Preview: New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia Union are in town this weekend as New York Red Bulls hold host to them on Saturday night. With both teams playing their best soccer of the season, it is the Red Bulls who are in the better vein of form with a four-match winning streak, three of which coming on the road against LA Galaxy, Colorado Rapids and Atlanta United. Looking to extend the run to five, achieving all three points could see them leapfrog Columbus Crew and New York City and into second in the Eastern Conference with games in hand. 

Despite the absence of Luis Robles for the first time since 2012, the side were able to make a statement of intent at the Mercedes-Benz Arena on Sunday, coming from behind to achieve a comprehensive 3-1 win. The Red Bulls’ high-pressure clearly upset Atlanta in the opening stages and this set the tone for the remainder of the match. While Gerardo Martino’s renowned front line suffered, Jesse Marsch’s thrived as Wright-Phillips’ second-half brace secured the points.

The Union have quietly put together a streak of their own in recent weeks, winning back-to-back matches for the first time since last summer. Obtaining all three points in Montreal the game prior, they were able to take advantage of Real Salt Lake’s leaky defense by putting two past them in each half, with winter acquisition Bořek Dočkal orchestrating the proceedings with his maiden goal and two assists.

Last season the bragging rights were shared in the league with three points apiece, but it was New York Red Bulls that came out on top in the U.S Open Cup, defeating their opponents 5-4 on penalties after it had ended 1-1. It could be an entertaining spectacle at the Red Bull Arena as both sides have objectives to strive for and momentum behind them. 

Match Information

Date: Saturday, May 26, 2018

Kick-off: 19:00 (ET) | 00:00 (BST)

Venue: Red Bull Arena

Referee: Ted Unkel

Broadcasting: ESPN+ (USA) | MLS Live (USA & Canada) | Sky Sports Football (UK)

Previous Meetings

10/01/16:  New York Red Bulls 3-2 Philadelphia Union

10/23/16: Philadelphia Union 0-2 New York Red Bulls

05/06/17: Philadelphia Union 3-0 New York Red Bulls

06/18/17: Philadelphia Union 0-2 New York Red Bulls

09/17/17: New York Red Bulls 0-0 Philadelphia Union

Current Form

New York Red Bulls

Chicago Fire 1-2 (H) | LA Galaxy 2-3 (A) | New York City 4-0 (H) | Colorado Rapids 1-2 (A) | Atlanta United 1-3 (A)

Philadelphia Union

D.C. United 3-2 (H) | Toronto 3-0 (A) | Columbus Crew 1-0 (A) | Montreal Impact 0-2 (A) | Real Salt Lake 4-1 (H)

Team News

New York Red Bulls

Injured: Kyle Duncan (torn anterior cruciate ligament) | Mark Rzatkowski (calf)

Doubt:  Luis Robles (knee)

Philadelphia Union

Injured: Richie Marquez (sports hernia) | Joshua Yaro (concussion)

Predicted Line-ups

New York Red Bulls

Meara

Murillo – Long – Parker – Lawrence

Adams – Davis

Royer – Romero Gamarra – Valot

Wright-Phillips

Philadelphia Union

Blake

Rosenberry – McKenzie – Trusty – Gaddis

Medunjanin – Bedoya

Epps – Dočkal – Picault

Sapong

Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Philadelphia Union

[Photo: Trey Madara / Brotherly Game]

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