MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Final – Second Leg) Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact 

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, November 30 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Toronto FC 8/15 – Draw 3/1 – Montreal Impact 9/2

Match Preview

Toronto and Montreal Impact are set for a thrilling encounter on Wednesday night, with a place in the MLS Cup Final up for grabs as they lock horns in the Eastern Conference Championship second leg.

The winner of Tuesday’s game will face Seattle in the 2016 MLS Cup Final, where a first-time winner is guaranteed. If Toronto advance, they will host the final, but Seattle will play hosts if the Impact progress. 

Toronto come into the second leg 3-2 down after a nightmare hour to forget in the game in Montreal. The tie looked like it could have been out of their reach but Greg Vanney’s side showed why you cannot write them off as they scored twice in the last half hour to set up this incredible return clash.

Given the fightback from Toronto they now look favourites to advance, but there is still plenty of work to do here against a Montreal side who will be kicking themselves for letting such a vital lead go in front of their own fans.

Toronto have been impressive at BMO Field in 2016. They have won their last three home games but worryingly they did lose to Montreal the last time they welcomed them here. Nothing other than a victory will see Toronto advance to their first MLS Cup Final.

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Montreal Impact will be itching to ensure they do not miss out on the final now. They have improved year-on-year and reaching their first MLS Cup Final would be another part of their history that will never be forgotten.

Mauro Biello needs to make sure his side are calm from the get-go here. They still have that one-goal lead, so they need to play their normal game and shape up defensively against a strong Toronto attack.

There will be added emotion for the Impact squad as this could be the last time Didier Drogba plays, and while there have been some ups and downs in his short spell at the club, he will be missed. The Ivorian will want to sign off at the club in style, like he has done throughout his career, so losing this will not be an option for him and the rest of the squad.

Montreal’s task is far from simple and they know they cannot afford to allow Toronto time on the ball, so high-press is an option. Breaking up play and countering will make Impact dangerous and difficult to deal with. They will be out to grab a couple of away goals, as Toronto did at the Olympic Stadium last weekend.

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Team News

Vanney has a completely fit squad for this tie. He will be expecting maximum effort from his starting XI to ensure they make it through and pull off an impressive comeback.

Andres Romero remains Montreal’s only injury concern. Biello will be unlikely to unsettled the balance of his squad too much going into this one, but there may well be some defensive changes in an attempt to tighten up that backline.

Key Points

Toronto FC’s last five: W/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Form – Toronto have won their last three home matches.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The stage is set for Giovinco to show his class once again. If he is presented with even a sniff at goal he is likely to find the back of the net. Toronto need him now more than ever if they’re to make the final.

Photo: Toronto FC

Photo: Toronto FC

Score Prediction

Toronto FC 2-0 Montreal Impact – Toronto to make the most of their firepower and pick apart the Montreal defence on home soil. It will be a sour end to the season for Montreal if they are to exit the playoffs here considering the commanding position they were in and it will be some turnaround if Toronto can pull it off.

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MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Final – First Leg) Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Olympic Stadium – Tuesday, November 22nd – 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 11/8 – Draw 9/4 – Toronto FC 15/8

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome Toronto FC to Olympic Stadium on Tuesday evening in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Final, with a Canadian side guaranteed to make the MLS Cup Final for the first time ever.

This is a huge game for both of these rivals. Montreal have to make the most of home advantage and ensure they go into the second leg in a strong position, which will be easier said than done.

The Impact overcame the Red Bulls 3-1 on aggregate in the Conference Semifinal, a result that will have filled Mauro Biello’s squad with confidence.

This is the first time Montreal have reached the Eastern Conference Championship game so there is the added incentive to make even more history and reach the MLS Cup Final now.

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Toronto FC are also creating history. Before this year they had never won a playoff game. Greg Vanney’s side advanced to the Eastern Conference Championship they after completely destroyed NYCFC 7-0 on aggregate, a result that will never be forgotten.

While the squad will still be flying high off the back of that result, their attention must turn to making sure they go into the second leg after a positive performance away at Montreal on Tuesday.

Toronto fans will be praying their side avenges their elimination from the 2015 playoffs last season by Montreal and they are favourites to advance over the two legs.

If recent history is anything to go by for Toronto they stand a good chance of a favourable result here, as they are unbeaten in their last three visits to Stade Saputo in all competitions, drawing twice and winning one.

