Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC
Red Bull Arena – Friday, August 25 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – NYCFC 13/5
New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Preview
The New York Red Bulls face New York City FC on Friday night in their third and final New York Derby clash of the 2017 regular season. NYCFC have already claimed the series but don’t expect that to lead to any less drama in Friday’s battle.
The New York Red Bulls won the first four New York derbies – including that famous 7-0 thrashing at Yankee Stadium in 2016 – but have lost three of their last four in MLS since. They have lost both games this season and must avoid a third-straight defeat here.
Last Friday’s 2-0 defeat in Portland saw them lose just their second MLS game in seven. However, they had played 120 minutes in the US Open Cup semifinal win at FC Cincinnati three days earlier.
The Red Bulls come into Friday’s game in good form. They know the pressure is on them to get revenge over NYCFC. Apart from securing bragging rights, they can move up to joint-third with Chicago Fire with a win, at least until the Fire play on Saturday night.
New York City FC know that they must complete a treble over their neighbours to keep pace with Toronto FC at the top of the East. The visitors are seven points behind Toronto but have a game in hand over the league leaders.
NYCFC have proven a more resilient side this season. They have developed a clinical edge and have perhaps surprised the Red Bulls by winning the past two derby clashes.
The series is already tied up for the season. NYCFC have claimed their first series win over the Red Bulls. But don’t think that will stop them going for victory on Friday night. Their fans and their players will be desperate to complete a hat-trick of league wins over their rivals, especially with the game being played at Red Bull Arena.
New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Team News
The Red Bulls are likely to be without Daniel Royer once again. The winger hyperextended his knee in the latest New York Derby three weeks ago and has yet to return. Aurelian Collin is a doubt but could yet make the starting lineup. Gideon Baah and Mike Grella are out for the season. Summer signing Muhamed Keita could be ready to make an impact off the bench, according to Jesse Marsch.
New York City FC boss Patrick Vieira will have to cope without Yangel Herrera. He is suspended as a result of yellow card accumulation. Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo and Maxime Chanot are all sidelined through injury. Alexander Ring and Ethan White will return after serving suspensions against the Revs last weekend.
New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Key Points
NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/L/W/L
NYCFC’s last five: W/L/W/W/W
Key Stat: New York Red Bulls have scored 12 goals in their last three home games since being shutout and losing to NYCFC in June, winning all three games.
Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – To score two goals in a derby game and not be the best player on the pitch is rare. But that’s exactly what happened to BWP in the 3-2 loss at NYCFC three weeks ago, as David Villa fired in a match-winning hat-trick. However, Wright-Phillips now has ten goals in eight MLS games against NYCFC. If anyone is likely to grab this game by the scruff of the neck, it’s the Englishman.
New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC: Prediction
New York Red Bulls 2-2 New York City FC – Goals are expected in Friday’s game. The New York Derby has quickly established itself as one of the most ferocious and exciting rivalries in MLS. Expect that trend to continue here, even with the series already wrapped up. Both sides are in good form and are looking to stay at the top end of the East. However, they look set to cancel each other out here. The Red Bulls can’t afford to drop a third-straight game to their rivals. But NYCFC have proven they are a tough unit to break down this season. Score draw.