How settled is the New York Red Bulls' squad at the moment? So settled this column isn't just predicting the same starting lineup as the one which clinched the 2015 Supporters' Shield in Chicago, but it is also predicting the same match-day 18.
Roy Miller ought to be ready for consideration for a bench role, but injury has kept him out of the team for so long - and his adjustment to the RalfBall way seemed incomplete when he was fit - that it would be a surprise to see Jesse Marsch risk unbalancing his tactical plans at this stage of the season. If Miller is to be reintegrated into the coach's plans, better that work starts next week, when RBNY is in front of its home crowd (and when Marsch knows exactly what will be required if the Red Bulls are to make the next round of the playoffs).
Anatole Abang, we are told, still isn't fit and increasingly looks a candidate to join Chris Duvall as an unfortunate absentee from this season's climax.
Marsch declined to set a timetable for Anatole Abang, stating he is "close" to return. Duvall "is a couple weeks away." #RBNY
— Eric Giacometti (@Eric_Giacometti) October 29, 2015
Maybe there is a match-up Marsch has spotted that might recommend a change to what has been mostly working for RBNY this season (D.C. United will be missing senior defender Bobby Boswell). Maybe the Red Bulls' head coach will shuffle his lineup because he can be certain his opponents are now comfortable planning for the usual RBNY lineup. But those are all second-guesses too far for this column. If Marsch has plans for something unexpected, he has kept them to himself - as he should. So this week's prediction is for another outing for RBNY's tried, tested and (as far as we know) fit-and-ready-to-go, seasoned starting lineup.