NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls Predicted Lineups: Who will win the Hudson River Derby?

New York City Football Club (NYCFC) will be playing host to their cross-city rivals New York Red Bulls on Saturday. It promises to be an intriguing battle, as just one position separates them in the league as things stand, though the visiting outfit do boast a game in hand on their opponents, having played just 27 games so far.

As both teams enter the business end of the season, negotiating tests such as these can provide a huge power shift in the league’s momentum. In the case of this derby clash, many New Yorkers will inwardly consider this to be almost an eliminator for a playoff berth, given how adrift they both are from those sacred upper echelons of the table.

NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls
May 13, 2023; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; New York City FC midfielder Richard Ledezma (20) plays the ball against New York Red Bulls defender Sean Nealis (15) during the first half at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls Predicted Lineups

 The game is scheduled for Saturday, 16th September and the kick-off time is 20:30 GMT. It will be played at NYCFC’s Yankee Stadium. Without further ado, let’s delve into all the latest news surrounding possible team selections and notable absentees.

Team News: NYCFC

The home side are on a relatively promising streak, having not lost in their previous two fixtures. Before that, however, the 12th-placed club failed to hit the back of the net three games on the bounce, though they did enjoy a five-goal rout over Toronto at the back end of July. It’s not unfair to say they have endured a mixed bag of results in the last couple of months.

Summer signing Monsef Barkar is expected to keep his place in the lone centre-forward role, as he has now scored in back-to-back outings. That will, in turn, be a massive boost for Nick Cushing. And despite Keaton Parks’ poor showing against Vancouver Whitecaps, he will most likely keep his starting spot for this weekend’s fixture, considering the partnership he and Andres Perea have begun to forge.

NYCFC Predicted Lineup (4-2-3-1):

 Freese – Gray, Martins, Risa, Cufre – Parks, Perea – Jasson, Moralez, Rodriguez – Barkar

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Jul 23, 2023; Queens, NY, USA; New York City FC starting eleven pose for a photo before a Leagues Cup match against Atlas FC at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Team News: New York Red Bulls

 Off the back of a third straight loss last time out, New York Red Bulls coach Troy Lesesne will be hoping for a strong reaction. But injuries remain an issue, as the visitors will have to field a team without star trio Steven Sserwadda, Serge Ngoma and Lewis Morgan. That said, all three are expected to return to action at the back end of this month.

Centre-back Sean Nealis is also unavailable for selection, after receiving his marching orders last time out in a 4-1 defeat against Philadelphia. They will need to find a stopgap replacement in order to fend off their city rivals on Saturday. Hassan Ndam, who has featured in 15 domestic fixtures this campaign, could be called upon as they look to nullify the recent goalscoring exploits of Barkar.

The rest of the back line forms itself, given that it has seen little alteration since the campaign kicked off – as does the expected four-man midfield.

Up front is another conversation, however. After Dante Vanzeir was taken off for an injury problem against DC United, his inclusion in the squad has been few and far between. To introduce him back into proceedings in such an important fixture would be a risk. Therefore, their strike duo should comprise of Tom Barlow and Elias Manoel.

 New York Red Bulls Predicted Lineup (4-4-2):

Miguel – Harper, Reyes, Ndam, Tolkin – Edelman, Amaya – Fernandez, Luiquinhas – Manoel, Barlow

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Aug 20, 2023; Harrison, New Jersey, USA; New York Red Bulls defender John Tolkin (47) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second half against D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports/Sipa USA – Photo by Icon sport

Who will reign triumphant in the Hudson River Derby?

 The hosts, especially on home soil, will be looking to enjoy glory in front of their avid match-going faithful. Looking to build on their brief period of moderate success will be high on Cushing’s agenda. However, the head-to-head record makes grim reading for the home side, having lost 15 of the 26 prior meetings, with the last two ending in a 1-0 win for the Red Bulls.

In the last seven of those meetings, the losing side has failed to get on the score sheet, but this is unlikely to be the case this time around, given the high stakes, and a profound degree of nervousness that could result in defensive errors.

Prediction: NYCFC 1-2 New York Red Bulls

See also: NYCFC vs New York Red Bulls H2H record.

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