New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC, Saturday August 3, 23:00
The New York Red Bulls suffered a surprise home defeat against Columbus Crew last weekend but have an opportunity to bounce back against the 2017 MLS Cup winners on Saturday.
Even Head to Head Record
Toronto and New York Red Bulls are two of the older teams in MLS, and their recent head to head record has shown them to be well-matched. New York have won four of their last nine, while Toronto have won three and two have ended drawn. Their most significant meetings came in the 2017 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, when Toronto progressed on the away goals rule after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate. Toronto also won their most recent game, 3-1 at home, in the middle of July.
Inconsistent Red Bulls
Along with Dallas, the Red Bulls have the joint worst MLS Cup record of the surviving MLS founding franchises, and although they are usually involved at the top of the Eastern Conference, they have failed to produce the consistency necessary to go on and lift the MLS Cup. That has been the case again this season. There have been some highlights, including home wins against LA Galaxy, reigning champions Atlanta and New York City FC, but frequent setbacks, the latest of which was their 3-2 home defeat by Columbus last time.
Signs of Improvement for Toronto
After winning the 2017 MLS Cup, the talk at Toronto was of creating a dynasty that would dominate MLS, but that hasn’t happened. They finished 19th overall last season, missing out on the play-offs and endured a poor run of just three wins in sixteen games this time round. But there have been welcome signs of a resurgence in recent weeks. They’ve won three of their last four, including that significant win against the Red Bulls, a run that has taken them into the thick of the Play-Off race.
Rely on the Red Bulls?
With a good record in New Jersey, it is no surprise to see the Red Bulls odds-on favourites here at 5/6 with most bookmakers. But can they be relied upon? MLS punters could be forgiven for being nervous about lumping on the favourites and may be tempted by the 3/1 available for the draw or even the 11/4 on offer for a Toronto win.