Real Salt Lake v Toronto FC
I have to say that Real Salt Lake are a team I rarely preview in this column and also personally rarely get involved with any of their matches. The simple fact is they can be a very difficult team to predict in many different ways. One week they can come out in a really tough rigid defensive shape, then the next week totally go more attacking and take more risks. RSL tend to be an ‘all or nothing’ type of side that either wins or loses. Their draw percentage tends to be quite low for whatever given reason. Recent form has been inconsistent to say the least but a 3-2 victory at Colorado Rapids should at least fill them with some confidence ahead of this fixture. RSL have only played 4 of their 11 matches at home which might explain why they are currently only ranked 7th in the Western Conference. Last year they had an extremely good 11-4-2 record here at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Toronto FC also seem to have become quite an inconsistent outfit that tends to either win or lose at the moment. TFC have now lost 4 of their last 7 games and have had quite a hectic schedule recently which I think will catch up with them sooner or later. This will be their fourth game in the space of 2 weeks and comes off the back of a 0-0 draw at home to DC United less than 72 hours ago. TFC have been missing the influence of key striker Jozy Altidore due to injury recently. He returned last weekend but again missed midweek because of a heel complaint. I would imagine he play some sort of part here but his physical condition is clearly in question. Manager Gren Vanney must surely think about rotating his squad around due to potential fatigue.
And that potential tiredness won’t be helped the altitude factor in Salt Lake City either. Here we have a venue which is over 4,000 feet above sea level. It’s not like they are travelling to the Himalayas or anything but it can still be an awkward at this height to adjust, especially in a short space of time. I have to question whether Toronto FC will be suitably prepared for this fixture or not. Real Salt Lake have had a full week to focus on the clash and I am surprised they are as big as a -0.25 Asian Handicap favourite. These two teams rarely meet each other due to being in separate conferences, but when they do the home side usually comes out on top. In fact, Toronto have a horrible record here since they first came into MLS, losing in 8 of their last 10 visits. I am backing the hosts to prevail here and have enough over the 90 mins to beat a potentially weary TFC. Striker Sam Johnson has been looking quite sharp of late so I could see him bagging a goal along the way.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Real Salt Lake -0.25 at 2.010
LA Galaxy v Colorado Rapids
There is no doubt that LA Galaxy would’ve enjoyed a whole week off following three consecutive defeats. Nothing seemed to be going the way of the California outfit recently and it felt like a combination of factors were hindering them. I think it was obvious last week that this team doesn’t handle multiple matches very well in a short space of time. The squad isn’t perhaps the greatest in terms of quality depth and there are a few older players on the roster who need to be game managed regarding minutes on the field. Defeat at home to NYCFC last week was their first at home though. Prior to that they had made the StubHub centre quite a fortress by winning six straight games to start off the campaign.
The Galaxy must feel confident of returning to winning ways this weekend against a very poor looking Colorado outfit. The Rapids remain winless and have lost a massive 9 out of 11 fixtures, conceding a huge 30 goals in the process. Manager Anthony Hudson was sacked a couple of weeks ago and the club are still searching for a replacement. They know that this season is already a complete write off so there is no immediate hurry to bring someone new in. I don’t actually think Colorado are quite as bad as their results might suggest and from an offensive point of view they have shown some promise at least. The big problem remains defensively where they continue to concede goals and chances at an alarming rate
LA Galaxy have key playmaker Romain Alessandrini out injured for a few months and midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos is another casualty right now. But they still have plenty of firepower and are of course led by the magnificent Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The hosts have plenty of flair pace and skill which should cause plenty of problems to Colorado. The obvious pick here is to take the Galaxy in some form. At the time of writing they can be backed on a -1.25 Asian Handicap close to the 1.90 mark which is surely very appealing. Another pick I like for this match is to take over 3.25 goals. Both teams have been involved in numerous high scoring matches this season. As bad as Colorado have been results-wise, I think they can probably find the back of the net here. Overall, I’m expecting a Galaxy win something like 3-1 or 4-1 in what will likely be a high paced entertaining fixture which is quite open.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: LA Galaxy -1.25 at 1.900
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.25 goals at 1.950
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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