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[monks data]
New York City
Major League Soccer
Apr 28, 2024 at 12.30am UK
Yankee Stadium
Charlotte FC

NY City
2 - 1
Charlotte FC

Parks (41'), Martinez (90+3')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Vargas (3')
Urso (21'), Vargas (50'), Westwood (53')

Preview: New York City FC vs. Charlotte FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between New York City FC and Charlotte FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In match four of their five-game homestand, New York City FC return to Yankee Stadium for a date with Charlotte FC on Saturday.

A 2-0 victory over DC United last weekend vaulted the Pigeons into eighth in the Eastern Conference of Major League Soccer (MLS), ahead of the Crown on goal difference, with the latter suffering a 3-0 defeat at home to Minnesota United.

Match preview

New York City FC forward Julian Fernandez in action versus Toronto© Reuters

Some home cooking has transformed the fortunes of New York City, who have points in four successive domestic encounters, including seven out of a possible nine on their current homestand.

That has temporarily taken some pressure off the shoulders of Nick Cushing, whose team began the regular season with just one victory in their opening seven league contests.

The Pigeons did an exceptional job against a dangerous attacking side last weekend, limiting DC to just a single effort on target, posting their second successive clean sheet, and they have a chance on Saturday to go three consecutive matches in this competition without conceding for the third time in the Cushing era as head coach.

Thanks to their recent form, the Boys in Blue are in a playoff position for the first time all season and within two points of the Columbus Crew, who are currently fourth in the Eastern Conference.

If they win again this weekend, they will have their first three-match winning run in MLS play since earning maximum points in their final three regular-season fixtures of 2022.

NYCFC have won their last two domestic contests at Yankee Stadium, collecting at least a point in seven of their previous eight MLS outings in the Bronx.

Charlotte FC striker Kerwin Vargas© Reuters

It was a forgettable home game for the Crown last weekend, who suffered a second defeat in their previous three league contests.

Dean Smith's men have conceded five goals in their last two domestic encounters, just one fewer than in their opening seven fixtures of the 2024 season.

Charlotte are unbeaten in 2024 when scoring the opening goal, while their four domestic defeats this year have all occurred when conceding first.

Saturday will be their fourth road contest of the new campaign where they have accumulated just a single point this year, while they are winless in their last five regular season fixtures away from home dating back to 2023.

A defeat this weekend would mark their fourth in a row away from home, their longest run without a road point since their inaugural campaign in 2022 when they lost four successive domestic contests from August to September.

They have never lost to New York City FC in five regular season contests, with the Crown winning four of those games, while Saturday will be their first-ever visit to Yankee Stadium.

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:

Charlotte FC Major League Soccer form:

Team News

New York City FC striker Monsef Bakrar celebrate a goal versus CF Montreal© Reuters

The Pigeons were once again without Maxi Moralez last Saturday, as the NYCFC midfielder has yet to feature since rupturing his right ACL last season, while Talles Magno is back training but was not on the team sheet versus DC, having previously sustained a knee injury.

Jovan Mijatovic got his visa situation sorted out and played the final 13 minutes plus stoppage time in their previous fixture, replacing Monsef Bakrar, as the Algerian remains without a goal this season.

For the second match running, Julian Fernandez scored an insurance goal for the Boys in Blue in stoppage time last weekend, his second of the campaign, two fewer than Santiago Rodriguez for the team lead, with the latter notching the winner and Matt Freese collecting a second successive clean sheet.

In their defeat to Minnesota, Charlotte were without Brandon Cambridge, though he is back training with the squad, while Ben Bender is nearing a return from his knee injury but did not feature last week.

Adilson Malanda, who previously sustained a thigh injury, was an unused substitute last week, as was Nick Scardina, for the same reason and Nathan Byrne was unavailable as the club continues to sort out his visa situation.

Malanda had the only goal in their earlier meeting with New York City to begin the 2024 regular season, and Kristijan Kahlina stopped the only two NYCFC efforts that he faced, helping his team win 1-0.

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Freese; Ilenic, Martins, Risa, O'Toole; Parks, Sands; Wolf, Rodriguez, Ojeda; Bakrar

Charlotte FC possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Lindsey, Tuiloma, Pirvett, Uronen; Westwood, Urso; Vargas, Dejaegere, Arfield; Copetti

SM words green background

We say: New York City FC 2-0 Charlotte FC

The Boys in Blue have been very compact and organised defensively over the past couple of matches, which has helped counter the ineffective attacking play of Bakrar.

As for Charlotte, they have become a little predictable in recent matches, often resorting to counter-attacks down the wing but not looking very dangerous on the ball, which is why we are tipping the Pigeons to beat them for the first time.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Group A

Q Germany Germany32107
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