The New York Red Bulls will renew their rivalry with the New England Revolution this weekend as they wrap up the season with a matinee affair at Red Bull Arena.
It will be a match up of two teams heading in the opposite direction, with New York winless in their last three encounters, while the Revs lead the Supporters’ Shield standings and have won their last three matches.
While struggling to sustain a high level of intensity for 90 minutes, consistency has become an issue for the Red Bulls lately, as they have fallen below the playoff line in the East in ninth place, four points behind CF Montreal.
Last Sunday, their manager Gerhard Struber said that his players lacked the hunger and desire needed versus DC United, firing only one shot on target, despite having 61% possession, as they ultimately lost 1-0.
Over the past two weeks, they have not executed their forward running very effectively, and they have created very few scoring opportunities against two sides in DC and Toronto, who are on the outside of the playoff bubble with TFC conceding the most goals in MLS (32).
New York will be happy to be returning to Red Bull Arena, which has become a bit of a fortress lately and a place in which the Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last five games.
Midfielder Youba Diarra remains sidelined with a muscle injury, centre-back Aaron Long is out for the season with an Achilles tendon rupture, Andres Reyes has a hamstring problem, Sean Nealis has a thigh injury alongside Daniel Royer, while Andrew Gutman was an unused substitute last Sunday, having recovered from a minor knee issue.
Fabio is without a goal in his last three fixtures, while their joint-leading goalscorer Caden Clark has not found the back of the net since May 29 in a 2-1 win over Orlando City.
The Red Bulls made two changes to their starting lineup versus DC from their previous match as Clark replaced Frankie Amaya in midfield, and their other top goalscorer Cristian Casseres started instead of Wikelman Carmona.
Goalkeeper Matt Turner and winger Tajon Buchanan have been integral parts of the success of the United States and Canada respectively at the Gold Cup, and both will not be available for the Revs this weekend.
Striker Gustavo Bou has found his goalscoring form with three goals in his last three games, including a brace against Montreal, and he now has nine for the season, which is good for third in MLS behind Chicharito and Raul Ruidiaz.
New York Red Bulls possible starting lineup:
Carlos; Tolkin, Tarek, Pendant, Duncan; Clark, Davis, Amaya; Carmona; Fabio, Klimala
New England Revolution possible starting lineup:
Knighton; Bye, Farrell, Bell, DeLaGarza; Caldwell, Polster, Traustason; Gil; Buksa, Bou
New York Red Bulls vs New England Revolution: prediction
We say: New York Red Bulls 2-1 New England Revolution
There is something about Red Bull Arena that seems to bring out the best in New York, who have won four of their last five fixtures at home, scoring seven goals while conceding only twice.
New York Red Bulls vs New England Revolution: where to watch?
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