FC Dallas v New York City – MLS
Dallas have a relatively healthy squad at the moment, long-term absentee Diaz has been training with the group again but remains a few weeks away from playing. Coach Pareja could recall Gruezo to the starting line-up, the midfielder has formed an excellent partnership with Acosta in central midfield this season. The change to 4-4-2 last week proved effective, with Akindele and Urruti linking well. Unbeaten in the league, Dallas are full of confidence at the moment and want to maintain this form. The displays appear to be getting better each week, with the defence particularly impressing. Only 5 goals conceded in 8 games, the Dallas defenders are looking forward to the challenge of facing one of strongest attacks in the league. Fans at home provide great support and helped create a fortress. Dallas are a team that allow their opponents to have the ball, the hosts can sit deep and hurt the opposition on the break. The defensive stability provides great confidence, should Dallas take the lead they will be very difficult to beat. Only once this season have Dallas conceded more than 1 goal in a league game, presenting few chances to the opposition with a compact unit.
New York City will be forced into a change in midfield, Herrera is a loss but the visitors are able to recall Pirlo. The latter has been out of the team of late but brings vast experience and should be motivated to impress. Sweat and White have been strong in the full back areas, whilst Callens and Chanot are first choice centre backs. In attack, Villa will pose the biggest threat to the opposition. The visitors produced a much-improved display last week, this was important as they face an opponent unbeaten in the league. New York City are excited about the match, aware of the significance a positive result would have on the team. Having won their last 2 away games, New York City will not be intimidated playing in a hostile environment. Coach Vieira has not changed the style of play this season, sticking with the 4-3-3 formation. Despite being the away team, New York City will look to dominate the ball and take the initiative. Villa and Moralez have a great understanding, the latter creative in deep midfield and finding runs of a striker. Attacking approach can leave side vulnerable to counter attacks, with full-backs advanced.
Verdict & Prediction
Still unbeaten, the confidence in the team at the moment is superb. Dallas have great competition for places, those coming into the team are making selection difficult for coach Pareja. Standards very high. players know if they don’t perform they will struggle to make team for next match. Dallas have turned Toyota Stadium into a fortress in recent seasons, with opposing sides finding it difficult to get all 3 points. The crowd can create a hostile atmosphere for the opposition, with Dallas players speaking openly about the lift they get during matches from the terraces. With 4 of their next 5 matches at home, Dallas have a great opportunity to open a gap at the top of the Western Conference. Players are enjoying the fact that opposing sides are determined to end their unbeaten start to the season. Up against a strong side, Dallas can make another statement of intent.
Prediction: FC Dallas over 1.75 goals (team totals)
Odds: 1.806 Pinnacle
Also, if you are interested in basketball, you can check out our WNBA season 2017 preview!