Charlotte FC hosts New York City FC who they found a lot of success against in the 2022 campaign.
Here are the three ingredients of the match for the Pigeons:
Draw From Past
After a deflating loss against D.C. United, Charlotte can find confidence in looking back at their matches against NYCFC. In their first encounter, Charlotte traveled up North and upset the Pigeons beating them 3-1 surprising most around the league.
Charlotte then hosted NYC just four matches later and despite going down a man were able to hold on to a 1-0 lead to complete their sweep of the at the time reigning MLS champions. These matches prove that Charlotte has what it takes to beat NYC and they can draw from their past experiences to do so.
Deny Overlaps for Fullbacks
NYCFC’s fullbacks may not be world beaters but they are the only source of width for NYCFC. Their wingers like to cut inside while the midfielders tend to stay centrally. Without overlapping fullbacks, the Pigeons can’t stretch the field to give their attacking players space to create.
Defensive discipline from Charlotte's wingers will be important to deny these overlaps allowing Charlotte's central players to be more compact to better defend against the creative NYCFC players down the middle.
Charlotte only managed to generate 0.5 Expected Goals (xG) in their match against D.C. United. They started with most of the possession but never created clear chances to gain the lead. A quick look at the passing map of Charlotte shows a potential reason for the lack of danger in the attack.
The team was far too conservative with their passing, opting more often to pass backwards or sideways than look forward, making it easy for an organized side like D.C. to defend. Charlotte will need to have a greater sense of urgency with the ball and be more aggressive in their passing if they want to bypass another defensively solid side in NYCFC.
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