Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, August 20 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 13/10 – Draw 9/4 – LA Galaxy 2/1
NYCFC remain top of the Eastern Conference ahead of Week 24’s action. They only have a one-point leader over Toronto though and know they must continue to win matches if they are to stay top come the end of the regular season.
Patrick Vieira’s men had to settle for a 3-3 draw in Columbus last week after late drama saw both teams score in the 90th minute. That result took their unbeaten run to three ahead of Saturday’s huge game.
City have won their last three home games on the spin – their best run of home form since entering the league – so LA Galaxy know they are in for a real test at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
Bruce Arena’s men have been fairly poor of late, drawing their last three games, but remaining unbeaten is the key for the Western Conference title chasers, who sit seven points behind leaders Dallas with two games in hand.
Earning points without playing well is something all title-winning sides have to do, but LA know they need to step up if they are to leave New York with at least a point here.
The boost for the visitors is that star striker Robbie Keane should be fit to return to the side, meaning both sides should have all their Designated Players on the field.
The Galaxy beat NYCFC 5-1 at StubHub Center in last season’s clash between the two sides and so the hosts will undoubtedly be out for revenge here.
New York City FC have just two injury worries ahead of Saturday’s clash. Connor Brandt and Shannon Gomez remain sidelined, so neither will take part here. Jack Harrison may come back into the side after coming off the bench at Columbus last weekend.
LA Galaxy will be without goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who is out with a head injury picked up last weekend, while Robbie Rogers remains a doubt. Robbie Keane is expected to be passed fit in time for Saturday’s contest, with Emmanuel Boateng likely to drop out if the Irishman does returning to the starting lineup.
New York City’s last five: W/L/W/D/D
LA Galaxy’s last five: W/W/D/D/D
Key Stat: LA Galaxy have come from behind to earn draws in each of their last three MLS matches.
Key Player: Frank Lampard – The NYCFC midfielder has really found form this summer, netting nine goals in his last ten MLS appearances. He will be relishing the prospect of lining up opposite Steven Gerrard once again on Saturday and will be hoping he can guide the home side to three important points.
NYCFC 2-2 LA Galaxy – New York City FC are the favourites ahead of this huge game, but both teams have lacked a killer instinct in recent weeks, and that could cost them both again here. LA have drawn three in a row and would probably settle for a fourth on the spin here, in what is a tricky trip to Yankee Stadium. NYCFC need to try and take this game by the scruff of the neck, but they showed their frailties by throwing away a stoppage time lead in Columbus last weekend and those weaknesses could cost them a win here.