Visitors Toronto FC currently find themselves in fourth place on 22 points and are still within touching distance of table-toppers Columbus Crew SC, while New York City FC are just two points ahead of seventh-placed New England Revolution and will need a win to consolidate their position in the playoff spots.
Both sides come into the fixture on the back of draws, with New York City FC posting a goalless stalemate with New England Revolution, while Toronto played out a highly-entertaining and eventful 2-2 draw with DC United.
New York City FC vs Toronto FC Head-to-Head
New York City FC are among the newest franchises in the MLS. They have played Toronto FC on just 16 occasions in the past.
Both sides have been evenly matched in previous games. NYC FC have five wins, five draws and 23 goals scored, while Toronto FC have won against 'The Boys in Blue' six times, scoring 32 goals.
The most recent meeting between the pair came in the first knockout round of the MLS is Back tournament in July, where New York City FC triumphed with a 3-1 victory to progress to the quarterfinals.
New York City FC form guide (all competitions): W - L - L - W - D
Toronto FC form guide (all competitions): W - W - D - W - D
New York City FC vs Toronto FC Team News
New York City FC
New York City FC manager Ronny Deila will be without the trio of midfielder Gedion Zelalem (knee), left-back Ronald Mattarita, and the recently injured Maxi Morales (knee).
There are, however, no suspension concerns for the home side.
Injuries: Ronald Mattarita, Gedion Zelalem, Maxi Morales
Toronto FC have four players ruled out through injury, with Ifunanyachi Achara (knee ligament), Michael Bradley (medial collateral ligament), Auro Jnr (ankle), and Liam Fraser (thigh) all sidelined.
There are no suspension worries for the Canadian side.
Injuries: Ifunanyachi Achara, Michael Bradley, Auro Jnr, Liam Fraser
New York City FC vs Toronto FC Predicted XI
NYC FC Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Sean Johnson; Gudmundur Thorarinsson, Alex Callens, Maxime Chanot, Anton Tinnerholm; James Sands, Keaton Parks; Alexander Ring, Alexandru Mitrita, Jesus Medina; Heber
Toronto FC Predicted XI (4-4-1-1): Quentin Westberg; Justin Morrow, Omar Gonzlaez, Eriq Zavaleta, Richie Laryea; Nick DeLeon, Jonathan Osorio, Marco Delgado, Pablo Piatti; Alejandro Pozuelo; Jozy Altidore
New York City FC vs Toronto FC Prediction
With just five points separating both sides, the stakes are understandably high in this fixture, although home side NYC FC have more riding on the outcome than Toronto FC.
A win for NYC FC would see them reduce this deficit to just two points and put them in a better position to finish in the playoff spots, but defeat could have disastrous results on their position.
With just six teams from the Eastern Conference automatically qualifying for the playoffs, New York City FC find themselves in the uncomfortable position of fifth, just three points ahead of Hudson River rivals New York Red Bulls in eighth.
A loss could therefore see them drop out of the playoff positions, while a defeat would have no impact on Toronto's position on the table.
As such, the Bronx side could go all out for victory, but they would have their work cut out against a Toronto side who have what it takes to defeat any team in the league on their day.
The absence of Maxi Morales will rob New York City FC of some creativity through the middle but Alexander Ring will be charged with stepping up in his absence.
New York City FC are currently unbeaten in their last five matches and are second only to Philadelphia Union on the form table in both conferences.
Toronto, on the other hand, have picked up just seven points from their last five games and will need to step up considerably if they are to get anything from a resurgent New York City FC.
The hosts impressed last season, finishing top of the regular season but have fallen some way off the pace in the current campaign, although they still have what it takes to get the job done.
Matches involving Toronto FC are usually high-scoring affairs, but they will face an uphill task to breach a compact New York City FC defence that has conceded just nine goals in 12 matches.
Prediction: New York City FC 1-1 Toronto FCPublished 21 Sep 2020, 16:53 IST