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Odds taken from bet365.
Minnesota United are the heavy favorites going into the clash against New York City FC on Sunday as the MLS resumes after a mid-season break. The match will take place at New York City FC’s home ground, the Citi Field Stadium, where they have won only one match against Toronto since April 2023.
New York City FC have not played since their exit from the Leagues Cup over two weeks ago, resulting in match fitness concerns for their players. The New York City side was ousted by arch-rivals New York Red Bulls in the Round of 32, who secured a 1-0 victory thanks to a penalty at the half-hour mark.
Minnesota United will be buoyant about their chances to secure all three points as they made it through to the quarterfinals of the Leagues Cup, beating strong teams like Toluca and Columbus Crew in the knockout stages on penalties.
The two teams have faced off 4 times so far, with New York City FC leading the head-to-head 2-1, with only one match ending in a draw. When these two sides met in May 2022, New York City edged past Minnesota United 1-0 with a goal from Alexander Callens in the first half to claim all three points. It was the only clash between these two teams that yielded a single goal, with all others averaging three goals or more.
However, this time around, as the two sides meet, Minnesota United are the favorites to nab a victory and level their head-to-head record. They have a fantastic away form, winning three of their last five away matches.
Both teams will be looking to shrug off the disappointment of their respective losses in the Leagues Cup. New York City FC failed to make it past the first knockout round, whereas Minnesota United were thrashed 5-0 by eventual finalists Nashville SC in the quarterfinals. Despite the thrashing, given their recent form, Minnesota United look like the stronger side between the two.
New York City FC have had a dismal season in the MLS so far. They sit 13th in the Eastern Conference table, having won just five of their 24 matches so far. They have accumulated just 26 points in 24 games, with five wins, 11 draws, and eight losses.
New York City FC are three positions away from the last playoff qualifying place in the table. Nick Cushing’s men will be hoping to secure maximum points form their remaining six games if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
New York City FC will look to shrug off their poor form in the MLS, having won just one of their last 15 games. As the MLS resumes after breaking for the 2023 Leagues Cup, the New York side will hope to make a fresh start at their home stadium.
The early exit from the 2023 Leagues Cup means that New York City FC have been out of action for nearly three weeks as they take the field on this Sunday, with their Round of 32 loss coming over two weeks ago.
Nick Cushing’s side have had a long break, and while it could mean enough rest for a fresh beginning in the MLS, there will be concerns regarding his players’ match fitness.
New York City FC fired five goals past Toronto FC in their Leagues Cup group stage clash with two goals from Santiago Rodriguez, and one each from Maxime Chanot, Monsef Bakrar, and Andres Jasson. However, they have not had the best goalscoring record in the MLS this season.
The club ranks 24th in the MLS table in terms of goals scored, averaging just one goal per match. Though they average 4.4 shots on target per match, their conversion rate is less than 25%. The coach will be hoping Gabriel Pereira can fire his team to victory once again. The club’s top scorer has scored six goals this season, followed by Rodriguez with four and Talles Magno with three. Magno also has the most number of shots on target, averaging 1.3 per match.
Minnesota United were the dark horses in the Leagues Cup and defied the odds to make it to the quarterfinals. Though their victories were not emphatic, they managed to oust teams like Columbus and Toluca in the knockout stages.
Minnesota United are just one position below the qualifying places in the MLS Western Conference table. They are placed 10th with 28 points from 22 games. They have managed to win seven games so far with seven draws and eight losses. However, as compared to New York City FC, Minnesota United have managed two victories in their last five matches in the MLS and will be hoping to get a win to move up in the standings.
Minnesota United have nabbed away victories in two of their last five games and they came against Houston Dynamo and Portland Timbers. They drew against Real Salt Lake and lost against Montreal and Austin FC.
Their changed away form will be a boost for coach Adrian Heath’s side as they travel to New York City when their MLS campaign resumes on Sunday. Minnesota United’s last away loss in the MLS came against Montreal FC on June 11.
Minnesota United will be banking on winger Bongokuhle Hlongwane who is their top goal scorer this season with 13 goals so far. He came close to getting the Golden Boot in the 2023 Leagues Cup, being tied with Lionel Messi at seven goals each until the quarterfinals when his side were ousted by Nashville SC.
Hlongwane has also nabbed one assist so far in the MLS. Adrian Heath will be counting on his great goalscoring form to fire them past New York City FC. Hlongwane is followed by Emanuel Reynoso with four goals and Kevin Arriaga with two goals. Minnesota United have scored 11 times in their last five matches, with Hlongwane registering an average of 1.3 shots on target per match.
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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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