Philadelphia Union v Montreal Impact
The Union are one of the big form teams in MLS now. They’ve won 4 of their last 5 games and currently sit in a relatively comfortable 5th position. Their playoff status is far from secure though because the likes of DC United & New England are both lurking below. This fixture against Montreal is facing a direct rival in the battle for the playoffs as 5th plays off vs 6th. Victory for Philly would start to give them a comfortable gap, but really this is a team that should be looking up rather than down. It’s possible they could still catch Columbus Crew in 4th place, which comes the playoffs is crucial because it would give them home advantage in a one-off match in the wildcard round. Philly also have a US Open Cup final to look forward to in a few weeks time, but there’s still a lot of football to be played before then so everyone will be keen to catch the eye.
Montreal travels here in reasonably good form. They’ve only lost 1 of their last 5 games and won 2 of their last 3. There have been times this season when the Impact have looked really bad. Their tally of 14 total losses is by far the highest of any team currently residing in the playoffs of either conference. But they are situated in 6th spot nevertheless, albeit DC United are very much on their coat-tails. The pressure is on in order to secure a top sixth berth and victory here in Philly would certainly aid their cause against a direct rival. Montreal have a terrible 2-2-10 away record this season, conceding 30 goals in the process. They can’t really be trusted on the road, although recent draws at RSL and Portland surprised a few people and should give them confidence.
The one big injury doubt for the Union is their key playmaker Borek Dockal who exited the previous match with an ankle problem. It will be touch and go whether he suits up or not. Neither side have any other major concerns though so this should be a straight fair fight until the finish. I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing Philly on a -0.75 Asian Handicap. They are the better team and in better form right now. But Montreal are no mugs and my overall feeling is that the price on the home team is a bit short offers little value. My preferred pick for the game is over 3 goals. I just sense this will be an open sort of fixture and that both teams will be looking to attack whenever possible. Each outfit have some pacey options who can stretch defences and this should be an entertaining watch.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 0.940
Los Angeles FC v New England Revolution
After enduring a sticky patch around July and early August, LAFC have since responded by picking up 10 points from their last 4 games. They are back on track in the Western Conference, currently situated third but they will have their eyes on higher aspirations especially with Dallas looking a bit flaky of late. For a brand new franchise, LAFC have performed extremely well, better than most people predicted. Head coach Bob Bradley has to be commended for the excellent job that he’s done here. Los Angeles have a 7-5-1 home record at their new Banc of California Stadium with the lone defeat coming against Sporting Kansas City, which is certainly no disgrace.
Perhaps the big shock result in the last week or so was New England beating NYC 1-0 away from home. This was the first win for the Revs in 10 games and they will hope it’s a kick start to propel them into better form again. New manager Brad Friedel generally had things going good up in Foxborough, at least until July when their poor run started. The big question is whether they can build upon that result, or whether it will prove to be a bit of a one-off. I personally think it was more of a fluke and overall I’d be surprised if the Revolution managed to qualify for the playoffs. Traveling all the way to the west coast facing a strong team is the last thing they want right now and I think it’ll be a struggling encounter for the visitors.
LAFC can be backed on a -1 Asian Handicap here which I think is fairly generous. As aforementioned, their home record is excellent this season, and to put it frankly they are a class above New England. I’m expecting a relatively comfortable home win and at very worst LAFC should win by one goal. Ultimately, a bigger margin is to be anticipated though. If I had any confidence in the Revolution to be an attacking threat then I would also look at over 3.25 here. But their forwards have been misfiring too often in recent times so an LAFC victory to nil is quite possible. I am happy just to stick with the Asian handicap pick in this instance.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Los Angeles FC -1.00 at 0.980
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.