The second installment of the New York derby is upon us, with the Red Bulls travelling to Yankee Stadium this weekend.
The first time these two teams met, the spoils went to the Red Bulls. Despite an early red card to Matt Miazga, the Red Bulls managed to earn a 2-1 win. The result pushed them into third place in the Eastern Conference, while also being NYCFC's 6th loss in 7 games.
Since then, both teams seen a reversal of fortunes. The Red Bulls have only been able to win once since their last meeting with the Manchester City affiliate, going 1-4-1 since then.
The win came earlier this week against Real Salt Lake, with the Red Bulls desperately needing a result to end their 4-game losing streak. Jesse Marsch made several changes to the lineup that lost to Vancouver, with Bradley Wright-Phillips starting as a midfielder on the left, while Sean Davis started in place of the suspended Sacha Kljestan. Anatole Abang started as the lone striker.
The changes paid dividends almost immediately, with Sean Davis finding Mike Grella in the 4th minute for an easy tap in. The stars aligned to give the Red Bulls the result they needed, as Javier Morales and Demar Phillips were both given red cards. With a 2-man advantage, the Red Bulls were able to comfortably hold on for the win.
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Most concerning for the Red Bulls is that despite being two men up, they were not able to score more than two goals. Marsch's side have yet to score more than two goals this season.
New York City FC are coming into this match as one of the hottest teams in MLS. They've been able to put together their first win streak, and are currently riding this 3 win streak into Sunday's match.
Last week, City traveled to BMO Field to take on Toronto F.C. David Villa scored his first brace, with a goal on either side of halftime, to lead NYC to their third consecutive win.
Since snapping their 11-match winless streak, New York City's record stands at 3-0-1. Notably, they managed to earn points against teams that contributed to the Red Bulls' losing streak, like the Houston Dynamo and the Philadelphia Union.
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Sunday's fixture might give Jesse Marsch an opportunity to field a full-strength lineup. As Lloyd Sam has been considered day-to-day by the manager, there is a chance that the Englishman could return to the starting lineup along with Sacha Kljestan (suspension).
Who To Watch:
NYCFC: Josh Saunders. NYCFC could have easily tied last week, but some brilliant saves from Saunders kept the score even. The Red Bulls haven't exactly been scoring copious amounts of goals, but they're going to have an even harder time with the form Saunders is in.
RBNY: Sacha Kljestan. After losing his cool against Vancouver and getting a red card, it'll be interesting to see how Kljestan responds.
- The Red Bulls have failed to win in their last 5 away matches.
- New York City have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 matches.
- A win for New York City would put them even on points with the Red Bulls.