Toronto FC v Vancouver Whitecaps
It’s a shame for Toronto FC that their playoff hopes are very slim because they have enjoyed a recent upturn in form. In terms of MLS it’s been a miserable season for the defending champions and it looks like it’s going to be one of the very few campaigns in which they fail to make the top six under manager Greg Vanney. There have however been positives such as making the final of the NACL and winning the Canadian Championship. It was against Vancouver Whitecaps that TFC managed to beat in that competition and at least it ensured they won’t be leaving the season empty-handed. The big problem for Toronto in MLS has been losing too many matches, even here at home which has been such a fortress in recent years.
TFC seem to have found their mojo in recent games at BMO Field though. Their last four fixtures here have resulted in 5-2, 3-1, 5-3 and 4-1 victories! All they can do is win their remaining games and hope Montreal and DC United have a poor conclusion to the year. Vancouver are in exactly the same boat. They have to win out and hope that rivals around them in the table stutter. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t look like the Whitecaps are in any sort of form to make the top six right now. They are in a bit of turmoil and recently sacked long-serving coach Carl Robinson. I mentioned last week that this was a very questionable decision and it didn’t work out against LA Galaxy because they suffered a convincing three nil defeat. I now expect them to end the season with a whimper and this could be a match in which they struggle mightily again.
As seems to have been the case all season, Jozy Altidore is rated doubtful for Toronto. He has constantly been in an out of the team in 2018 and his lack of availability is probably one of the main contributing factors as to why they’ve had such a struggling campaign. Sebastian Giovinco will once again lead the line and been in red-hot form of late so I’m expecting him to go well this weekend. There have been a lot of goals in recent Toronto matches so I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing over 3.25 or 3.5. I just think the more straightforward bet is to take Toronto on -1 Asian handicap. At very worst they should win the game outright but based on recent form it should be quite a comfortable success. Vancouver seems a bit of a mess right now and it should be an excellent opportunity for the home team to capitalize.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Toronto FC -1.00 at 1.800
FC Dallas v Orlando City FC
I wouldn’t say that Dallas have been at their absolute best recently but they’ve done enough to stay top of the Western Conference. Things are still very competitive though and they certainly need a couple of victories to secure themselves a first-round bye in the playoffs. SKC and LAFC are lurking behind them. Dallas are an interesting team who may well win this conference but I’m not personally convinced about their long-term prospects in the MLS Cup playoffs. I think sometimes in really crucial situations this team can go missing and is a bit soft mentally. In fact, it still wouldn’t actually surprise me if they ended the season with a bit of a stutter. This is a must-win match because they still have a couple of tricky fixtures before the end of the regular season concludes. FCD have kept clean sheets in two of their last three games which both ended in 0-0 draws, unusual for MLS.
The words clean sheet and Orlando City don’t usually go together, but quite incredibly they did manage to keep one in their last match against Houston Dynamo. That affair ended goalless and it was the first time they kept a shutout at the back since April! Orlando have enjoyed and miserable season apart from the winning run in the early stages of the campaign. They head into this match winless in 10 league fixtures and I’m sure everyone here just can’t wait for 2018 to end. There is little left to play for apart from pride but I don’t personally see them doing much in this particular game. Orlando have at least had a couple of weeks to prepare for this match but I think the big problem is going to be a lack of motivation and drive. Do the players really have it in their hearts at this stage of the season to give their absolute all?
Orlando are very poor defensively and this is something which I expect Dallas to capitalize on. Ultimately, I see them winning this game fairly comfortably. All the motivation is in their favour and as soon as they get ahead in the game then Orlando could collapse. The visitors will probably have their moments but simply make way too many mistakes in all areas of a field which regularly costs them. I’m surprised that Dallas can be backed on -1.25 Asian handicap. I expected something bigger at least -1.50-1.75 at the stage of the season. This is definitely my favourite pick for the game. The goal line is set at 3.25 but there is no guarantee that Orlando will score against a Dallas defence which is one of the best in the league. Something like a 2-0 or 3-0 home victory is probably the most likely outcome.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Dallas -1.25 at 1.800
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
Don’t forget to catch our German’s Hoffenheim v Eintracht Frankfurt preview!