Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Atlanta United
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Sunday, May 7th – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: NYCFC 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – Atlanta 11/4
New York City FC welcome Atlanta United to Yankee Stadium on Sunday night as two of the league’s most attacking sides go head-to-head for the first time ever.
NYCFC have stuttered through the first eight games of their campaign, failing to record back-to-back wins despite some promising performances, particularly away from home.
They’ve only played one of their last four games at home, but suffered a disappointing defeat to Orlando two weeks ago and are know they need all three points here ahead of a four-game road stretch.
Patrick Vieira’s men won 3-2 in Columbus last weekend – a result that was all the more impressive considering they were without star man David Villa for the trip to Ohio. He’ll be back this weekend and will be looking to add to his tally of five goals for the season.
Atlanta United arrive in New York off the back of a highly disappointing 3-1 home loss to DC United last weekend. Atlanta were expected to win that game after an encouraging start to life in MLS but were punished for not taking their chances.
They have the quality to trouble any team, particularly with the pace in their attack, and they proved that in their most recent away game as they won 3-1 at Real Salt Lake.
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Tata Martino knows he is building a strong unit but he still needs time and patience to get his philosophy across. What does appear clear is that Atlanta will keep providing us with entertaining games as they look to make the playoffs at the first attempt.
New York City sit fourth in the East coming into the weekend, just two points and two places ahead of Atlanta and know they are expected to take all three points in what should be a great clash.
Khiry Shelton and Ronald Matarrita remain out for NYCFC, though David Villa should be available again after missing last weekend’s game.
Atlanta United remain without Zach Loyd, Josef Martinez and Jacob Peterson, while Yamil Asad is suspended.
NYCFC’s form: W/L/W/L/W
Atlanta United’s form: D/D/L/W/L
Key Stat: NYCFC have had 45 shots on target this season – more than any other MLS side heading into the weekend.
Key Player: Maxi Moralez – The NYCFC playmaker has adapted well to life in MLS and has recorded an assist in his last two outings. He’ll be looking to unlock the Atlanta defence on Sunday evening.
New York City FC 3-2 Atlanta United – We’re expecting goals in New York this weekend. Both sides are deadly going forward and that could see a real shootout develop at Yankee Stadium. It’s tough to call, but NYCFC should record back-to-back victories for the first time this term ahead of a tricky looking four-game road stint.