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● New England Revolution are at the top of the Eastern Conference with 12 points
● New York City FC are struggling in seventh place in the Eastern Conference with seven points
● When the two sides last met at this venue, New England Revolution won 3-0
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Pick: New England Revolution to win (+115)
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The start of the season was perfect for the New England Revolution as they kicked the new campaign off with two wins and two clean sheets. In the third game, they were thrashed 4-0 by defending champions Los Angeles FC. However, the side bounced back well to clinch two back-to-back wins in their last two games to sit at the top of the table.
New York City FC’s start to the new season has been quite shaky. They lost on opening day against Nashville SC before being held to a 1-1 draw against Chicago Fire FC. Two successive wins against Inter Miami CF and DC United gave them the momentum they needed, but they faltered again last week when they lost to Houston Dynamo FC.
With their eyes on the sixth MLS title, New England Revolution have the momentum and the upper hand in this fixture.
The two sides have met 22 times in the MLS. New England Revolution have the better record as they have won ten out of those 22 games, while New York City FC are not too far behind with eight wins under their belt. Only four games have ended in draws.
While New York City FC have an inferior overall head-to-head record against New England Revolution, their record at the Gillette Stadium is relatively poor. In a total of 11 games, New York City FC have only won two times, while the hosts have won six.
New York City FC’s last win at the venue came in the 2020 MLS season when a Michael Mancienne own goal coupled with Heber’s strike gave the visitors a 2-0 win. Before that, the only other win for them came in 2016 when Frank Lampard scored the only goal of the match.
After enduring a disappointing season last year, New England Revolution are looking to bounce back in the most perfect manner - by competing for the MLS title this season. They are off to a good start after winning four of their first five games so far.
The team is not relying on one or two key players as their goals have come from six different sources this season. However, the side has only scored seven in five games. Gustavo Bou has found the back of the net twice in three appearances.
The Argentine scored those two goals during the team’s last couple of outings and will surely be hungry for more. New England Revolution finished at the top of the table two seasons ago, but could not clinch the title. This time they will be desperate to change that.
Despite being at the summit of the Eastern Division, New England Revolution have been incredibly shy in front of goal as they are scoring at an average of 1.4 goals per match. After the defeat against Los Angeles FC, their concession rate is now at 1 goal per match,
New England Revolution fired a blank against the defending champions and now they are up against another big team in New York City FC. However, the on-paper advantage remains with the hosts because of their opponent’s poor recent form.
If Bou can bring his A-game to the pitch against New York City FC, he could nab a goal for a third consecutive game. A win would see New England Revolution start their season with three successive wins at home and would consolidate their position at the top.
The game against New York City FC will be the first of four games the New England Revolution play at home in quick succession. After New York City FC, the hosts will welcome CF Montreal before making a trip to face the Columbus Crew.
After that, they will be back to host Sporting Kansas City and FC Cincinnati. The next five games will be crucial for the New England Revolution’s title charge. Despite being in poor form last season, the side only lost four out of 17 home games, showcasing their strength on home soil.
New York City FC may be seventh on the table after a poor start but that will not be a reason for any side to underestimate their potential. The 2021 MLS title-winners will be looking to add a second title to the cabinet even if they fail to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference.
As long as New York City FC are in the playoff spots, they will be a direct threat to any side that is competing for the crown this season. This includes the New England Revolution. However, beating them on home soil will be no piece of cake.
Tactical astuteness is what the visitors will need in their next game and for the rest of the season as well. They almost secured three consecutive wins before this fixture but had to settle for two wins and a narrow loss last weekend against Houston Dynamo FC.
In the games against Inter Miami CF and DC United, New York City FC nabbed their first two wins of the season. In both games, coach Nick Cushing deployed a 4-2-3-1 formation and it worked well for his side.
However, in the game last week, Cushing switched to a traditional 4-4-2. Adapting to the change was something New York City FC could not handle properly as they ended up losing by a solitary goal that came from the penalty spot.
The players are accustomed to their usual formation and it will be challenging for the squad to adapt to a sudden change, which is why the club should revert back to a 4-2-3-1 if they intend to take something back from the Gillette Stadium.
The services of Santiago Rodriguez were secured by New York City FC earlier this month. So far, the midfielder has made three starts for his new club and has already gotten off the mark with a goal and an assist.
The 23-year-old will be a key figure for NYCFC this season as he could add to his contribution in the next game as well. Behind him, expectations are high from PSV Eindhoven midfielder Richard Ledesma who has joined the club recently on loan.
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● Teams: New England Revolution vs New York City FC
● Location: Gillette Stadium
● Time: Saturday, April 1 at 7:30 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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