FC Cincinnati v LA Galaxy
If you look back at the last ten MLS results for new franchise FC Cincinnati, it doesn’t make very good reading. They’ve lost a whopping 9 out of 10 contests and are now rock bottom of the Eastern Conference. They were somewhat competitive in their first few weeks but the realisation of how difficult life can be in MLS has now really hit home. Of course, expectations weren’t particularly high here and everyone knows that long term patience is required. Cincy haven’t been helped by a plethora of absentees in 2019. It always feels like the treatment tables are very full here and to add to their problems players on international duty will heavily affect them for this fixture. Kendal Waston, Alvas Powell, Allan Cruz & Darren Mattocks would be regular starters for FCC but won’t be involved.
LA Galaxy have some roster issues themselves with the trio of Antuna, Dos Santos and Gonzalez all on Gold Cup duty with Mexico and Costa Rica respectively. Right back Rolf Feltscher meanwhile, is in Brazil with Venezuela in the Copa America. I really think that Feltscher is such a key man for the Galaxy at the back and when in the mood he can be a real man mountain, very hard to get past. Sebastian Lletget would’ve been another international absence for them but injury forced him out of the USA squad. His status for this weekend is very questionable. The Galaxy have actually won their last two MLS away games at Orlando and SKC where they managed to grind out 1-0 and 2-0 wins. But shorthanded missing half of their backline it won’t be so easy to keep a clean sheet.
Both teams are obviously missing a lot of players here which isn’t ideal. But it’s noticeable how most of the crucial absentees are in defence. That could really open up gaps and holes for the two stand out strikers on display, Fanendo Adi & Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Adi had a period of injury which forced him to miss six straight games but has gradually been regaining fitness and now seems back to near full sharpness. Zlatan has been sitting out some of the recent US Open Cup games so should be fresh and ready to go this weekend. Most Cincinnati games have been wild and open recently with matches like the 5-1 and 5-2 losses against Orlando and NYC standing out. The bookmakers can’t separate each side on a DNB Asian Handicap and I wouldn’t want to predict who will win. The pick that really stands out to me is over 2.75 goals. I am convinced Adi and Ibrahimovic will potentially feast here so it makes sense to be chasing goals.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.850
Portland Timbers v Houston Dynamo
Portland Timbers have played all of their matches away from home in MLS this season, apart from their most recent fixture vs LAFC. On that occasion they put up a very creditable performance during a 2-3 defeat against the current best side in MLS. Fortunately, they won’t be facing up to that sort of calibre again here and I would expect the home domination of Providence Park to start very soon. The Timbers have a renowned excellent record in front of their own fans and this is one of the most formidable places in the league. Most matches are complete sellouts as the fans really get behind their team. Portland do have a couple of players on international duty, Andy Polo & Andres Flores. Neither are that crucial though and of more concern is the injury to centre back Bill Tuiloma. He is rated questionable for this game, although might suit up in time.
Houston head into this match on the back of a midweek US Open Cup loss 2-3 at home to Minnesota United, in which they blew a 2-0 lead. In terms of points obtained, the Dynamo have been going quite well this season and are situated 4th in the Western Conference. However, I personally think they are one of the most overrated sides in MLS. I was disappointed how poor they were at home to SKC at the start of the month and that was with their strongest XI available. For this clash the Texan outfit will miss key attackers Quioto & Ellis to the Gold Cup, whilst Maynor Figureoa is also on international duty. Just 4 out of Houston’s 13 games this season have been away from home, and they’ve lost the last three of those. This isn’t a side that travels particularly well. I really do think their current league position is quite false and they are a completely different animal on the road compared to at home.
I think this is a great chance for the Timbers to get 3 points. To be honest, I would strongly fancy them under normal circumstances anyway, but with Houston missing both Quioto & Eliis I struggle to see how they will offer much threat going forwards. It should be pretty much one way traffic with the likes of Diego Valeri and Chara pulling the strings in the middle of the park for the hosts. Portland are also aided by new attacker Brian Fernandez who has made a scintillating start to life at the club. The Argentine has scored four goals in just three starts and has fired in every MLS match he’s featured in so far. Portland are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites for this match and I expect them to cover it fairly easily. I think a -1 line would be more realistic under the circumstances and I’m very happy to be betting on the hosts here.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Portland Timbers -0.75 at 1.950
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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