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New York City FC are winless in all competitions in five consecutive games. Four of these games came in the MLS, while the other came in the US Open Cup when the club was eliminated by division leaders FC Cincinnati. After that, New York City FC lost the season’s first Hudson River Derby and were held to a 1-1 draw against Orlando City last weekend.
Their opponents are coming into this match with a contrasting form, as they have only lost once in their last five games across all competitions. That loss came in the US Open Cup against Minnesota United. Only considering MLS, the side are unbeaten in the last six matches. Last weekend, Philadelphia Union eased past title-contenders New England Revolution 3-0.
The odds are backing the hosts, but the recent form and recent history of the fixture suggest that this one could easily go in favor of the visitors. That would extend two streaks – the unbeaten streak of Philadelphia Union and the winless streak of New York City FC.
The two strong sides have locked horns 20 times in the MLS. Not much separates the two as New York City FC have the better head-to-head record with ten wins. Philadelphia Union are not far behind and have eight wins. Only two games between the two have ended in draws.
Last season, when New York City FC played hosts to Philadelphia Union, the visitors nabbed a comfortable 2-0 win. In the reverse fixture, a dramatic 96th-minute Cory Burke goal handed the hosts a 2-1 win and ensured a double over New York City FC.
The two sides met again in the playoffs when New York City FC broke the deadlock via Maxi Moralez in the first half. But Philadelphia Union netted three in response and advanced with a come-from-behind victory.
New York City FC hosted nine of the 20 MLS games between these two sides. The hosts have won five of those games and drawn two. Philadelphia Union have only won twice, but both wins have come in the last three games. The remaining game ended in a draw.
In the last five games across all competitions, New York City FC have failed to score thrice. The only positive coming their way is last weekend’s draw against Orlando City FC which ended an abysmal four-game losing streak for the 2021 MLS champions.
The hosts have lost away games against Toronto FC and Charlotte FC before FC Cincinnati eliminated them from the US Open Cup. After that, they lost the Hudson River Derby and then shared the spoils with Orlando City FC last week.
Challenges are piling up for New York City FC because the next three MLS games they play will be against Philadelphia Union, FC Cincinnati, and New England Revolution. All three sides are title contenders this season.
The away record of New York City FC is nothing short of abysmal. In eight MLS away games, the former MLS champions have yet to win. They have drawn three and lost five. However, their home form is completely different.
Of five home games in the MLS so far, New York City FC have not lost any. They have won four and drawn one. That solitary draw came against Atlanta United. Before the beginning of the winless streak, New York City FC won two back-to-back games at home against FC Dallas and Nashville SC.
Starting with Philadelphia Union, New York City FC will play three successive MLS games at home. This would have been a relief for the side, but the opponents they face at home during this stretch are extremely strong.
The responsibility of keeping prolific attackers at bay will be the defense’s responsibility Maxime Chanot and Thiago Martins will have to step up their game and try their best to keep a shutout. Frustrating the opponent in defense could give them an opening on the counter.
Nerves were high when the Philadelphia Union hosted the New England Revolution last week. The latter are also leading title contenders this year. However, a solid second-half performance enabled the hosts to breeze past the five-time MLS champions.
The victory came after Philadelphia Union were held to a goalless draw against DC United in the week before that game. Before that, they scraped past Colorado Rapids. It seemed as if the Union was losing their touch, but all those concerns were put to rest last weekend.
The comfortable 3-0 win over New England Revolution gives the visitors the perfect momentum ahead of the next game. New York City FC are not in the best shape right now, but the visitors will not overlook their prolific home record this season.
Over the last few weeks, Philadelphia Union were eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League and the US Open Cup. If they fail to clinch their first-ever MLS title this season, it will be another trophyless year for the side.
In 2014, 2015, and 2018, Philadelphia Union came extremely close to clinching a piece of silverware in the form of a US Open Cup. But they failed on every occasion. This season will also be without a Champions League and an Open Cup, as the focus shifts to the league title.
Keeping clean sheets is not easy when opponents with prolific strikers show up. Philadelphia Union are no stranger to this challenge, but their defense has performed quite well in the last four MLS games.
Three of those four games ended with shutouts for Philadelphia Union, including the last two MLS games against DC United and New England Revolution. The third clean sheet came against the arch-rivals of their next opponents – New York Red Bulls.
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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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