New England Revolution v Philadelphia Union
Neither team head into this match in particularly great form. New England have failed to win any of their last five games, a run which includes three defeats. They should’ve picked up three points last weekend but blew a 2-0 and 3-2 lead against Orlando away from home in what was a wild encounter. Brad Friedel’s men are still stationed in the final playoff position but are precariously placed with the likes of Philly and Toronto especially breathing down their necks. It could be that they are suffering a sort of mid-season slump but now would be an excellent time to snap out of it facing a direct rival. The Revs generally have a decent enough home record (6-3-3) although have proved slightly more vulnerable here recently. Keeping clean sheets has been a major problem all season and only once in their last 14 matches has the defence managed to shut out the opposition. Goalscoring has been much improved for the team from Foxboro this season though and they are a threat in the final third of the field.
Philadelphia Union should be travelling here on a high after winning in the midweek US Open Cup semi final, 3-0 against Chicago Fire. They will now be going to Houston to contest the final, which is something they can look forward to at the end of September. For now though the Union will have to turn their attention to league matters. Jim Curtin’s men have been incredibly up and down in MLS recently winning 4 and losing 6 of their last 10 fixtures. It seems like they move from one extreme to another and you never know which version of the Union will show up. Defence has generally been a big problem and a lack of ability to keep clean sheets. The Union have conceded at least two goals in 7 of their last 9 games which is a really poor record. On the flip side the offensive matters are much improved this year, spearheaded by playmaker Borek Dockal. Even CJ Sapong has been scoring the odd goal recently and in Corey Burke they have a decent prospect upfront.
New England are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites here which is probably about fair. It could be a good time to be facing Philadelphia who might just be too high on themselves after reaching that aforementioned US Open Cup final. After such a great win there is every chance the Union could be too flat here. But it’s up to New England to take advantage of that and I’m not sure they can be fully trusted at the moment. I was tempted to back the Revs, but ultimately will refrain. Instead, I’m opting for one of my trusty over 3 goal bets. Neither team can defend well at the moment and I sense this will be an open game of football containing quite a few chances. I suspect the Revs will win something like 3-1 or 3-2 and if Philly tire towards the end of the game they could get fairly exposed. Over 3 can be backed around the even money mark which looks quite generous all things considered. I’m more than happy to strike here.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.980
DC United v Orlando City
In most normal circumstances a team rock bottom of any conference at this stage of the season could almost be forgiven into thinking the campaign is virtually done with little hope left. DC United find themselves five points adrift in the standings and they are 11 points off a playoff spot. However, in what is quite a freak situation United still have 15 games left to play this season, significantly more than any other side in MLS. And of those 15 encounters, a massive 12 of them will be played here at home. Audi Field only recently opened and United will certainly be seeing plenty of this venue in the next few months. If they can make the place a fortress, a return to the playoffs can’t be ruled out. DC haven’t been in bad knick of late, winning a few games here and there. What they really need to do is get on a consistent sort of run which would help them propel up the table. I’ve got to think that manager Ben Olsen will be targeting this sort of fixture because for the most part Orlando have been in very poor form.
The team from Florida have lost a massive 12 of their last 14 MLS games although at least there have been a few more positive signs recently. Performance levels have been stronger, such as when they nearly surprised LA Galaxy away from home but ultimately lost. They beat Toronto FC a few weeks ago and in the previous round managed to salvage a draw with New England, despite being both 0-2 and 2-3 down. It feels like their season is done but with a strong finish to the campaign Orlando could yet manage to grab a playoff spot. I personally don’t think this will happen due to the chaotic nature of this team, especially the defence which leaks goals left right and centre. There is no organisation or discipline here and they rely purely on attack to try and keep them in games. Orlando would say they could outscore anyone on their day, the problem is that they literally need 4 or even 5 goals to guarantee a victory such is a weakness of their backline.
The obvious bet here is over 3 goals. Orlando matches average a massive 3.9 goals per game in them and some of their encounters are absolutely WILD! Recent scorelines include a 3-3 draw, 3-4 loss and a 2-3 defeat. This rather sums up Orlando right now and this should be a fixture full of goals and chances. DC United games have actually slowed down a bit recently, but it wasn’t so long ago that they were involved in some wild contests as well. Examples being the 4-4 draw with Toronto and a 2-2 draw with Galaxy. Somehow, United have had a couple of recent under 2.5 games facing the Red Bulls and Montreal. But only the woodwork and some weird weather conditions prevented more goals in each contest. DCU are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites here and this is far enough. Orlando have lost so many games that another defeat would be no shock. However, I feel they are a dangerous animal offensively and one of these days they will batter someone. Could it come here? Well, it’s unlikely but I’m not going to risk backing United just in case they got rumbled. Over 3 is my clear pick for the encounter and for those wanting a bit of value you could try over 3.5 or even over 4.5 goals as well. This game could explode into anything.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.820
Preview by: @meatmansoccer .
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