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Revolution vs. New York City FC: Storylines to follow in week 14

Can the Revs finally earn a big road win? That, and three other headlines to track.

MLS: New York City FC at New England Revolution Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

On the heels of a 2-1 loss to the Red Bulls, the Revolution will travel to the Bronx for a midweek matchup with New York City FC. Ahead of the match, here are four storylines to follow:

1. How will each manager shake up his lineup?

Both the Revolution and NYCFC will head into Wednesday’s match on short rest, with the Revs having played Saturday night in Harrison, N.J., and NYCFC having played Sunday night in Atlanta. As a result, both Jay Heaps and Patrick Vieira may opt for a second-choice Starting XI.

For Heaps, the silver lining of week 13 suspensions to Andrew Farrell and Benjamin Angoua is the ability to start both players against NYCFC. The rest of his lineup could stay intact, with a change in the midfield to employ a more attack-minded player at the top of the diamond.

Vieira has already vowed to make changes to the lineup that fell 3-1 to Atlanta United over the weekend. Tommy McNamara (three starts, 10 appearances) and Mikey Lopez (two starts, three appearances) represent top candidates to earn a spot start.

2. How will the two sides respond to losses in week 13?

Both the Revolution and NYCFC endured bitter defeats over the weekend. Vieira’s side fell victim to an attacking onslaught from Miguel Almiron and Atlanta United; the expansion club scored three goals in seven minutes en route to a 3-1 win. Heaps’ team didn’t fare much better, surrendering a 9th minute lead to the New York Red Bulls, who scored two second-half goals to claim a 2-1 win.

Which club will bounce back on Wednesday? With just four points separating the ninth-place Revolution and third-place NYCFC, a win will go a long way.

3. Can the Revolution finally get a big road win?

If the Revs want to make a playoff run, the club will need to start securing road wins. And at some point, those road wins must come against formidable opponents. But with road losses to the Red Bulls, Crew SC and Fire already in the books this season, the Revs have done little to prove they can hang with the Eastern Conference playoff field away from Gillette Stadium.

On Wednesday, Heaps’ club has a chance to right the ship with a road win over NYCFC, one of the high achievers in the Eastern Conference.

4. Will Andrea Pirlo resurface in NYCFC’s Starting XI?

The Italian midfielder, now 38 years old, has endured a down season. Injuries have derailed part of his campaign. And tactical substitutions have resulted in several abbreviated starts. But with Alexander Ring suspended due to yellow card accumulation, Vieira will almost surely plug Pirlo back into his Starting XI, assuming he’s healthy enough (he’s officially listed as questionable with a knee injury) to earn the start.

Pirlo picked up an assist in his last appearance against the Revs, a match his club ultimately lost, 3-1.