So close is that middle portion of the Eastern Conference of the 2019 Major League Soccer season that a mere two points separates these teams but three whole places in the standings lie between them. When you consider that, it becomes clear that although this may seem on the surface like a fairly common league affair, it’s actually one with a whole lot of stakes attached to it. This will be a clash between two sides who know they are running out of time to really make a change in the momentum of their season.
New York Red Bulls, in particular, have been disappointing considering they won the Supporters Shield in 2018. Toronto FC, on the other hand, know their pain too well. They struggled hugely to follow up on their 2017 victory last season. It’s fair to say that neither has managed to find the consistency they need thus far to prove they can be champions once again.
New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC Prediction: NY Red Bulls 2-1 Toronto
This game really has the potential to be a turning point, and each team knows it – not only from a points perspective but also in the momentum boost gained by besting a former recent Community Shield winner. While we think it will be close based on their similar results and motivation, we’re going to pick New York Red Bulls as favourites by a slither. That’s purely because we feel their performances have been of a higher quality throughout the season, even if they haven’t always been able to turn that into points. It’s likely to be a close, action-packed game though, meaning our prediction is 2-1 to the home team.
Our recommended tip: NY Red Bulls win
This is certainly a close one to call. That being said, it seems as though the bookmakers are also giving the advantage here to New York Red Bulls. This is likely owing to their slightly better performances this season compared to their upcoming opponents. While Toronto FC have medium-risk 13/5 odds on an underdog upset at Paddy Power, the home team have much lower risk 9/10 match odds at Ladbrokes. Therefore, for your best chance of earning an ROI on your wager, we recommend that you back the favourites to victory here.
If Toronto want a reason to be confident, they only need to look at their last meeting with NY Red Bulls on 18th July, mere weeks before this encounter. They romped home in that battle with a stunning 3-1 victory. There’s little doubt this will give them a huge psychological advantage here. Before that, things are as back-and-forth as each team’s results all season. The Bulls picked up two victories in 2018, while Toronto came out on top with two wins to one in 2017. We have to give the edge in momentum to Toronto for that recent victory but overall, these two teams are very closely matched.
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Players to watch: Brian White & Jozy Altidore
NY Red Bulls: Brian White
In terms of sheer goalscoring credentials, it has to be either Brian White or Daniel Royer. We actually saw this dream double team showed off their skills in that ultimately unsuccessful outing against Colombus Crew. Each scored a goal apiece, even if it wasn’t enough to get the job done. It’s also worth pointing out the Bulls rarely win without one of them hitting the back of the net. So, if they’re victorious, there’s a very high chance one is involved. Brian gets the nod here though for his winning goal against Orlando.
Toronto FC: Jozy Altidore
Funnily enough, the last time NY Red Bulls won without a goal by White or Daniel was against FC Cincinnati: the very same team Toronto bested in their last outing. Also notable is that Jozy Altidore scored the opening goal which set them on their path to victory – exactly as he did against their upcoming opponents in July. Can the lightning known as Altidore strike once more?