New York City FC vs Toronto FC Picks, Predictions & Betting Preview

Lorenzo InsigneNew York City FC and Toronto FC clash in the MLS at Yankee Stadium on Saturday (6.30pm ET), where the hosts aim to pick up a first win of the season following a trio of defeats. Having won each of their last two, the visitors go in search of a third win since the new season began. Read on for our NYCFC vs TFC predictions, full preview and betting picks.

After a couple of underwhelming efforts, losing away in both Charlotte and St. Louis, NYCFC returned home last time out, playing at Yankee Stadium for the first time this term. All appeared to be well as they took an early lead and dominated the first half against a Portland Timbers side that seemingly had little to offer. They continued to dominate in the second half, missing some key opportunities which they soon went on to rue when Portland scored twice late on to snatch victory. Can they now do better and finally get off the mark for the season?

In contrast, Saturday’s visitors, Toronto, remain unbeaten at the start of this 2024 MLS season. They tied with Cincinnati on the opening weekend, before going on to beat both the New England Revolution and Charlotte FC, winning thanks to finishes from key player Lorenzo Insigne on both occasions. Now back on the road, they will attempt to keep things tight for a fourth game on the spin, before looking to the likes of Insigne and fellow Italian Federico Bernardeschi to come up with the good offensively.

Hosts NYCFC looking to add goals

Over the course of the first two games of the season, NYCFC struggled really to impose themselves. They didn’t create too much away in Charlotte on matchday one, and when they did forge openings, the end-product was lacking. The same can be said for their second game of the season in St. Louis.

Last time out, on home soil for the first time this term, there was clear improvement, as they found the net early courtesy of the dangerous Santiago Rodriguez. They made much lighter work of creating scoring chances in general, but they were once again wasteful.

Adding goals is a clear priority for Nick Cushing, who acted during the off-season by bringing in Hannes Wolf from German side Borussia Monchengladbach, as well as Jovan Mijatovic, who joins from Serbian side Red Star with a sizable reputation as a goal-getter.

Toronto FC aiming to improve offensively

Of course, it has been a good start to the season for TFC, but you can only go on snatching games 1-0 for so long. Sooner or later, the team from Canada will need to start increasing their offensive productivity. Last time out, they relied on some individual brilliance from Lorenzo Insigne, much as they did in the previous game. They have scored just two goals, both of which have come from the diminutive Italian.

Fortunately for Toronto, the squad from Yankee Stadium have given quite a bit away. So this game is probably a good chance for John Herdman’s men to improve in the final third.

Home teams on top

In recent times, this is a fixture that has been dominated by the home teams. Both NYCFC and TFC have secured recent wins in this fixture, but only in front of their own fans. In fact, each of the last five renewals of this fixture have been won by the team playing on home soil. The last away win came in 2020, when Saturday’s hosts grabbed a 1-0 win in Toronto. Goals also tend to be scored in this fixture, with at least three goals being scored in five of the last six renewals.

Goals on the cards at Yankee Stadium

The visitors are yet to find themselves in a high-scoring game but this may just be the fixture where things click for them in terms of goals. The same can be said for the hosts, so much so that at odds of -113, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ appeals as a viable bet.

As touched on in this MLS game preview above, the pair have a recent history of producing goals in this fixture, with four of the last five league renewals producing at least three goals. Moreover, since the middle of 2022, the pair have met three times at Yankee Stadium (twice in MLS, once in the Leagues Cup), with three or more goals being scored in all three games.

The hosts, NYCFC, found goals hard to come by in those opening two away games but they performed much better on home soil last time out and can be expected to have a good go here once again. Defensively, based on what we have seen over the first three games, we probably should not expect too much from them, as they have struggled to keep things tight.

Of course, the Canadian visitors are yet to concede, but they have certainly had luck on their side, with their defensive line struggling to hold out in both New England and Cincinnati. At the other end, their efforts have perhaps been a little low-key, though, they clearly have the offensive talent to score goals. Against a weak-looking NYCFC backline, the likes of Bernardeschi, Insigne and long-term TFC man Jonathan Osorio should get plenty of joy.

Coming to the betting predictions and picks for this preview, a high-scoring game looks as if it may be more likely than the stateside sportsbooks’ odds suggest. So taking ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is the angle of attack here.

  • Go over 2.5 Goals @ at best odds of -113 with BetOnline.