Orlando City’s search for a second trophy of the campaign begins on Saturday, as they play host to NYCFC at Exploria Stadium (12pm ET). Will the hosts bounce back after tasting defeat last time out? Or will the visitors make it three road wins on the bounce?
To answer those questions, read on for our Orlando vs New York City FC predictions and full preview, winding up with betting picks from USAbetting.
Solid on home soil
Last time out, Orlando suffered defeat at home to Nashville, losing by three goals to two, though it must be said that that loss was somewhat uncharacteristic. In general, The Lions have been strong on their own patch. In fact, their recent failure was the first time that they have failed to take anything from a home game this season. Prior to coming up short against the play-off reaching expansion outfit, Orlando had won five of their last six at Exploria Stadium. Such a record doesn’t exactly suggest that they will be bowled over in this fixture, that’s for sure.
Travelling defeats few and far between
Much like Orlando at home, New York City FC have made themselves tough to beat away from the comforts of Yankee Stadium this term. They recently walked away with zero points in Columbus, losing by three goals to one, though that was their first taste of travelling failure in two months, while they’ve since bounce back, winning each of their last two away matches, beating both Toronto and Chicago. Interestingly, NYCFC finished the regular campaign with the third-best away record in the east, claiming 18 points from 12 matches. They also had the best away defensive record in the east, shipping an average of only one goal per game, which by MLS standards is reasonably impressive.
Close games becoming the norm
This is a fixture that the pair are no strangers to. Back in July, Orlando emerged victorious at the MLS Is Back Tournament, which they eventually won, beating NYCFC by three goals to one, though that victory was something of an exception, as draws have become commonplace when these two meet. Four of the last five renewals of this fixture have ended in a tie. The pair most recently drew swords just over a month ago in New York, where they drew 1-1.
Expect both to threaten
Though both have struggled to gain the upper hand in this fixture in recent times, there has been no shortage of goals from either. Not only did they both score last month and in July, but you would have to go back to 2018 to see the last time that either failed to find the net in this fixture. Each of the last five renewals have seen both get on the scoresheet.
Goals on the cards?
Not only have both Orlando City and New York City scored no shortage of goals against each other in the last couple of seasons, but the pair have also been involved in a number of high-scoring fixtures over the past month or so. Five goals were scored at this venue when Nashville visited last week, while Orlando have scored at least once in each of their last five, four of which have seen at least three match goals go in. Similarly, New York have scored in each of their last five, four of which have seen at least four match goals go in. Moreover, both teams have found the net in each of Orlando’s nine home matches since the resumption of the regular campaign.
Where’s the money going?
As a solid home team comes up against a useful travelling side, things are predictably even in the early betting. Those looking to go either way on the moneyline can get the Florida natives at +150 while those looking to support an away victory can also do so at +150. At these prices, neither a home nor an away win appeal greatly. However, ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ at +155 does.
We know that this pair are well accustomed to scoring goals against each other, while we also know that neither have shied away from high-scoring matches of late. The fact that four of NYCFC’s last five travelling fixtures have produced a minimum of four goals is tough to get away from.
In addition, if we dig a little deeper, the two matches between this pair that have already taken place this term point towards no shortage of attacking action, which should lend itself nicely to goals being scored. During the most recent renewal of this fixture, Orlando and NYCFC shared no fewer than 27 shots, ten of which were on target. Such numbers don’t exactly point towards a low scoring game. When Orlando beat Saturday’s opponents by three goals to one back in July, there was again an array of shooting on display: 38 shots were fired off on that occasion, 14 of which were on target.
Attractive player prop
For those more inclined to get involved with player props, Daryl Dike stands out as a more than viable ‘Anytime Scorer’ option. Orlando’s young striker has burst onto the scene this term by bullying defenders, putting himself in goal-scoring positions and hitting the net with regularity.
Not only has the 20-year-old scored in each of his last four appearances, but he has notched eight goals in total since the end of August. Moreover, the Oklahoma born goal-getter boasts an impressive average of 0.59 goals per 90 minutes. It would be a surprise if the big man didn’t get his share of opportunities against an NYCFC rear-guard that has been anything but sturdy in recent times.
So these are our Orlando vs NYCFC predictions and concluding betting picks for this preview: