The New York City boys look to overcome the disappointment of two defeats on the bounce on Sunday evening as they play host to Nashville SC at Yankee Stadium. The visitors go in search of a fourth straight game without defeat.
This will be the second meeting between the pair this season. Back in September, Nashville emerged victorious on home soil, winning by three goals to one. Can they make it two wins from two against NYCFC?
New York City – On the slide
NYCFC looked set to cement third position in the east just a few short weeks ago, but after three poor results, the blue team in New York are down in fourth, level on points with each of the three teams below them. All of sudden, their postseason fate seems far less certain.
The fact that Sunday’s hosts have picked up just one point from a possible nine is disappointing to say the least, though the fact that his team have scored just one goal in a little over 270 minutes of football will probably worry coach Ronny Deila more. What’s more, a match against the tough-to-beat rearguard of Nashville SC isn’t exactly what the doctor ordered when struggling for goals.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
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Nashville SC – Still tough to beat
Many people may have expected Nashville SC’s solidity to wane as the campaign went on, but Gary Smith’s men remain as tough as ever to get the better of. Sunday’s visitors are unbeaten in three, while they’ve lost just one of their last nine in all competitions.
Playing on the road has also suited the visitors more than most in the east. They’ve lost just three of their 12 travelling fixtures, which is the joint-lowest in the division, while they’re the second-best in terms of points accumulated. There’s no reason as to why this sturdy outfit cannot pick up another favourable result on Sunday, and they certainly won’t shy away from the task.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
Expert Pick #1 – Under 2.5 Goals @-105
First and foremost, supporting a low-scoring game in the betting makes lots of appeal. The goals have dried up for NYCFC of late, scoring just once in their last three, while the visitors have been something of specialists when it comes to keeping the score down on the road this season.
The Nashville boys have conceded just ten away goals this term, which is the joint-lowest total in the Eastern Conference. They’ve not been too forthcoming at the other end either, which bodes well here. Only four of their travelling games have contained more than two goals, while they’re the third worst in terms of xG for on the road in the east, but the best in terms of xG against, so it really is easy to feel that siding with a less than high-scoring fixture at the current odds is the best option.
Expert Pick #2 – Both Teams to Score – NO @+110
Staying on the low-scoring theme, taking at least one of the pair to misfire stands out as a viable option too. As said above, NYCFC has struggled offensively in recent weeks, while they also have a record of featuring in games where either they or their visitors fail to score. Both teams have found the net in just two of New York City’s last seven matches at Yankee Stadium.
Furthermore, both teams have scored in three of Nashville’s last six on the road, as well as in just five of their 12 away matches in total this season. Much like less than three goals looks good at the current odds, so does one or both teams failing to score.
Expert Pick #3 – Nashville +1 Handicap @+110
If opting for a lack of goals isn’t your thing, then taking both the away win and the tie at odds of +110 is far from a terrible option.
Nashville aren’t big scorers away from home, we know that, but they’re one hell of a strong defensive unit, which is why they rarely lose. Combine this with the fact that they’re going up against a NYCFC side that is out of form and the visitors gaining a positive result starts to look slightly more likely than the current odds suggest. After all, Gary Smith’s men have avoided defeat in 75% of their travelling games this season.
If you’re yearning for goals galore, then the action at Yankee Stadium probably doesn’t warrant your attention on Sunday evening. Both teams have defended admirably in their respective home and away games, while as their xG against records suggest, they’re both good at preventing the opposition from building up a head of steam, so a lack of goals is forecast.