Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. DC United
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, September 11 – 13:00 ET (18:00 BST)
Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – DC United 9/2
The Red Bulls are just a point behind NYCFC in the race for the Eastern title and will be confident of a strong end to the season given the fact they are unbeaten in ten games.
Their current streak is the best in franchise history, while they will be looking to keep a third-straight clean sheet here against their long-standing enemies.
New York have won their last four at home and are looking like a real force. Jesse Marsch has a confident and motivated side at his disposal, who look set for a really strong playoff run.
DC United are still trying to secure a playoff spot before they can worry about their form. Ben Olsen’s men are two points behind Orlando City in the East going into the weekend and need to stay on their tails if they are to make the top six.
Their six-game unbeaten run came to an end at NYCFC last time out, losing 3-2 last weekend and that late Lampard goal might have taken the wind out of their sails.
However, they will be pumped up for a derby clash with the Red Bulls this weekend and need to go into the game looking to take the game to their rivals if they are to take anything from it.
The two previous meetings this season have both taken place in DC, with the side’s drawing 2-2 before DC won 2-0 in the most recent clash. However, the Black and Red haven’t won at Red Bull Arena since 2012 and are up against it.
New York Red Bulls are without Connor Lade and Gideon Baah, who remain sidelined through injury. On top of that, Mike Grella and Alex Muyl are both suspended and will miss out.
DC United are without Luciano Acosta, who is suspended, and that will be a real blow to their chances. On top of that, Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara and Charlie Horton are all out, with Jared Jeffrey, Taylor Kemp and Kofi Opare all doubts, so DC are really stretched here.
NY Red Bulls’ last five: D/W/D/W/W
DC United’s last five: W/D/D/W/L
Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in seven home games against DC, winning the last six on the bounce against their rivals. DC United haven’t scored a goal at Red Bull Arena in three years.
Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls striker has really found his form in recent weeks, scoring eight in his last seven. He is tied for the Golden Boot with David Villa and loves scoring against DC United, so expect him to be a real threat on Sunday night.
New York Red Bulls 2-0 DC United – The Red Bulls have dominated home games against DC United in recent years and should keep their strong run going with another win here. DC have not won away in seven and are facing the league’s in-form side. Surely there’s only one winner here.