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Team News

Andres Romero remains out for Montreal Impact, while both Didier Drogba and Matteo Mancosu are both doubts to start. Drogba, though, is back in the picture after a month out.

Vanney has the pleasure of picking his side from a near fully fit squad as Steven Beitashour is his only injury concern ahead of the first leg.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: D/L/W/W/W

Toronto FC’s form: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: Toronto FC have scored at least two goals in their last five MLS away games.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Montreal playmaker will be expected to provide and help his side take a lead into the second leg. This is going to be an extremely tough tie to win over both legs for Montreal, so they have to be in a strong position come the end of the first 90 minutes and Piatti will look to provide some magic once again.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 Toronto FC – This is going to be a tight affair, neither side is going to want to give the other an advantage heading into the second leg, but a draw is a more favourable result for Toronto than Montreal, who will be desperate to win this one.

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

Competition: MLS Cup Playoffs (Western Conference Semifinal – Second Leg) – Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Sunday, November 6 – 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Colorado 1/1 – Draw 11/5 – LA Galaxy 11/4 

Match Preview

A place in the Western Conference Final is up for grabs on Sunday as Colorado Rapids welcome LA Galaxy to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the biggest game of the 2016 MLS campaign for these sides.

Colorado have work to do, they fell to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg last weekend. They are still more than in the game and know they are capable of progressing.

The Rapids now haven’t beaten Galaxy in their last three attempts, but the last meeting here ended with a Colorado win.

Pablo Mastroeni’s side are under a huge amount of pressure to perform, they just need to keep a calm mentality and start well. If they can get an early goal, or most importantly, the first goal in the game, the momentum will swing their way.

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LA Galaxy’s fate is in their own hands, avoid defeat and they’ve reached the Western Conference final, yet this game will be anything but straightforward.

Bruce Arena will be fully aware his side are going to be under pressure from the moment they step out to warm up. The Colorado fans are going to do everything possible to make this an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Giovani dos Santos’ strike was enough to give Galaxy a lead into the second leg, but it is a slender one, he, like many of LA’s star-players are going to have to dig deep and show what they’re made of.

Galaxy have plenty of players with big-game experience they will be relying on here. The LA defence are going to expect to face more than one shot on their goal as they did in the first leg, so it is important they’re switched on from the get-go.

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Team News

Colorado Rapids are expecting to be without Dillon Serna and Marlon Hairston for the second leg. Mastroeni’s starting XI are going to have to give everything from the off to ensure they give Galaxy their hardest game of the season.

LA Galaxy will be without Gyasi Zardes, while Steven Gerrard remains a doubt as continues to struggle with a hamstring injury.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ last five: W/W/L/D/L

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: Fortress – Colorado are unbeaten in their last 17 games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. They need to make their home advantage count if they’re going to progress.

Key Player: Brian Rowe – The Galaxy ‘keeper is going to need to be at his best. Colorado are going to throw everything at him in this tie, he will be relied on as the last line of defence. Rowe will be looking to slow the game down all the while the result is in Galaxy’s favour, that will break up the flow of the tie and frustrate the Rapids.

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Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 1-1 LA Galaxy – Colorado to fall short in the semis. This has the makings of a cagey game with little to split the sides, much like the first leg. Galaxy will be looking to finish the job off, but know they could well regret not bringing a bigger advantage into the second leg if they’re not careful.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Toronto FC

Competition: MLS Cup Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal – Second Leg) – New York City FC vs. Toronto FC

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, November 6 – 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT) 

Match Odds: NYCFC 11/10 – Draw 5/2 – Toronto 21/10

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome Toronto FC to Yankee Stadium on Sunday in the second leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal with a place in the Eastern final up for grabs.

There is a huge amount of work for Patrick Vieira’s side to do if they are to progress here. They suffered a sucker-punch in the first leg, conceding twice in the last six minutes to lose the game 2-0.

New York City FC fans will be behind their team from the off, they will be expecting their star-players to step up and be counted for.

One thing NYCFC have in their favour is their home form. They have been scoring freely at Yankee Stadium, eight in their last two, and they’re unbeaten in eight, winning seven.

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As previously mentioned, Toronto FC have their two-goal advantage, which they wouldn’t have thought of having heading into the last ten minutes in the first leg last weekend.

Greg Vanney will be expecting his side to put on a professional display and not present NYCFC with easy chances.

While Toronto don’t want to be sitting back and playing a defensive game, they can expect NYCFC to come at them. They will get chances on the counter and with their strike-force it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them score.

