Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City SC vs. New York City FC
Venue: Camping World Stadium – Sunday, August 28 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Orlando 5/4 – Draw 5/2 – NYCFC 19/10
Orlando have had a tough season and have not improved as much as they would have liked since former NYCFC boss Jason Kreis arrived earlier in the summer.
The Lions are seventh in the East heading into the weekend, just a point behind DC United but need to start winning more regularly if they are to make the playoffs in their second MLS season.Embed from Getty Images
Orlando have only won one of their last ten regular season outings and don’t look in a position to go and win Sunday’s contest.
Things are looking much better for NYCFC, who come into Sunday’s match as Eastern title contenders. They lost their long-term lead during the week, as Toronto’s win in Orlando moved them above City with eight games to go.
Patrick Vieira’s men have down very well this season and the aim will now be to capitalise on a great season by winning the East in just their second campaign.
This will be the sixth clash between the two sides since they entered the league a year ago. NYCFC have only beaten Orlando once but will expect to earn a first away win on Sunday night.
Orlando City remain without Pedro Ribeiro, Harrison Heath and Cristian Higuita, while Rafael Ramos is still a doubt. Jason Kreis is expected to make a couple of changes following the midweek home loss to Toronto.
New York City have just two injury concerns as Connor Brandt and Shannon Gomez remain sidelined for the trip to Florida.
Orlando City’s last five: W/L/D/D/L
NYCFC’s last five: L/W/D/D/W
Key Stat: Mismatch – NYCFC have scored more away goals (22) than any other side in MLS this season, with Orlando conceding 20 in their 13 home matches so far.
Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC striker has enjoyed a fine campaign so far and has three in his last two. He is battling Sebastian Giovinco for the Golden Boot and will be looking to find the net against Orlando for the second time this term.
Orlando City 1-2 New York City FC – It’s difficult to see Orlando winning Sunday’s game. They are in a rough run of form and are coming up against the league’s best away side this season. Goals are to be expected, although an away win looks the most likely outcome of Sunday’s crunch tie.