MLS Cup Playoffs 2021 – Philadelphia Union vs New York City FC Tips, TV and Betting Preview

The identity of the 2021 MLS Cup final will be completed on Sunday when the Eastern Conference final takes place as the Philadelphia Union play host to New York City FC for the right to play for the main title against the Portland Timbers next weekend.

Both these sides have seen off established opponents to make it through to this Eastern Conference final and will both be confident of securing a place in their first trip to the MLS Cup final by coming through this encounter.

Where to watch

The match will be shown live and in full on the Sky Sports Football and the Free Sports channels. The build-up to the game will begin at 8.10pm with the match kicking off eight minutes later.

Philadelphia Union

The Philadelphia Union have been progressing into one of the best teams in MLS under Jim Curtin. They are developing on the pitch and very much off it with a wonderful academy and draft team who identify and nurture superb talent which the Union either benefit from via their skills on the park or financially when they get moved on. A year on from landing the Supporters’ Shield title Union are looking to move to within a win of a first MLS Cup title.

Unfortunately the Union have been dealt a cruel blow ahead of this match with Covid-19 regulations denying them of 11 players for this Conference final. Six of those are said to be starters and another two are more than just fringe players so Philadelphia are going to need all hands on deck and a lot of luck if they are going to make it through to next weekend’s final. If they are to win this it would go down as a very big achievement.

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New York City FC

When you consider that New York City FC have already seen off the former champions Atlanta United and the massively dominant team in the league this term in New England Revolution in this postseason campaign, nobody can argue that they don’t deserve their place in this Eastern final. You could easily argue that they rode their luck against the Revs in the semi-final and might not have deserved to win that match but they held their nerve when it really counted.

Unfortunately that win came at a cost as star forward Valentin Castellanos picked up two yellow cards and is suspended for this final. That will place a little more emphasis on the likes of Maxi Moralez and Jesus Medina to take their creative game and add goals to it but given the issues their opponents are having with team selection for this match it could have been a lot worse for Ronny Deila and his charges.


Given everything that has happened with the Philadelphia Union squad this week you would think that New York City FC only need to stand up to win this match inside the 90 minutes. It isn’t completely helpful that Valentin Castellanos is missing for NYCFC and he will be missed but the visitors should still have enough in their side to get the better of a very much second string Union outfit, even allowing for the fact that NYCFC went to penalties in midweek.

As you would imagine the odds on an away win have significantly shortened since the news broke that Philadelphia would be missing so many players for this match but odds against on a competent New York City side to win this match is still appealing even if it isn’t the price they were when they had seen off the Revolution earlier in the week. This looks a much easier assignment than that one was and I’ll take the visitors accordingly.


Back New York City FC to beat Philadelphia Union for a 3/10 stake at 2.20 with Betfair

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