Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, July 24 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 7/10 – Draw 3/1 – New York City FC 7/2
New York Red Bulls welcome City for the first time this season, with the previous two meetings both coming at Yankee Stadium. The sides are tied with a win a piece so far this term. The latest meeting ended with a 2-0 loss for the Red Bulls in a result not many would have predicted after they thrashed City 7-0 back in April.
That 2-0 defeat a month ago was also the first time NYCFC managed to overcome their local enemies so this clash couldn’t be more finely poised.
Jesse Marsch’s side come into this one struggling for form, with just one win in their last six outings. The Red Bulls are sitting third on 28 points, trailing NYCFC, who lead the Eastern Conference, by five points going into the weekend.
It is away form that is troubling New York Red Bulls as they have been on a solid run at home. They’ve won six of their last seven ties and kept a clean sheet in their last six at Red Bull Arena.
New York City FC come into this one with the bragging rights over their rivals, as previously mentioned and sitting topof the East will only boost morale. But there is plenty of work to do to if they are to take all three points here.
Patrick Vieira will be pleased with how his side responded to their 3-1 away loss to SKC as they bounced straight back to winning ways with a 3-1 win over Montreal last time out.
NYCFC had the look of a side who believed they could overcome any opponent in that win last weekend, they were under pressure for large parts of the game but defended well and countered with great precision.
The New York City players will be hoping to further avenge the pain they put their fans through in that 7-0 loss at Yankee Stadium with a win in their rivals backyard this time around.
New York Red Bulls have just two injury concerns heading into the derby as Kemar Lawrence and Gideon Baah both remain out.
New York City have a bit of an injury crisis on their hands at the moment, as they could be without as many as six for this one. Connor Brandt, Steven Mendoza, Shannon Gomez, Ronald Matarrita and Khiry Shelton all look set to miss out, while Andoni Iraola has been training after suffering his ankle injury last weekend but remains a doubt.
New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/L/D/W/D
New York City FC’s last five: W/W/W/L/W
Key Stat: Home form – New York Red Bulls have won six of their last seven home games in Major League Soccer.
Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder has a huge role for the derby. He will be tasked with keeping the inform NYCFC midfielders quiet. If he can stop the likes of Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo bossing the game his side have a great chance of winning this tie. Possibly an even more important task for the Red Bulls midfielder will be to keep service to the City stars to a minimum.
New York Red Bulls 2-2 New York City FC – This has the makings of a classic tie. Both sides are in form in one way or another. With Red Bulls looking solid at home and with City winning six of their last seven outings it’s difficult to see either side losing. RBNY know they have to win this tie to close the gap on their neighbours, while a draw for NYCFC will see them remain top of the East beyond this weekend. Score draw.