New York City FC will be bidding to return to winning ways in the MLS when they continue their campaign at home to Charlotte FC on Wednesday night.
The home side, who are third in the Eastern Conference, have lost their last two to Columbus Crew and Inter Miami, while 11th-placed Charlotte will enter this contest off the back of a 5-0 loss to Los Angeles FC.
New York City finished fourth in the Eastern Conference last season and went on to win the MLS Cup for the first time in their history, overcoming Atlanta United, New England Revolution and Philadelphia Union in the playoffs before beating Portland Timbers on penalties in the final.
Nick Cushing‘s side are enjoying another strong season, with a record of 12 wins, six draws and six defeats from 24 matches leaving them in third spot in the Eastern Conference on 42 points.
The home team are only one point behind second-placed Montreal and six behind leaders Philadelphia Union, with a game in hand on both sides, but they will enter this match off the back of a 3-2 loss to Inter Miami.
New York City will again be missing Keaton Parks due to a calf problem, but the home side are otherwise in strong shape heading into the clash with Charlotte.
Head coach Cushing is expected to resist the temptation to shuffle his pack on Wednesday evening, with the bulk of the XI that took to the field for the first whistle last time out set to keep their spots.
That said, Heber is pushing to be involved in an attacking area and could come into the side, while there might be a change at right-back, with Anton Tinnerholm possibly replacing Nicolas Acevedo.
As for Charlotte, there will be changes from the side that started against Los Angeles at the weekend, with experienced defender Christian Fuchs among those likely to come into the XI.
New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Johnson, Tinnerholm, Chanot, Martins, Amundsen; Morales, Moralez; Heber, Rodriguez, Andrade; Magno
Charlotte FC possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Fuchs, Walkes, Sobocinski, Mora; Gaines, Bronico, Alcivar; Reyna, Swiderski, Jozwiak
New York City FC vs Charlotte FC: prediction
We say: New York City FC 3-1 Charlotte FC
New York City will be desperate to bounce back from successive defeats, and we are expecting them to triumph on Tuesday night. Charlotte are capable of causing problems, but we are finding it difficult to back anything other than a home success in this contest.
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