Los Angeles FC v Chicago Fire
God only knows how LAFC failed to beat Seattle last week. They faced ten men for the majority of the encounter and absolutely smashed the hell out of their opponents. However, a combination of poor finishing, good goalkeeping and bad decision making in the final third somehow contrived them to only draw 1-1. Remarkably, that was the scoreline after just 4 minutes so any over backers or LAFC punters were left absolutely fuming! Had LAFC won 3-1 or 4-1 then nobody could’ve complained. The team from California have looked the standout side in MLS so far in 2019 and already sit top of the Western Conference. With attacking ability in their ranks like Carlos Vela, Rossi & Christian Ramirez it’s clear to see why they’ve done so well. The two major injury doubts ahead of the game are powerful forward Adama Diomande and right back Steven Beitashour.
Chicago Fire produced a decent run of form at the start of April but have since hit the rails by losing back to back away games 1-0. In those fixtures they only faced New York City FC & Montreal Impact so their lack of a goal threat was especially worrying. The Fire thrashed Colorado 4-1 not so long ago, but that result is now looking like a bit of a flash in the pan against very poor opposition. Chicago is now on the road for the third straight match which is less than ideal and this will be their toughest challenge yet. I think many would be surprised if they avoided defeat here and already we’ve seen them lose 3 out of 4 on the road in 2019. I don’t like how the defence is loaded with guys out of position. The amount of times Bastian Schweinsteiger has played centre back is ridiculous. They need to utilise him in his best midfield spot.
LAFC have won all 5/5 matches at home this season and I expect them to maintain that 100% record here. The only question in my mind is the margin of victory. It should, in theory, be comfortable and by a couple of goals at least. I think taking the -1.25 Asian Handicap on offer makes very logical sense. I would expect as the weekend approaches this line to shorten into a -1.5 or even a -1.75. And truth be told I would still advocate backing such lines for those who want to be a bit more greedy. LAFC are really strong at home and should have way too much overall to get the job done easily. It wouldn’t surprise me if this match contained quite a lot of goals as well and I am tempted backing over 3 or 3.25. I’ve been strung before with LAFC overs though when they rock up and only win 2-0, so instead I will just stick with the handicap.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Los Angeles FC -1.25 at 1.850
San Jose Earthquakes v FC Cincinnati
After looking like total cannon fodder in the first few rounds of the season, suddenly the Earthquakes have arrived as a competitive force. Their victory 3-0 against Portland looked like a ‘one off’ result but they have impressively followed it up by a 4-1 win against SKC and then a couple of good draws away at Seattle and Dallas. New coach Matias Almeyda offered some promise at the start of the year and maybe now we are starting to see the fruits of his work. The Quakes are still a work in progress and there is a raw feeling about the team. However, right now there is plenty of momentum within the squad and they simply can’t be underestimated.
FC Cincinnati made a spirited start to their life in MLS but have since maybe hit the buffers and are starting to find the grind of the league a challenge. Their lack of goals recently has especially been noticeable and until key striker, Fanendo Adi returns then I think they will lack any sort of cutting edge quality in the final third. Adi has been listed questionable for a while and may well return soon but he is a fragile player who I doubt will be ready for this fixture in time. For Cincy, the schedule this week is going to be tough and they are racking up the air miles for sure. The new MLS franchise rarely get blown out of the water and are a competent force but the timing of this affair out west is all wrong for them.
I am surprised the Earthquakes are such a big price here. They can be backed close to the even money mark which I think is a price that I can’t refuse. I would say that the California outfit are the better team at the moment and playing much the better football. The dynamics of this week also help them massively in my opinion. San Jose have had a full seven days of rest, whilst for Cincinnati it’s their third road game in a week. They have been travelling across all sorts of different time zones and I have to wonder how much will be left in their tank at the end of a tough week. The last thing they want is a late night kick off on the West Coast and San Jose can definitely take advantage. I am going to back them on the nose with a -0.5 Asian Handicap, anything 1.75+ looks backable on this line for me.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: San Jose Earthquakes -0.50 at 1.950
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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