MLS: New York City- Toronto FC
This was meant to be the debut for Frank Lampard, but a minor knock has delayed that for another 7 days +, however, the official signing of Andrea Pirlo was announced this week and the prospect of both being available soon is a major boost both for the club and MLS football in general and neither are the type to ever give less that 100%. The starting eleven today will be fighting hard to keep their places and tickets will already have been sold with the crowd expecting to see the former EPL star and this will still be a bit of an occasion.
These two teams met three weeks ago in Ontario with NYC winning 2-0 , they were tactically very solid there, pressed incredibly well and David Villa who remains a top class striker took his two chances and to be honest, at 3-4 years younger than the other two "superstars" , he should still be playing at a higher level, he could score in MLS almost in his sleep ! Anyway, I liked that performance, defensively they allowed TFC little and dominated the match early and through the key middle part of the second half and on the road. The defence has also been tightened up with the signings of a pair of Spanish full backs in the incredibly experienced Andoni Iraloa and Angelino this week . With Toronto missing a lot of players today, I expect a follow up win.
The visitors arrrive without Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley ,Ashtone Morgan, Jonathan Osorio and Quillan Roberts, all of whom are on international duty. This leaves them short through the central spine and with their remaining key player Sebatian Giovinco, left to carry most of the offensive load on his own, which is a big ask and will make him easier to mark.
New York City -0.5 ball 2.03 asian line/Sportmarket.