Columbus Crew v Philadelphia Union
Columbus Crew has had a full two weeks off and weren’t involved in the midweek round of fixtures. They should be all fresh and raring to go in the second half of the season. The Crew has been ‘all or nothing’ this season, winning 9 but also losing 10 games. They’ve only drawn one solitary fixture, which was right at the start of the year on the opening day. They just constantly ‘go for it’ and have a winning mentality which can sometimes be to their detriment. The Crew have always been historically strong at home but did lose last time out here against Atlanta United (0-2).
The injury report is favorable for Columbus, with only longer term casualties ruled out at the moment, unless something crops up late. Philadelphia meanwhile, warmed up for this match with defeat in midweek away at Montreal (1-2). This year, the Union are right where most people predicted, outside of the playoff places. Their form is inconsistent in general, but on the road, they have a poor 1-3-5 record, with their lone victory at DC United. One crucial fact to mention here is that they’ll be without key goalkeeper Andre Blake who often saves them with huge stops. He’s with Jamaica on Gold Cup duty, as is winger Chris Pontius (USA).
There are two picks I like for this game. The first is Columbus to win, around the 1.75 mark. They do win a high % of matches, especially at home and you know they’ll never settle for a draw. But quite simply they are a better team than Philly and they should be able to score quite a few goals without Blake in between the sticks to stop them. I like over 2.5 goals as well, and when the lines fully come out, over 2.75 or over 3 would be more than acceptable. Columbus can cover this goal line all on their own, but Philly will probably score somewhere along the line as well. It’s worth noting 9 of the last 10 head to head meetings have all ended with at least three goals in them. This is always an open sort of fixture and I expect something similar again.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: Columbus Crew -0.5 at 1.75 and Over 2.5 goals at 1.62
New York City FC v Chicago Fire
It’s 3rd vs 2nd in the Eastern Conference at Yankee Stadium where two strong teams go head to head. It feels like NYC and Patrick Vieira are constantly under fire, despite yet again churning out consistent results. A late goal conceded at Vancouver and the late penalty against them in midweek has cost them a total of 3 points in recent matches. Whenever anything like this happens the world seems to fall in at NYCFC. Expectations are so high her now, which in many ways is a positive thing. They only have eyes for two things, the Supporters Shield and MLS Cup.
Vieira’s men are always strong at Yankee Stadium where they routinely put away the poor teams and often outscore them with their offensive strength, However, against strong teams it can be more of a challenge. Toronto needed a last gasp equalizer in midweek, but it was worrying how many chances NYC conceded against them. This is the problem that City have, keeping things tight at the back. I personally feel that they are vulnerable against top quality opposition, and make no mistake about it, Chicago Fire are for real this season.
The visitors are unbeaten in a whopping 11 straight matches, which is a phenomenal record. With the likes of David Accam and Nemanja Nikolić upfront and the legendary Bastian Schweinsteiger dominating the midfield, they are a force to be reckoned with. I would not be at all surprised to see Chicago win this match or at least avoid defeat. However, it’s not always the greatest idea in the world to bet on away teams in MLS, so I’ll give that a miss. I think this will be an over 2.5 match. There are enough strong attackers on each team to contribute towards this. NYC sometimes over commit too much, which isn’t a great idea against a team like Chicago. Over 2.75 or over 3 lines are more than acceptable once they become available closer to kick off.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 2.5 goals at 1.53
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