If Toronto can keep things tight in the first half New York City will become even more desperate and mistakes will inevitably come, they have to be patient and make sure they get the job done.

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Team News

New York City FC to remain without both Connor Brandt and Shannon Gomez.

Toronto FC have a full fit squad ahead of the second leg.

Key Points

NYCFC’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Toronto FC’s last five: L/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: New York City FC have scored at least two goals in nine of their last ten home games. They will need to repeat that feat without conceding to take the tie to extra time at the very least.

Key Player: Frank Lampard – Many will suggest the spotlight is on his teammate David Villa to perform, but Lampard has always been the man for the big occasion throughout his career, scoring vital goals. He will be a huge concern for Toronto who, like Lampard’s opponents throughout the last two decades, will struggle to pick him up when he is in the right place at the right time.

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Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Toronto FC – Heartbreak for NYCFC who will fall at this stage. Whatever the outcome they have had a superb season and are making progress. Everything is in Toronto’s favour and they should surely be able to get the job finished off here.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal – First Leg) Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Stade Saputo – Sunday, October 30th – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome New York Red Bulls to Stade Saputo for the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal clash in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.

This is a huge tie for Montreal, who desperately need to put an end to the Red Bulls’ incredible run of form to give them any chance of reaching the Eastern Conference final.

Mauro Biello will be feeling ecstatic at how his Montreal side demolished DC 4-2 in the Knockout Round on Thursday evening, but he will be slightly frustrated at the way they conceded two very late goals.

The only meeting between these two in Montreal during the regular season ended with a 3-0 win for the Impact. They would definitely take a repeat of that scoreline, but this is going to be a very cagey contest, with both sides looking to ensure there’s still all to play for in the return leg in a week’s time.

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Eastern Conference winners, New York Red Bulls eased past Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season to earn a bye through the Knockout Round. They have had extra time to prepare for this game and should be firing on all cylinders.

Jesse Marsch will have his side pumped and ready to take on Montreal and will be urging them to remember form means nothing when it comes to games as important as this.

The Red Bulls have beaten Impact in their last two meetings, although both of those games were at Red Bull Arena, so they will be expecting a hostile atmosphere here.

If New York keep a clean sheet in this tie you have to fancy them to progress in the second-leg. Montreal know they have to take a lead to Red Bull Arena, so the visitors may well have a slightly more cautious approach this weekend, although an away goal would certainly be a boost.

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Montreal were eliminated from the playoffs last season at this very stage, despite winning their home tie in the first-leg, so they can take nothing for granted against a very strong opponent on Sunday evening.

Team News

Andres Romero remains Montreal Impact’s only injury concern. It remains to be seen whether Didier Drogba will return to the side following his soap opera saga in the last few weeks. He sat out of Thursday’s win over DC, with Matteo Mancosu shining up front in the Ivorian’s absence.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four for this tie as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all out. Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips will be looking to continue his fine form here.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: W/W/D/L/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 16 MLS outings.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The obvious choice. Montreal Impact need their midfield maestro to be on top form to take a lead into the second leg. He can change a game in a flash and will need to be at his creative best once again here.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 New York Red Bulls – This has the makings of a tight game, as most first legs do. Montreal are going to find the confident Red Bulls difficult to deal with and a draw would be an unsurprising result, but would certainly suit the visitors better.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Montreal Impact

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Knockout Round) – DC United vs Montreal Impact

Venue: RFK Stadium – Thursday, October 27th – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal Impact 12/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium on Thursday evening in the first round of the playoffs with a place in the semifinal looming.

DC come into the tie on an incredible run of home form. They haven’t lost in nine at RFK and have won their last four on the bounce there.

However, Ben Olsen will have his side fully aware that form isn’t everything heading into this game and will be the first to remind his players they conceded four times in their last game of the regular season.

DC haven’t beaten Montreal in their last three attempts in all competitions, so there is work to be done for them to overturn that run of form.

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Montreal Impact have won just two of their last eight games ahead of this knockout round. There have been problems ongoing off the field with Didier Drogba, so a win in this one would bring a huge amount of pleasure to Mauro Biello.

Impact finished the regular season in 5th place, but they suffered a heavy 3-0 final day defeat to New England.

Biello rested a couple of key faces in that tie, most notably Ignacio Piatti, who has been their standout player this season. A lot rides on the Argentine’s shoulders but he is a man who has oozed confidence for the whole of the 2016 campaign.

