New York Red Bulls vs D.C. United Predictions, MLS Game Preview, Betting Picks: RBNY In Control

Omir FernandezFollowing their Leagues Cup campaign, the New York Red Bulls get back to business in Major League Soccer when they host D.C. United (7.30pm ET Sunday). Can the Red Bulls get the job done? Or will the visitors throw a spanner in the works? This RBNY vs DCU preview, wih betting predictions and picks, aims to clarify.

After a successful Leagues Cup group stage, where they drew one and won two, winning twice on home soil, the NY Red Bulls seemed well equipped to enter the knockouts, though they were sent packing at the first time of asking. Away against the Philadelphia Union, they hung on during regulation time, but were sadly beaten on penalty kicks and thus their adventure was over.

Head coach Troy Lesesne may be relatively pleased that his team can now switch their focus back to Major League Soccer, as there’s work to be done. Prior to breaking for the Leagues Cup, the NYRB had lost two on the bounce, which left them out of the all-important playoff places. They are currently in 11th position, four points behind Sunday’s opponents D.C. Utd.

Sunday’s visitors will certainly be glad that the Leagues Cup is now a thing of the past, as they didn’t exactly thrive away from the comforts of MLS. Sure, they narrowly got the better of CF Montreal in their first group game, but Wayne Rooney’s men couldn’t use that effort as a platform from which to build, as they then lost convincingly to Mexican outfit U.N.A.M, before drawing with Philly and losing on penalties. It was enough to send them packing.

Prior to entering the Leagues Cup, the visitors weren’t exactly in great form either. In their final home game, they tied at home to an Inter Miami side that hadn’t yet been boosted by arrival of Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, while in their final game before the in-season break, they lost handsomely in New England, conceding four and scoring none in the process.

Home comforts

For the Red Bulls, playing at home really has brought an extra level of comfort in recent times. Lesesne’s men are simply better on their own patch, there is no two ways about it. Last time out at home, they beat their city rivals NYCFC in sturdy fashion, keeping a clean sheet in the process.

Defensive security is a big thing for the Red Bulls at home. They really don’t concede many goals. They shut out NYCFC last time out at Red Bull Arena, while they have now given away just four goals in their last six at home in all competitions, recording two clean sheets.

DC United’s traveling troubles

The fact that the hosts have conceded few goals at home of late doesn’t exactly bode well for Rooney’s side, who really have found it tough to find their offensive feet away from home.

What is perhaps most alarming is D.C. United’s lack of away-day goals. They failed to score in Philadelphia last time out, producing just three shots on goal in the process. That is far from the first time that Sunday’s visitors have underwhelmed going forward when playing on the road. They struggled big time when failing to score away against U.N.A.M., while they have now scored in just one of their last four traveling games, netting only two away goals in their last six and that’s worrying.

NY Red Bulls on top

It is fair to say that the Red Bulls have had the best of this fixture in recent times. Sunday’s hosts are now unbeaten in their last four competitive games against D.C. United, three of which they have won. This will not be the first time that the pair have met this season. In May, they faced off at this venue in the US Open Cup. On that occasion, the Red Bulls secured a relatively straightforward 1-0 win.

When the teams last met at this venue, back in late 2022, the Red Bulls won by four goals to one. In fact, Sunday’s visitors have not won at Red Bull Arena since 2020.

More of the same from hosts RBNY

It is somewhat difficult to go against the hosts here. Neither side looks easy to beat, but the lack of offensive power shown by the visitors of late, especially on the road, gives the hosts a real edge. At the prices with the American sportsbooks, the value lies with ‘New York Red Bulls to Win & Under 3.5 Goals’.

The fact that both teams recently played away against the Philadelphia Union is helpful here. Both tied at Subaru Park, but it was the hosts who created the better impression, scoring a goal and creating a few decent chances. In contrast, D.C. failed to score and didn’t really create too much.

The hosts have the likes of Omir Fernandez, who has shifted through the offensive gears of late, producing four assists and two goals in the nine, and Elias Manoel, who could kick on having notched for the first time since returning from injury against the Union. The young Brazilian forward, who has a career total of 34 goals in 79 appearances, could be a big hit with a run in the team.

In contrast, the visitors DC Utd look to have little in the way of offensive threat right now. However, they don’t often take a battering, so we shouldn’t expect a high-scoring game. After all, less than four goals have been scored in each of the Red Bulls’ last three home wins, while more than three goals have been scored in just one of D.C. United’s last six on the road.

All in all, everything points towards a solid but relatively low-scoring win for the hosts, who simply have the edge in terms of offensive quality, which can allow them to edge ahead, as they often have done at home of late. So these are the RBNY vs DCU predictions and betting picks for this MLS game preview:

  • New York Red Bulls to Win & Under 3.5 Goals @ +145 with Bovada. It is +115 with EveryGame.