Columbus Crew v Philadelphia Union
The Crew surprised everyone by beating New England 2-0 away from home at the weekend. In a year of poor results, especially on the road, nobody really thought they would go to Foxboro and win.
It was their first away win of 2016 and only the second time they kept a clean sheet on their travels. It is the second time they have won a match since April 24th! So, they bucked all sorts of trends in that match and can now maybe look upwards.
The Crew have generally played some better football in recent weeks and were perhaps unlucky not to win certain home fixtures. Incredibly, they’ve drawn 8 out of 12 home games this term. Despite only losing once, they have the worst statistical home record in the entire MLS! With all of their key attackers fit again, confidence will be improving.
Similar to their opponents, Philly also beat New England away from home recently, albeit by a much bigger scoreline of 4-0. They followed that up with a disappointing home loss to Toronto though (1-3). Philly are well situated in the Eastern Conference table, despite their form declining.
Victories haven’t been as commonplace but, they would dearly love to end the season strongly to obtain a high seeding position. On the road their general results have been quite poor, only winning twice all year. Philly are one of those teams who seem to be constantly involved in high scoring matches. A whopping 11 of their last 12 encounters have ended with over 2.5 goals in them!
Philadelphia Union matches are always full of goals at the moment! Their style is so open and their defence so vulnerable that it makes sense to keep backing the overs until they dry up.
This looks set to be a wide open attacking fixture in which both teams go for the win. Despite their poor year, the Crew are still somehow in playoff contention but must be winning matches like this one.
The three points obtained at the weekend is sure to give them a real boost and re-ignite their confidence. They certainly won’t be settling for any draw here and push hard for victory. This will be a close and high scoring encounter, with at least three goals being scored. With that in mind, backing the over 3 goal line looks like a smart move. I said at the weekend, sooner or later these Philly overs will dry up, but this doesn’t look like the fixture in which it’ll happen.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.91
Orlando City v Toronto FC
Draws continue to hamper Orlando City this season and a massive 13 of their 24 fixtures have ended all square. It looks like the final Eastern Conference playoff spot will be between four teams and the Florida outfit have every chance of making them.
But they simply must convert more of these draws into victories. At the weekend, they unsurprisingly picked up a point away at Colorado (0-0). In that particular match they were a +1 underdog on the asian handicap which just shows how good the result was.
Kaka’s men have won 2 of their last 4 at home and it’s in these sort of matches they need to be picking up three points. They did beat Toronto here in late June thanks to a controversial 99th minute penalty, which holds the record for the joint latest goal ever scored in MLS history.
Since that aforementioned defeat, TFC have actually been a very good form. They travel here having won 5 of their last 6 games and are currently second in the Eastern Conference. A win or a draw here would put them top of the pile, so the incentive is certainly there to deliver a good result.
Key to Toronto’s success recently has been the form of striker Sebastian Giovinco. Widely regarded as probably the best player in the entire MLS, Gio has been on fire scoring a lot of goals, some of them spectacular. Jozy Altidore’s return to the team has definitely benefitted Giovinco. Together, they complement each other quite well and it’s a good partnership.
Other parts of the team, such as the defence are often unsung heroes though and this is a side well capable of keeping things tight if they need to.
Orlando home games are usually good for overs. A total of 9 of their 12 games in Florida have end over that mark this year. There are reasons for this. The crowds here create a carnival like atmosphere in the stadium. It’s the sort of place which encourages attacking football and the players can get sucked into a shootout.
The other factor to consider is that the franchise is still relatively new in the city and this is an entertainment business. Modern fans want to see goals, not 0-0 stalemates. Orlando take advantage of this fact and play in a very attacking style. Toronto are one of those teams who have good defensive capability, but their offensive firepower is also strong. The likes of Giovinco & Altidore should be able to grab a goal or two tonight.
The pick I like is over 2.75 goals. There’s always a slight risk of overs with TFC, but facing the right opponent is can also be profitable. With midweek games there’s always the half chance someone like Giovinco might be rested, but even if he didn’t play I still think there’s a strong chance this game will end over.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.89
Prices correct at time of writing.
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