New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union
New York Red Bulls preview
The Red Bulls are unbeaten in 13 games and this is a run which has put them in contention to win the Eastern Conference.
Jesse Marsche’s men have won 6 and drawn 7 during this period and would’ve obtained more victories were it not for blowing some decent sized leads.
The Red Bulls will be pleased they are ending the season on a high anyway, with the playoffs not far away. The main objective will be to obtain a top two seeding, thus giving them a bye in the first round.
Here at the Red Bull Arena they have a formidable 11-2-2 record and in recent times have been irresistible in front of their own fans, always getting the business done.
Injuries have plagued the team all year but finally things have settled down and the only absentees are to long term casualties.
For the majority of the campaign, the Union have been one of the big surprises. At the start of the season, few gave them much of a chance of making the playoffs. But they’ve been in and around the top four for a long time now.
The problem is that Philly are starting to slide at the wrong time, failing to win any of their last four games. Their place in the play offs looks fairly secure but finishing any lower than fourth would be a big disappointment and mean they have to play on the road in a one off match in the first round.
Philly are one of the highest scoring teams in the MLS but their defence is also weak. Clean sheets have been a rarity for them this season, despite possessing one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Andre Blake.
The extra attacking style has paid dividends though and the Union will feel like they can outscore most sides.
Conclusion & betting analysis
The Red Bulls are incredible strong at home and I’d say it’s likely they will win the game. They are a -1 Asian handicap favourite though, which might be a little too short.
This is a matchup between 4th and 2nd in the Eastern Conference and also a clash between two old rivals. It should be an exciting encounter because both teams like to attack.
It’s true that the Red Bulls have laboured to a couple of recent 1-0 home wins, but to only score a single goal against Philly would be a surprise.
The visitors themselves should get a few chances to get on the scoresheet, although are unlikely to have much possession. I would say over 3 goals is the best bet in this case.
Not many Philly games end with less than three goals in them and even if they have a bad day going forwards, the Red Bulls could still cover this line on their own.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.93
Orlando City v Montreal Impact
A poor run of 3 losses from their last 4 games has all but ended Orlando’s playoff hopes. For the second season running, the Florida outfit look like falling short of the top six and just two victories since August are to blame.
They have to win all of their remaining games and then hope, but even that would unlikely see them enter the fray. It’s simply too late now and they are playing for pride. To their credit, they ground out a 0-0 draw away at Toronto in midweek. But that was a must win situation, almost their last chance, so it’s likely the team could feel a bit deflated here.
Orlando actually possess the worst statistical home record out of anyone in the Eastern Conference, but have only lost three times here. I’m sure the players won’t want to let their fans down.
The Impact secured a vitally important 3-1 home win against San Jose in midweek. It was their first victory in five games and should secure a playoff berth.
They could still do with picking up a few more points but they are in a much more favourable position than what they were prior to that fixture.
Last season, Montreal ended the campaign really strongly and went on to have a decent playoff run. This term it feels like they are limping into the postseason but they can’t be underestimated with the likes of Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti in their ranks.
The big difference in 2016 is that their defence isn’t as strong. Montreal have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine games. The likes of Laurent Ciman, who was so solid last year seem to have regressed.
Conclusion & betting analysis
Despite the fact that their season looks effectively done, Orlando are a short priced 2.05 on a -0.5 Asian handicap. Obviously, this is their absolute last chance saloon and they simply have to win, but even a victory still leaves them with a lot to do.
Ultimately, there’s not a lot of pressure on Orlando anymore because nobody really expects much from them. Perhaps this will lead to them opening up more, not that they keep it tight very often anyway!
The defence has generally been an abomination in recent times, with the clean sheet in midweek a complete rarity. I’d be surprised if this was a tight match.
Neither side is very good at the back and possesses some good attackers. It should be an end to end type game and I fancy Montreal will probably punish the usual Orlando errors with some good finishing.
I think it’s a big surprise that over 2.75 goals can be grabbed at around the 1.80 mark. I can’t see this game containing less than three goals, so this looks like an obvious call.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals at 1.83
Prices correct at time of writing.
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