Orlando City vs. New York City FC – MLS, May 8, 2021
Orlando advanced to the 2020 Conference Semifinals at the expense of New York City following one of the craziest penalty shootouts in soccer history.
Fast forward to today, and the two sides are separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference, with NYCFC (W2-D0-L1) leading the Lions (W1-D2-L0).
Orlando welcomes New York City to Exploria Stadium on Saturday, May 8, as both teams aim to build on a promising start to the 2021 MLS campaign.
After looking at the odds and assessing both sides’ chances, I will share my Orlando City vs. New York City FC prediction and betting pick.
Orlando City vs. New York City Odds
The narrow odds gap suggests that Orlando and New York City are set for a tight game. Judging by what happened last time these two teams met, it is difficult to argue with the leading online sportsbooks.
Although Orlando is the narrow home favorite, NYCFC will be confident of upsetting the MLS odds this weekend.
Orlando Team News and Analysis
Following a hard-fought goalless draw with Atlanta United on the opening weekend, Orlando dominated Sporting Kansas City in Week 2. However, Oscar Pareja’s men were eventually forced to settle for back-to-back draws.
The Lions enjoyed the lion’s share of possession (no pun intended) against the Wizards, but even Nani’s cheeky backheel goal wasn’t enough to prevent another stalemate.
Having failed to win each of their first two games this season, Pareja’s men needed to lay down a marker in Week 3. Thankfully, FC Cincinnati came to town.
Orlando notched up a colossal 22 shots against Cincy, while the visitors failed to register a single attempt on target. Nani got on the scoresheet again, leaving Tesho Akindele and Junior Urso to complete the 3-0 win.
The Lions will probably feel they should have more than five points to show for their recent efforts. Still, they remain unbeaten this year and have set the foundations for another successful campaign in the East.
NYCFC Team News and Analysis
Alarm bells were ringing when New York City suffered a shock 2-1 loss to DC United in Week 1. But since then, the Boys in Blue have been immense.
Like Orlando, NYCFC has already benefitted from facing a dreadful Cincinnati team this season. A Jesus Medina double helped Ronny Deila’s side crush Cincy 5-0, while Gudmundur Thorarinsson and Valentin Castellanos also found the back of the net in Week 2.
Medina and Castellanos were again on hand to fire their side to an impressive 2-0 victory over Philadelphia last weekend.
Deila’s men have shown everyone what they are capable of during the early stages of the season – and they will have to be at their best again this weekend.
My Orlando vs. New York City Betting Pick
This is destined to be a close match between two in-form sides. Both teams have recorded a number of positive results this year, so I can see Saturday’s clash going down to the wire.
Given that both sides will be eager to extend their unbeaten streaks, I believe the draw is the best bet for Orlando City vs. NYCFC.
After all, the Lions have already picked up a couple of draws this season, along with a dominant win – proving that it’s difficult to break them down.