Philadelphia Union v New York Red Bulls – MLS
Philadelphia Union have good competition for places heading into this game. Coach Curtin decided to start Gaddis ahead of the first choice right back Rosenberry last week and the clean sheet could lead to the same defensive unit used. Medunjanin and Bedoya are key players in central midfield, out wide the hosts have good competition. Picault and Pontius are under pressure from Herbers and Ilsinho. Still yet to win in the league this season, Philadelphia’s winless run in the MLS now stands at 16 games. Naturally, such a poor run of form has drained confidence in the team, with Curtin under increasing pressure. Before the match, a sporting director publicly backed Curtin, in a clear vote of confidence. He needs results, however, to ease the speculation about his future, with fans unhappy. A possession based team, Philadelphia Union will aim to take control of the ball against an opponent who played a midweek match. Without a win this season, the first goal in this match will be crucial. Should the hosts fall behind they would face a major test of their character, as fans would quickly get frustrated and pressure would build. Likely to accept a point rather than take late risks.
New York Red Bulls made a number of changes for the midweek match, key players such as Lawrence, Wright-Phillips and Kljestan were all named on the bench. These 3 players should return to the starting lineup, and increase chances of success. Collin still remains unlikely to play, meaning Perrinelle and Long are partnered in the centre of defence, the former rested in midweek. The visitors come into this game after a midweek defeat, speaking afterwards coach Marsch and the players spoke positively about the quick turnaround. Players are happy to be playing again so soon, looking to bounce back quickly. This game is ideal, as Philadelphia are traditionally a fierce rival, so New York Red Bulls are motivated to inflict more misery on their near neighbours. The 4-2-3-1 formation will match up with the opposition, meaning the battle in midfield will be crucial. New York Red Bulls will push the full backs forward to ensure width is maintained, allowed Royer to drift inside. Players coming into the team will be fresh, whilst the rivalry between both clubs means that New York Red Bulls will push for a winner to erase midweek defeat.
Verdict & Prediction
The motivation from the visitors should be high, coach Marsch has already explained that he will make changes to his side. As a result, those players given an opportunity will be desperate to impress and give the manager food for thought with regards to future team selections. The pressure will be on New York Red Bulls, this is because their opponents have yet to win a game this season. New York Red Bulls do not want to become the first side to lose to the Philadelphia Union this season, defeat would be embarrassing for the players and manager. The visitors have eased the pressure on their coach with results in recent games. The start to the season saw speculation about the future of the coach, however, Marsch has remained calm and the players have backed him.
Prediction: New York Red Bulls +0.00 Asian Handicap (same as Draw no bet option)
Odds: 2.11 SBOBET