortunate in the sense that they have no injury concerns at this stage of the season. However, Kyle Beckerman will not be available as he is away with the US Men’s National Team.
New York City’s last five: W/W/D/L/D
Real Salt Lake’s last five: W/L/L/W/L
Key Stat: New York City have only won one of their last nine home games in MLS. Although their only home win so far this term did come in their only home clash against a Western Conference outfit (3-2 vs. Vancouver).
Key Player: David Villa – New York City FC’s best chance of winning is if Villa is on song. The Spaniard has scored nine goals this season and will look to fire his team to three points here against an RSL side that hasn’t kept a clean sheet in six.
New York City FC 1-1 Real Salt Lake – Midweek MLS games have hardly provided flurries of goals this season and both sides will likely enter Thursday’s game with caution. Avoiding defeat will be the priority and that could lead to a cagey game. A draw wouldn’t be the worst result for either, and that’s the way this looks set to end, with neither club in good form.