New York City Football Club take on Charlotte FC on Wednesday.
Here are the Keys to the Match, presented by Ford.
Christian Lattanzio did not enter this season expecting to oversee Charlotte FC.
The Interim Head Coach took over the team in June and has taken charge of eleven games, recording four wins, one draw, and six defeats.
For the first seven games of that run the Italian deployed Charlotte in a 4-1-4-1 system. That changed late last month when he played a 4-4-2 against Toronto FC. In the three games since his side has used a 4-3-3 system as they look to establish some consistency.
The use of a dedicated six should make for an interesting match-up against the 4-2-3-1 that his opposite number Nick Cushing has favored. Cushing knows Lattanzio well from their time in Manchester together and that will make for an interesting tactical battle between the pair.
One thing that has remained consistent throughout Lattanzio’s tenure is Charlotte’s desire to try and stay compact without the ball and work hard to regain it. Those qualities can often make for difficult games at home and will test NYCFC’s ability to stretch the field and play through the lines.
Both NYCFC and Charlotte have had some high scoring games of late, with the Boys in Blue seeing 10 goals in their last three games.
Meanwhile, opponents Charlotte have recorded a total of 13 goals in their last three outings – scoring five and conceding 8. Nick Cushing has been keen for his side to tighten up defensively after recent results, and the stats would suggest that there will be opportunities for NYCFC to flex their attacking quality.
Make sure you’re in your seat early – this should be a fun one.
NYCFC and Charlotte will enter Wednesday’s game keen to pick up a win and snap a run of back-to-back defeats.
At least one team will achieve that when they meet this week. For the winner this could be the start of a good run – the kind we’ve seen twice this season for NYCFC. The key is always to look forward, and a good result against Charlotte could allow the Boys in Blue to do that with renewed optimism.