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

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

New York City FC travel to Washington D.C. this weekend for their highly anticipated Major League Soccer clash against DC United at Audi Field.

If recent campaigns are any indication of how this weekend's encounter could go, the Pigeons could very well emerge as the victorious party on the day.

Match preview

DC United celebrate their second goal in the first half against the Montreal Impact at Audi Field in November 2020© Reuters

After promising seasons in 2018 and 2019 respectively, DC United slumped to 13th in the Eastern Conference and 24th overall last season.

Yet, changes were made and the club made their first managerial switch in ten years, opting to go for Hernan Losada who most recently managed in Belgium for Beerschot.

For Losada, his primary job will concern getting the most out of star players like Julian Gressel and Edison Flores, who have always shown promise but never quite reached their potential.

Losada will also have to integrate new players for the 2021 season, with Nigel Robertha, Kimarni Smith, Michael Deshields and Logan Panchot all coming into the squad.

New York City head coach Ronny Deila reacts during the second half against the Chicago Fire at Red Bull Arena in August 2020© Reuters

After the wild successes of recent campaigns, last season was a disappointment for Pigeons fans, but hopes are high that Ronny Deila can turn things around.

The off season has been a period of transition for the club, with Chris Gloster, Alfredo Morales, Thiago Andrade, Cody Mizell and Malte Amundsen all joining the club.

It has not just been additions for the club though; Joe Scally joined Borussia Monchengladbach, Gary Mackay-Steven joined Heart of Midlothian and Alexander Ring and Ronald Matarrita also parted ways.

Deila has his work cut out for him in his second season in charge if he is to get the team back to winning ways, starting with a tough contest this weekend.

Team News

DC United ended last season playing in an attacking 3-4-1-2 formation, a style that Losada could look to tinker with this weekend.

Flores and Gressel are all but nailed-on starters, while the likes of Nigel Robertha, Michael Deshields and Logan Panchot could all feature at some point.

The Pigeons often opted for a 4-2-31- formation last season and Deila is likely to stick with what he knows.

Andres Jasson, Thiago Andrade and Malte Amundsen could all feature this weekend.

DC United possible starting lineup:
Hamid; Canouse, Brillant, Pines; Gressel, Nyeman, Moreno, Flores, Asad; Kamara, Sorga

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Tinnerholm, Chanot, Callens, Thorarinsson; Sands, Parks, Tajouri-Shradi, Moralez, Jasson; Castellanos

SM words green background

We say: DC United 0-2 New York City FC

Both these outfits have endured somewhat of a transition since the end of last season and carry the element of surprise. We think New York City could take all three points, though.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Gary Mackay-Steven pictured for New York City FC in July 2019
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