New York Red Bulls v Orlando City

The Red Bulls eventually overcame San Jose 4-1 in their most recent match but it was a weird sort of performance that seemed to take them a while to get going. The first half in particular was a very sloppy period from a New York point of view. They conceded an early goal and also conceded a number of dangerous situations to their lowly opponents. I think it it was quite worrying how little control they had on proceedings in that first 45 minutes. Of course, the Red Bulls are capable of outscoring anyone and also created numerous chances of their own, which is why they ultimately won so easily. But had they been facing a team that actually took their chances then the scoreline could’ve been different.

In theory, Orlando City should be more clinical in front of goal than San Jose were. They have the likes of Dom Dwyer, Nani & Sacha Kljestan in their ranks who all know how to find the back of the net. The Florida outfit have been wasteful this season though and were back to their ugly worst last week against Montreal Impact. It was a match they lost 1-3 but truth be told something like a 1-6 or even bigger wouldn’t have flattered Montreal such was their dominance in the game. From an Orlando point of view it was a mystifying performance after a couple of strong draws to open the campaign. Maybe it will prove to be a ‘one off’ but I have serious concerns about the management team at this club and their horrible defence.

One positive for Orlando ahead of this match is that they aren’t as badly affected by international call ups compared to some MLS sides during this window. The Red Bulls will be missing Aaron Long to the US squad and he is quite a big player for them at the back. Michael Murillo and Alejandro ‘Kaku’ Gamarra will also be absent. Kemar Lawrence has been called up by Jamaica despite being an injury doubt. Unfortunately, young winger Florian Valot has been ruled out for the rest of the season due an another ACL injury. Despite these absences, the Red Bulls have one of the biggest squads in MLS and have the depth to cope. I would still be surprised if Orlando managed to obtain anything here, they are a team who still can’t be relied upon as I found out to my cost last week. I am expecting an open game here full of chances so over 3.5 is probably the best bet at anything above the 1.90 mark.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.50 goals at 2.100

Los Angeles FC v Real Salt Lake

Bob Bradley’s LAFC side remain unbeaten after coming back to earn a 2-2 draw at New York City FC last week. Without doubt, they are one of the big contenders in MLS this season and will be making a full scale assault on the Western Conference. The team from California have looked strong thus far, scoring 8 goals in 3 games and they have an attack force which is impressive to watch at the moment. One slight negative is the lack of a clean sheet, but Bradley has never been one to worry about this end of the field as long as his attack force is firing. They will be missing striker Christian Ramirez to international duty this week but luckily have a ready made replacement in Adama Diomande who is arguably more of a dangerous player anyway.

Real Salt Lake also have some international call ups to worry about. Talented young attacker Corey Baird will be with the US squad, whilst key playmaker Albert Rusnak will be over in Europe with Slovakia. It really is about time that MLS totally stopped these matches during international windows because more and more players are getting called up. RSL come here battered and bruised after getting demolished 5-0 by DC United last week. Everything went wrong for them in that fixture including a couple of red cards received by centre back Marco Silva and winger Jefferson Savarino. Both of those players will be suspended for this clash. I’m not entirely sure what sort of line up the visitors will, have but either way they will be depleted.

There will be an element of revenge in the minds of LAFC here. It was in the playoffs last season that they suffered a shock 2-3 home defeat to RSL when everyone expected them to progress to the next round. During the regular season of 2018 LAFC won both fixtures 5-1 and 2-0 respectively. I think they really should be winning this weekend as well. Both sides are missing players to international duty but it seems that RSL are in a much worse state right now. LAFC are one of the best teams in the Western Conference and can be backed on a -1 Asian Handicap at decent odds. I would expect them to pick up 3 points and take advantage of a depleted and bruised up RSL, something like a 2-0 or 3-0 scoreline could be on the cards.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Los Angeles FC -1.00 at 1.850

Preview by: @meatmansoccer.

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