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Team News

DC United have six injury concerns heading into the playoffs as Chris Korb, Chris Rolfe and Charlie Horton are all expected to be out, while there are still questions over the inclusion of Kofi Opare, Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas.

Andres Romero remains Montreal Impact’s only injury concern. It remains to be seen whether Didier Drogba will return to the side following his soap opera saga in the last few weeks.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s form: L/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten in their last nine home games and have won their last four on the bounce at RFK Stadium.

Key Player: Bill Hamid – The DC ‘keeper will need to be at his best to shut out a Montreal side with plenty of attacking threat.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 Montreal Impact – DC United to make the most of their incredible home form and progress to the semifinals. Montreal Impact have won just two of their last 13 away games and this one looks like it will a step too far for them.

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Western Conference Knockout Round) – LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: StubHub Center – Wednesday, October 25 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – RSL 15/4

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Real Salt Lake to StubHub Center on Wednesday night in a Western Conference Knockout Round tie, with a place in the semifinal up for grabs.

The Galaxy will be looking to make home advantage count and secure their place in the next round. They come into the tie having drawn with Dallas on Decision Day, a solid result considering how many players Bruce Arena rested.

LA will at least be looking to go one better than they did in the 2015 playoffs and advance through this stage, but they know this won’t be an easy tie.

Galaxy were unbeaten against Real Salt Lake in the regular season, with the meeting at StubHub Center ending 5-2.

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Real Salt Lake come into the playoffs off the back of a poor run of form. They were forunate results went their way on the final round of fixtures, otherwise they may not have made the knockout rounds.

This is a huge chance for Salt Lake to put a disappointing end to the regular season behind them. While form is important, knockout rounds are a completely different game and Jeff Cassar has to ensure his players are ready to give their all.

RSL didn’t make the 2015 playoffs, so there is an added incentive to do well and prove to any doubters that they deserve to have made it this time around. This is also a chance for Salt Lake to put to bed a run of four consecutive losses away to LA.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - RSL Celebrate

Team News

LA Galaxy will be without Gyasi Zardes and Steven Gerrard. Robbie Keane could return after he has been in full training this week. Arena did rest a few of his key faces at the weekend and they will more than likely return to the starting XI here.

Real Salt Lake could be missing three here as Emery Welshman, Aaron Maund and Jeff Attinella are all expected to be unavailable for this crucial knockout tie.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/L/W/D

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake haven’t won in their last seven games.

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican was Galaxy’s highest scorer in the regular season with 14 goals. He was rested at the weekend and will be looking to make a huge impact and fire his side into the next round here.

Giovani dos Santos, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 Real Salt Lake – LA Galaxy to progress and leave Real Salt Lake heartbroken. This tie has the makings of a comfortable Galaxy win, but RSL aren’t going to make things easy, expect two sides to give everything to eliminate one another.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome New York Red Bulls to Talen Energy Stadium, with the away side on the verge of being named Eastern Conference winners.

The Union haven’t had a lot to shout about in recent weeks. They haven’t won in six but the good news is that they should squeak into the playoffs.

Philadelphia are sitting 6th in the East and it would require a 13 goal swing for 7th placed New England to take that place, which on the face of it, sounds impossible.

Jim Curtin will be gunning for his side to put an end to their winless run, finish the season on a high and go into the playoffs with optimism.

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

Picture courtesy of philadelphiaunion.com

New York Red Bulls task is simple, avoid a 13 goal swing and they will be named winners of the conference. The squad will be focused on winning the game and finishing the regular season unbeaten in 16.

Bradley Wright-Phillips will be hoping his teammates provide him with the service to fend off David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot.

Red Bulls come into this one having won 3-2 against Crew, they had been three goals to the good, so Jesse Marsch will want a tighter defensive display this weekend.

RBNY’s unbeaten run has been extremely impressive, they will be going into the playoffs full of confidence and ready to take on anyone.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Red Bulls Celebrate

Team News

Philadelphia have just the two injury concerns as there are questions about the fitness of both Josh Yaro and Warren Creavalle.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all expected to be out.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: D/L/D/L/L

Red Bulls’ last five: D/D/W/W/W

Key Stat: Unbeaten run – New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 15 regular season outings.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – BWP is leading the way to win the MLS Golden Boot by one goal. His rival forward Villa has been challenging him all season. All BWP needs to do is play his usual game and the goals will come, he will not put himself before the team for the sake of the record. It is going to be a huge theme of decision day.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew - Bradley Wright-Phillips and Dax McCarty

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-2 New York Red Bulls – Philadelphia Union’s winless run to extend to seven. They face a Red Bulls side who just don’t look like losing at the moment. Both of these sides will already have an eye on the playoffs. A Union win and results in their favour could see them move up to 5th, but a close loss seems a likely result.  

