Orlando City v Atlanta United

Orlando City heads into this match on the back of a club record of six successive victories. It’s a run which has propelled them up to third in the Eastern Conference and reaffirmed pre-season predictions that they will be a force this season. It all certainly hasn’t been plain sailing for the Florida outfit, but an abundance of goals in particular has been the key to their success. Since key striker Dom Dwyer returned from injury, they had added a clinical element to their attack and he will always be readily assisted by the likes of Yotun, Kljestan & Meram.

One always feels that Orlando is vulnerable at the back though, and if there is one team who can take advantage of that, then it’s Atlanta United. The visitors sit top of the Eastern Conference, although suffered a rare setback in midweek by losing to SKC at home. To make matters worse, starting goalkeeper Brad Guzan was sent off in that fixture so he will be suspended here. Due to an injury doubt to no2 custodian Alex Kahn, it’s possible that rookie Paul Christensen will deputize in goal. He looked ok at times in midweek, but also shaky and you have to think that Orlando will test him a lot here.

These two teams have already generated a bit of a rivalry. I suppose it’s only natural considering that both reside fairly close to each other. I’m expecting a heated and intense clash and both teams will be going all out for the victory. It should be a mental match from start to finish and the obvious bet is over 3.5 goals. You can get a decent odds-against price on this line and it should naturally cover when you consider the amount of great attacking players on show. The bookies have priced both sides up on a DNB Asian Handicap and don’t seem to know which way this will go. I think it’s hard to predict and nothing would surprise me in terms of overall result, but there should be naturally goals along the way.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.50 goals at 2.23

Portland Timbers v Seattle Sounders

The home side head into this Cascadia Cup derby match in much better form than they were a few weeks ago. It was a poor start to the reign of new coach Giovanni Savarese but three straight victories have eased the pressure and reassured fans who were getting worried. It has to be mentioned that the Timbers started 2018 with five straight away games anyway, which was never ideal. There is still plenty of quality within their ranks and anyone who was writing them off already this season needs to think again.

Perhaps the same can also be said about Seattle, who surprised everyone by beating MLS Cup champions Toronto FC 2-1 away from home in midweek. The Sounders named a weakish XI but the players delivered magnificently. Injuries still plague them however, not least the fitness of key playmaker Nicolas Lodeiro. Certain players like Clint Dempsey were rested in midweek, but there are constant worries about niggles being carried by certain individuals. It certainly isn’t the fittest of squads at the moment.

MLS is known for being quite a friendly league where rival fans can mix in the crowd with little trouble. But this is one of the few fixtures where genuine hate exists amongst supporters. There is a big rivalry between these two teams which will certainly add spice to the occasion. The away team has failed to win any of the last eleven head-to-head meetings, so the Timbers certainly have an edge in that department. Whether or not they can be trusted here remains to be seen. Seattle isn’t the sort of side who will go down without a fight and already proved themselves on the road this season at some tricky locations. Backing over goals is probably the best way to go. They tend to flow when these teams meet and an Over 2.75 or Over 3 line is more than acceptable.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 2.01

By @Meatmansoccer

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