On Saturday evening New York City FC plays host to DC United at Yankee Stadium. The hosts go in search of what would be a first win in seven games, while the visitors will try to end a winless run of their own, though it’s only been three matches since they last tasted victory.
The hosts will be looking for a second straight win over DC having won by two goals to one at this venue back in late June. Interestingly, the visitors have never won at Yankee Stadium.
New York City – Spiralling downwards
NYCFC’s slump continued last time out as they failed to get the better of Atlanta United. Avoiding defeat away from home is rarely the end of the world, and it was at least a point to add to their tally, but given their current form and the fact that their play-off position is now anything but secure, ties aren’t much use to Ronny Deila’s men, who now find themselves outside of the coveted top seven.
Fortunately, though they’ve not won any of their last three, the hosts still boast solid home form, losing only one of their last ten at home.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
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DC United – Travelling troubles
Unlike the hosts, the DC boys are currently inside the top seven, though only just, as they sit level on points with Saturday’s hosts, but above them on goal difference alone. As for their recent form, well, the visitors haven’t exactly been flying, winning none of their last three, two of which they’ve lost, while their overall efforts on the road this term have been weak. Only two teams in the Eastern Conference have claimed less travelling points than Hernán Losada’s men, which doesn’t bode well.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
Expert Pick #1 – New York City FC to Win @-130
Recently, the New York City men have been below their best, but this is the perfect opportunity for them to bounce back, and more importantly, put themselves back inside the top seven. The visitors have struggled all season long to get going away from home, and their travelling efforts simply don’t compare to the home form of the hosts, who would surely be much shorter in the betting had they won in the last couple of weeks. NYCFC has the best goal difference at home in the east, while DC has one of the worst on the road, with a 26 goal disparity between the two. More crucially, the hosts boast an expected goal difference of +1.29 at Yankee Stadium, while the visitors offer an average xG difference of just +0.12.
Expert Pick #2 – New York City to Score Over 1.5 Goals @-135
Much like this is an excellent opportunity for the boys in sky blue to get the win, it is a gilt-edged opportunity for them to score multiple goals. Despite coming up short offensively in a few games lately, the hosts are the third-highest home scorers in the Eastern Conference with an average of 2.07 per 90 at Yankee Stadium. Meanwhile, DC conceded an average of two goals per 90 minutes away from home. Consider that NYCFC is the best in the east in terms of xG for, averaging a high-quality 2.26, and home goals are hard to oppose.
Expert Pick #3 – Valentin Castellanos to Score @+170
Given the excellent season that Valention Castellonas has enjoyed at NYCFC, he looks slightly undervalued in the ‘Anytime Scorer’ market ahead of this fixture. After all, this is a player who has notched 13 times in MLS this campaign, while he averages a very high 0.69 expected goals per 90, which tells us that he’s not a player that goes without chances for very long. Against a visiting team that has found it very tough to keep clean sheets, the home striker could easily enjoy himself.
It’s been a while since NYCFC came out on top, but that can change here. The hosts still have lots going for them at home, where they’ve recorded some very encouraging numbers this season, while the visitors have struggled endlessly away from home. On this basis, Ronny Deila’s men are the ones to side with in the betting.