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NYCFC 8/5 – Draw 3/1 – Columbus 9/2

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome Columbus Crew to Yankee Stadium on Decision Day in a game that can have an impact on more than just the final standings.

Patrick Vieira’s side will want to win to ensure their regular season efforts get the rewards they deserve, three points will confirm their hold on second place in the East and a bye in the playoffs.

Barring a 13-goal swing NYCFC cannot finish top of the East. They will just be looking to finish the regular season on a high.

New York City come into this one having practically blown their chances of finishing top with a 3-1 defeat away to DC.

David Villa, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Columbus Crew have nothing to really play for in this tie. The highest they can finish in the Eastern Conference is 7th providing results go their way, so the pressure is off.

Crew will be hoping to finish the season on a high and spoil the NYCFC party. They will have the backing of both Toronto and RBNY, who will be hoping for Crew to win for their benefit.

Gregg Berhalter’s side come into this one having lost 3-2 to RBNY. It was a disappointing result but they showed great effort to make a game of it, as they had been 3-0 down.

Photo: @ColumbusCrewSC

Photo: @ColumbusCrewSC

Team News

NYCFC could be without four for this tie as Connor Brandt, Shannon Gomez and Frank Lampard are all set to miss out, while Ronald Matarrita is doubtful.

Columbus Crew’s injury woes continue, as Matt Pacifici, Ben Swanson, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis are expected to be out, while Federico Higuain, Cedrick Mabwati, Gaston Sauro and Ola Kamara are all questionable.

Key Points

NYCFC’s last five: L/D/W/W/L

Columbus Crew last five: W/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: New York City have won six of their last seven home games and scored at least two in eight of their last nine at Yankee Stadium.

Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC goal machine has netted an impressive 22 in the regular season, he will be itching to beat BWP to the golden boot on the final day. He trials his rival forward by one heading into the game.

David Villa, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Score Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 Columbus Crew – NYCFC to bounce back from their defeat, secure second place and finish the regular season on a high. Columbus Crew will make a good game of it, but with little to play for they will struggle to deal with the intensity Vieira’s side will come at them with.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew

Venue: Red Bull Arena –Sunday, October 16 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/9 – Draw 16/5 – Columbus 11/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls play host to Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon in the penultimate round of MLS regular season fixtures.

The Red Bulls are in contention to win the Eastern Conference, but are level on points with rivals NYCFC, so their remaining two games are huge.

New York come into this tie having overcome Philadelphia in an exhilarating 3-2 home win. Their form at Red Bull Arena has been nothing short of incredible, 11 wins from 13 games.

This is a game Jesse Marsch will be expecting his side to win, but he will have his players warned that any previous result means nothing once the game gets underway.

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Columbus Crew are in 8th place, six points behind the top six and this looks like a season of disappointment for their fans.

Crew have won just twice and only picked up ten points on the road this season. That has all-but ultimately cost them throughout the regular season and they will need to rebuild and go again in the 2017 campaign.

This season has been a far cry from Crew’s 2015 campaign but they still have a huge part to play in the final standings of the 2016 season and they will have the backing of plenty of RBNY’s rivals.

Photo: @ColumbusCrewSC

Photo: @ColumbusCrewSC

Team News

New York Red Bulls still have an extensive injury list as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Ronald Zubar, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all expected to miss out, while Omer Damari could feature.

Columbus Crew haven’t had much luck with injuries either, as Matt Pacifici, Ben Swanson, Cedrick Mabwati, Tyson Wahl, Waylon Francis are all out, while Federico Higuain and Conor Casey are both doubts

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/D/D/W/W

Columbus Crew’s last five: W/W/L/W/D

Key Stat: New York Red Bulls are on an unbeaten run of 14 regular season games.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The RBNY striker has netted 21 goals this season, the same number as Villa from rivals NYCFC. He will be pushing to top the chart come the end of the campaign.

MLS: New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC - Bradley Wright-Phillips Celebrates

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-1 Columbus Crew – Red Bulls to continue their impressive home form and pick up another three points. Marsch knows all his side can do is win their remaining two games and they can finish the regular season top of the Eastern Conference.