New York City are on the road this weekend as they take on Inter Miami.
Here’s the Keys to the Match, presented by Tri-State Ford…
Build Up Momentum
It’s no secret that NYCFC have had a tricky time on the road this season. Wins have, at times, been hard to come by and that’s left the team needing to turn things around.
Inter Miami won’t consider themselves out of the hunt for the playoffs, and as such, they’ll approach Saturday’s game with an intensity and desire to take all three points. That desperation makes them a tough test for NYCFC, but one that presents clear benefits too.
If NYCFC can emerge victorious it will not only be three points, but also another example of this team going away from home and getting the job done. Ronny Deila and his players have their eyes set on MLS Cup success, and that will almost certainly mean going away from Yankee Stadium and performing on a big stage.
Saturday’s game represents the kind of test awaiting the Boys in Blue in the postseason, and it’s up to them to show they can deliver.
The last time NYCFC took on Inter Miami the two sides faced off in 4-3-3 formations. The key difference was that where Ronny Deila had Maxi Moralez in an advanced role, his counterpart Phil Neville had Brazilian midfielder Gregore operating as a number 6.
While this meant that Moralez and Gregore had their own fascinating duel for supremacy, things have somewhat changed for Neville tactically since then. Inter Miami has more often than not utilized a back three system of late, switching between five-man and four-man midfields. Last time out against Atlanta United they even changed things to represent a 5-4-1 formation.
That tactical flexibility is something Ronny Deila has consistently strived for with NYCFC, and it will pose a new challenge for him on Saturday. The Norwegian could easily seek to mirror his opponent or maintain the 4-2-3-1 system that has been successful of late. Either way, don’t be surprised if the two teams start in one system and finish in a totally different one.
Bring It Home
Although a playoff spot is not 100% guaranteed quite yet, it seems increasingly likely that the Boys in Blue will once again participate in the postseason.
Never content with just settling for qualification, the opportunity is now there for NYCFC to secure a place in the top four and with it a home tie in their first playoff game.
Given the team’s record at Yankee Stadium this season it would be wise to aim for that to give NYCFC the best possible platform as they pursue MLS Cup.