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New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC: MLS preview, tips and team news

MLS returns to action this weekend and the New York Red Bulls look to get their Eastern Conference season back on track against Toronto FC.

The Red Bulls were early contenders at the top end of the Eastern Conference, but have since stalled and will have enjoyed the international break as they look to return to winning ways against Bob Bradley's side.

With the stage set for an entertaining encounter, RealSport101's Harry Smith is on hand with a comprehensive preview of the weekend's action.

New York Red Bulls vs Toronto FC Team News

New York Red Bulls will be without key defenders Andres Reyes and Aaron Long for the visit of Toronto this weekend with Sean Nealis and Thomas Edwards set to start at centre-back.

Manager Gerhard Struber could make two changes to the side that lost 2-0 against Charlotte FC last time out with winger Cameron Harper and former Middlesbrough striker Ashley Fletcher both pushing for recalls.

Bob Bradley will be sweating over the fitness of Shane O'Neill and Jonathan ahead of his side's trip to New York after the pair both suffered injuries in a 3-2 home win over the Chicago Fire.

Expect Ralph Priso-Mbongue to return to the starting XI in central midfield with Lukas McNaughton also in line for a recall. Young winger Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty is unavailable for the visitors, while Kadin Chung and Alejandro Pozuelo are both doubts.

Confirmed absentees

New York Red Bulls: Serge Ngoma, Lucas Monzon, Andres Reyes, Aaron Long, Cameron Harper

Toronto FC: Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty, Noble Okello, Kadin Chung, Chris Mavinga, Alejandro Pozuelo, Jonathan Osorio, Shane O'Neill

Predicted Lineups

New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1): Coronel; Nealis, Edwards, Tolkin; Yearwood, Amaya; Luquinhas, Fernandez, Harper; Fletcher

Toronto FC (4-3-3): Bono; Thompson, Salcedo, MacNaughton, Petrasso; Kerr, Priso-Mbongue, Bradley; Perruzza, Jimenez, Nelson

New York Red Bulls v Toronto FC score prediction

Gerhard Struber has struggled to coax consistent results from his New York Red Bulls side this season. The home side head into this clash sitting pretty in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, but have won just one of their last six games and went into the international break off the back of a poor 2-0 defeat against Charlotte FC.

The Red Bulls struggled to perform on home turf in the opening weeks of the season and while they are now unbeaten in four at the Red Bull Arena, three of those results have been draws. That said, the Red Bulls can score goals and a positive opening spell here could see them drive home the three points.

Defensive issues have plagued Toronto this season, conceding the most goals in the Eastern Conference. Their 3-2 win over Chicago Fire did end a six-game winless streak but conceding twice against MLS' worst side did little to alleviate fears over their position at the back-end of their conference.

Bob Bradley's men are yet to win on the road this season, taking just three points from their opening seven away games of the season, and that record is unlikely to change against a Red Bulls side who are unbeaten in four on home soil.

Score prediction: New York Red Bulls 3-1 Toronto FC

Harry Smith's Tip: Over 2.5 goals

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