Minnesota United v Colorado Rapids
Only pride is at stake in this Western Conference fixture. Both sides won’t be making the playoffs in 2018, although each has had a contrasting campaign. Heading into the year most people expected Minnesota to be the whipping boys in the whole of MLS. The expectation was that they would be the leading candidate to pick up the wooden spoon but instead, Adrian Heath’s men have been highly competitive at times. They will finish either 9th or 10th in the West and in the overall Supports Shield table could find themselves ahead of half a dozen teams. This is a good achievement for Minnesota and the key to their success has been a strong home record (10-1-4). ‘The Loons’ have been very good in front of their own fans and if they can improve their horrendous away record next season they might be able to make the playoffs.
The Rapids meanwhile, have stunk the place out yet again. Not an awful lot was expected of them in fairness but after a positive start which included just 1 loss in their first 6 games, they fell flat on their arse. A horrible 8 game losing streak in the spring soon had them back down to earth, pretty much ending any post season aspirations early on. Colorado enjoyed somewhat of a revival in the summer but have since ended poorly as they head into this game having lost their last seven consecutive matches. Colorado have suffered some bad beatings during this period and look like a team who simply can’t wait for the season to end. On the road their statistics have been woeful (1-3-11) and only on very rare occasions have they been able to avoid defeat on their travels.
There is nothing too much at stake here but it feels like Minnesota are in way better form at the moment. Minnesota got hammered 1-5 at Philly last week but that was facing a much better team and on the road, Heath’s men are a completely different animal. To win ten times at home is a statistic which quite impresses me and I expect them to add to that tally here. The Rapids just look like they have mailed everything in now and it’s difficult to envisage them putting up too much of a fight. The bookmakers have of course factored all this in and make Minnesota a deserving 1.60 favourite. But even that might be too generous. By taking The Loons on a
-1 Asian Handicap at around the 2.05 mark it gives us more juicy odds in the hope they can land a comfortable victory. I can certainly see this happening the way Colorado have been performing in the last few weeks.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Minnesota United -1.00 at 2.070
DC United v FC Dallas
Since the midway point of the season, DC United have been one of the hot teams in MLS. This can’t be too much of a surprise considering the fact they’ve had so many home games in this period. A staggering 12 of their last 16 matches have been staged here at Audi Field and DC have already made this new stadium a fortress in recent times. It seems like United always have an answer to anything thrown at them right now and a number of late goals have gone in their favour. This team is finding ways to win matches and they are desperate to get into the playoffs. United are two points behind Montreal Impact but have a couple of games in hand. Right now, their playoff destiny is in their own hands and a victory here would certainly be worth its weight in gold.
DCU doesn’t have an easy run in of fixtures though. Their next two games are facing Dallas and New York City FC. Alright, both matches are at home but neither will be a walk in the park. FC Dallas arrives here top of the Western Conference and will be eager to cement their position. Two more wins would guarantee them a first-round bye in the playoffs but it does help that they currently have a four-point gap at the top of the West. Victory isn’t an absolute necessity here and a point would be seen as a decent outcome. FCD have one of the best defences in the whole of MLS and have kept clean sheets in 3 of their last 4 games. They are one of the few teams in MLS who can keep things tight. Perhaps the one big thing that always worries me about Dallas is an inability stand up in some big games.
Both teams are missing players to international duty this weekend so neither side really has an edge in terms of team news. I do respect Dallas who have one of the best away records in the whole of MLS, but right now I think DC United could be too hot to handle. They seem intent on a mission to make the playoffs as if nothing will stop them. In the trio of Wayne Rooney, Luciano Acosta and Yamil Asad they have a top quality attacking unit that is bang in form and who I expect to cause plenty of problems to Dallas. In my personal opinion, there is some generosity and value in backing the home team on a -0.25 Asian Handicap. It gives some draw security but overall I’m expecting United to continue their fine run and collect all three points.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: DC United -0.25 at 1.940
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
See also: Real Madrid’s star defender Raphael Varane.