New York City FC and the New York Red Bulls meet on Saturday in a Big Apple derby with potentially big implications for the playoff race.
NYCFC is third in the Eastern Conference, a point behind joint leaders Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union. Domènec Torrent’s men, however, have two games in hand over United and one over the Union.
NYCFC also has two games in hand over the Red Bulls, who sit in fourth place, three points behind their New York rivals and seven points ahead of Orlando City, the first team outside the playoffs picture at the time of writing.
The hosts are in better form, having won three of their last four games, while the Red Bulls won just once in the last three.
Both teams have won 12 games so far this season, but while NYCFC has lost just five times—the least of any team in the Eastern Conference—the Red Bulls have already dropped 10 games.
Maxi Moralez and Taty Castellanos have been impressive for NYCFC, combining for 21 of the team’s 45 goals so far this season. The former leads the MLS assists chart with 16.
“All the time it’s about our scorers and right now they are both in top form,” Torrent was quoted as saying by Pro Soccer USA. “They both play really well because they have a special feeling to each other.”
Here’s everything you need to know ahead of Saturday.
When and where is the game?
New York City FC hosts the Red Bulls at Yankee Stadium on Saturday, August 24, with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN in English and on ESPN Deportes in Spanish.
A live stream will be available on WatchESPN and via ESPN’s digital platforms. It will also be streamed live on FuboTV and SlingTV.
According to Oddschecker, NYCFC is a 21/20 favorite (+105 in moneyline terms), while the draw is at 14/5 and the Red Bulls are at 23/10.
NYCFC will be without defenders Joe Scally and James Sands, who are nursing a hip and collarbone injury, respectively.
Midfielders Ismael Tajouri-Shradi and Ebenezer Ofori are unavailable because of ankle and knee issues.
The Red Bulls are without long-term absentee Florian Valot, who tore his ACL in March, while forward Brian White is a doubt with an ankle injury.
After winning 4-1 on the road against Cincinnati, New York City FC made it back-to-back wins after beating Columbus Crew 1-0 on Wednesday.
The Bronx Blues have now won three of their last four league games, while the Red Bulls have won twice in the same period.
The Metros won 2-1 in Washington against DC United on Wednesday night, to pick up their first win since August 3.
The Red Bulls have a slight edge over their local rivals, by virtue of winning two of the last five meetings, to New York City FC’s solitary win and two draws.
The Red Bulls won the last New York derby, prevailing 2-1 at home just over a month ago.