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

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

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, October 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Philadelphia 9/2

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host Philadelphia Union as two of the East’s top sides go to battle as the regular season moves to within three weeks of completion.

Both these sides are set for the playoffs but they are still looking to finish as high as possible, with the top two in the conference rewarded with a first-round playoff bye.

The Red Bulls have been sensational in recent months. They are unbeaten in 13 games – a franchise record – and despite some frustrating late collapses, they look like a complete team.

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Jesse Marsch will be delighted with the turnaround after a terrible start and will now be looking to win the Eastern Conference for a second successive season.

They beat Montreal 1-0 at home last week and are just a point behind Toronto going into the weekend.

For Philadelphia, it’s about trying to build some form back up ahead of the postseason. They haven’t won in four now and have yet to guarantee a top six finish so it’s important they bounce back.

A 1-1 draw at Toronto last time out wasn’t bad but defeats at Portland and Chicago prior to that will have frustrated Jim Curtin.

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The Union don’t have the best of records at Red Bull Arena, having only won one of their eight regular season trips there, so they aren’t expected to end their four-game winless streak on Saturday.

The reverse fixture this season ended 2-2 back in July, with Sacha Kljestan’s brace cancelled out by second-half CJ Sapong and Chris Pontius goals. The sides will meet again in Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season in three weeks.

Team News

The Red Bulls are still set to be without Ronald Zubar, Connor Lade and Gideon Baah for the visit of Philadelphia, while Omer Damari is a doubt and is unlikely to feature. Felipe is one booking away from suspension and needs to watch his step.

Philadelphia have one definite absentee, with Joshua Yaro sidelined as a result of concussion, while there are doubts over Maurice Edu, Walter Restrepo and Tranquillo Barnetta.

Key Points

NY Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/D/D/W

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

Key Stat: The Red Bulls haven’t lost in 13 MLS games and are unbeaten in 12 at Red Bull Arena, keeping clean sheets in eight of those games in front of their own fans. Fortress.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls talisman goes from strength to strength and is on his way to the MLS Golden Boot for the second time in three seasons. It’s incredible to think it took him until Week 8 to score this season but he now has 20 for the season, one ahead of David Villa going into the weekend.

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

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 Philadelphia Union – The Red Bulls have proven to be an absolute force in MLS. They started poorly but Jesse Marsch has his team in great shape ahead of the playoffs. They should stretch their unbeaten run to 14 here with another home clean sheet also likely.

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

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

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Sunday, May 24 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST) 

Match Odds: New York 7/10 – Draw 13/5 – Philadelphia 4/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls host Philadelphia Union in the live Sky Sports match this Sunday night. The Union will feel confident of producing a result, following an impressive 1-0 win over DC United last time out, but face a tough test away at New York this week.

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The Red Bulls have impressed so far this season, however, draws are hindering their potential. Jesse Marsch’s men have drawn five times, going behind in four of them with the other draw being a goalless affair away to FC Dallas last weekend.

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The Red Bulls go into this one as overwhelming favourites, having only lost two of their last 19 home games in MLS, and another win could see them leapfrog New England Revolution into second place in the Eastern Conference should the Revs drop points at home to DC United.

New York Red Bulls’ record this season: P10 – W4 – D5 – L1

Philadelphia will feel buoyed after beating Eastern Conference leaders DC United last Sunday and will face another tough task at the Red Bulls as they look for just their third win of the campaign.

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The 1-0 win over DC was the first time the Union has kept a clean sheet since the opening day of the season, and was their first win in six.

Philadelphia Union’s record this season: P12 – W2 – D3 – L7

Boasting the worst defence in the league, the Union will have to be at their best to keep out last year’s MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips if they are to pick up points come the end of play on Sunday evening.

Team News

New York Red Bulls will be without Sal Zizzo and Ronald Zubar, who both miss out through injury, while Matt Miazga is away on international duty with the USMNT Under 20s, so Damien Perrinelle and Karl Ouimette should start as the centre-back pairing once again.

Philadelphia Union are missing Andre Blake, Michael Lahoud and Steven Vitoria. Antoine Hoppenot and Raymon Gaddis are both doubts so may not feature. Maurice Edu could move into midfield following another stint in defence.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: D/D/L/W/D

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

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have never won away from home when playing the New York Red Bulls.

Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – Last year’s Golden Boot winner, BWP, is always a threat in front of goal and playing against the worst defence in the league could see him bag a few goals.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 2-0 Philadelphia Union – The Red Bulls look too strong at the moment and should blow the Union away with ease.