Ben Olsen's men have won just one of their last eight matches in this competition. New England are unbeaten in seven MLS outings and are sure to represent a tough test for the hosts.
Nevertheless, D.C. United remain as 10/11 (1.91) favourites with William Hill to come out on top on this occasion.
Bruce Arena's side are available at 27/10 (3.80) to win for a fourth time in five MLS matches when they visit Audi Field. William Hill offer 13/5 (3.60) that these two teams settle for a share of the spoils on Friday night.
Despite United's disappointing dip, Wayne Rooney has impressed in recent weeks. The former England captain has scored six goals in his last nine matches and is expected to spearhead the home side's attack here.
With five goals in his last six games, in-form Teal Bunbury could pose a real threat for the visitors. Carles Gil has also proven to be a shrewd signing for New England so far this season and is one to watch for Arena's charges in the US capital.
There have been goals at both ends at the end of 90 minutes in six of New England's last seven matches in all competitions and William Hill offer 4/7 (1.57) that the trend continues in this clash.
The same firm go 8/11 (1.73) that there are at least three goals in the game; remarkably, there have been 26 goals scored in New England's last six MLS matches on the road.
Goals, then, could well flow when these rivals lock horns. Indeed, William Hill offer 13/8 (2.63) that there are at least four goals in the game.
United have managed just two clean sheets at the end of 90 minutes in their last 10 outings. That defensive frailty could be exposed by a New England side full of confidence after a string of impressive recent results and performances.
Olsen's outfit, though, can call upon some genuine quality in the final third. The hosts will be desperate to return to winning ways as they target top spot in the Eastern Conference.
As such, value could lie in backing at least three goals to be scored - with both teams finding the net. The selection is available at 19/20 (1.95) with William Hill ahead of Friday's action.