On Saturday (7.30pm ET), it’s time for the New York Derby, as the New York Red Bulls host to their rival New York City FC. The visitors will be desperate to turn things around following a poor run of form, while much the same can be said for the hosts. Can either team come out on top? This RBNY vs NYCFC predictions and preview aims to answer that.
RBNY finally regained the winning thread during the week, as they got the better of D.C. United in front of a home crowd. It wasn’t high-scoring, and at times, it wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done, scoring once, and keeping a clean sheet, sending themselves into the next round of the US Open Cup.
Unfortunately, in Major League Soccer, things haven’t been going so well. The team now coached by Troy Lesesne, who recently signed on for the end of the season to replace Gerhard Struber, is without a win in seven MLS games, three of which they have lost. Hopefully that midweek home win in the US Open Cup acts as a springboard for further success.
As for the visitors, NYCFC, they too arrive here out of form. Unlike their hosts, they were dumped out of the US Open Cup during the week, losing on the road to Cincinnati, failing to score in the process. Prior to that, they lost away at Charlotte, despite finding the net twice on that occasion. That defeat was their second MLS loss in a row following a 1-0 defeat in Toronto. NYCFC will therefore arrive at Red Bull Arena having lost each of their last three. It is not exactly the form you want ahead of a big New York Derby clash such as this.
RBNY hard to beat at home
It is no secret that the Red Bulls have struggled to get their noses in front of late. They are not scoring with great regularity, and if we are serious about it, they lack a real goal threat. Forwards Cory Burke, Tom Barlow, Lewis Morgan, and Dante Vanzeir have just three goals between them, which is a cause for concern.
However, this is a team that is not easy to get at, as several opponents have found. At home, the Red Bulls really have not given much away. They have not conceded more than once in any of their home games this season, keeping a clean sheet in two out of six if we include that midweek cup win over D.C. United.
Not only have Saturday’s hosts conceded less goals at home than most teams, but they are also easily the best team in the Eastern Conference when it comes to expected goals against. In five MLS fixtures at Red Bull Arena, NYRB have given up just 2.9 expected goals, surrendering an average of just 0.58. That tells that they can certainly stop teams in their tracks, which is just as well given their offensive issues.
Visiting NYCFC lacking goals on the road
A lack of goals is also a problem for NYCFC, especially on the road, where they have certainly not been forthcoming in the final third. Last time out on their travels, they failed to score in Cincinnati. Sure, they scored twice at Charlotte prior to that, but that was only the third time that they had found the net away from home this term, which isn’t exactly positive given that they have seven competitive away games in total.
Of course, the visitors do have attacking talents such as Gabriel Pereira and Santiago Rodriguez, who between have netted a respectable seven goals in MLS so far this season. Only three of those seven have come on the road, while beyond those two, the team seems to carry little threat, which is perhaps why they have scored just four away goals. Only four teams in the east have scored fewer road goals this campaign.
Visitors going for a hat-trick of derby wins
The NYCFC franchise may arrive here in poor shape after losing each of their last three, but their recent record in this fixture may give them something to cling onto hope wise. When the teams last met, NYCFC won 2-0 at Yankee Stadium. Before that, they won 1-0 at this venue, picking up their first away win against the Red Bulls since 2017. In general, the Red Bulls have a solid home record against their rivals, losing just one of the last nine meetings at Red Bull Arena, winning six of the other eight.
What is interesting is that the pair have shared a real lack of goals when they have come together on the field in recent times. Only one of the last five renewals of the New York Derby has produced more than two goals, while at least one team has failed to score in each of the last five renewals.
RBNY vs NYCFC: Where’s the bet?
Despite their lack of goals, this could be a good opportunity for the hosts to pick up a much-needed league win and they may be worth betting on with the stateside-friendly sportsbooks to do just that.
They have not been scoring too many goals, even at home, we know that, but then again, we also know that the visitors have struggled in that department. The visitors have also found it tough to keep teams at bay on their travels, which is not something that can be said for the hosts at home, who are arguably the best in the division at restricting teams.
What is more, the hosts have been slightly unfortunate in their recent home games, as they have created plenty. Their last three home xG totals of 1.88, 1.75, and 2.29 tell us that they can certainly create chances in the final third, so it may not be long until they start improving on their goal return. Against their struggling rivals, they can enhance their goal record and get the job done, much as they often do when playing this derby at home. So, for our concluding betting picks and predictions for this preview, the suggestion is: