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Despite only being on two days rest, NYCFC will face, statistically, the worst team in the MLS, Real Salt Lake. Even though they are on short rest, can NYCFC comfortably put away Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium? 

Will Vieira Rest Players?

Last Sunday, NYCFC ground out a 1-1 draw against undefeated FC Dallas despite being outplayed for most of the match. After running non-stop in the Texas heat, one would expect to see NYCFC’s starting eleven to be different. 

However, according to Patrick Vieira, a strong eleven will be seen, as this game in his eyes won’t be a walk in the park. 

The reasoning behind Vieira’s statements is that he knows that NYCFC has never won against Real Salt Lake. In their two matches against one another, Real Salt Lake has made life difficult for the ‘Boys in Blue,’ winning both of the match-ups.  

Will We See Pirlo?

Andrea Pirlo, who did not travel with the team to Dallas, is likely to see his first action in three matches. Vieira will probably look to rest his midfield against the inferior Real Salt Lake, giving the Italian another shot in the team. 

Since Vieira said he wants to play a formidable side, we may not see Pirlo in the team tonight. But, a substitute appearance seems likely for the Italian, as he looks to get back in favor with the French manager. 

Match Prediction

NYCFC over these past few matches appears to have found their peak form. Even with a draw in Texas on Sunday, the resiliency of the team was present. 

In the matchup tonight, in which the team will be on short rest, expect to see that resiliency on display again. There is no reason why, even on short rest, why NYCFC shouldn’t win tonight. Real Salt Lake is, again, statistically the worst team in the league. Even on the road, this should be a very managable three points.

Plus, if there was any doubt as to how bad Real Salt Lake has been the past few weeks, check out this stat.

In the previous four games, Real Salt Lake has conceded thirteen goals. Yes, thirteen goals. 

Expect a blowout win for the ‘Boys in Blue’ and an appearance by Pirlo as a sub in the second half. 

NYCFC 4 – Real Salt Lake 1

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