New England Revolution v DC United
All of the talk pre match is about Wayne Rooney transferring to DC United this summer. As a franchise, DC fans haven’t had much to get excited about in a long time, but the prospect of having such a world-renowned player arriving is sure to get pulses racing. United sit rock bottom of the Eastern Conference, well adrift of anyone else but all’s not lost yet this season. Ben Olsen’s men have played significantly less matches than anyone else, and operated away from home more often than not whilst they wait for their new stadium to be built. They have a bunch of home fixtures to look forward to in the second half of the season. In the last match, they blew a 0-3 lead away at Toronto SC to ultimately draw 4-4. United certainly haven’t lacked for any attacking intent away from home and are really willing to have a proper go. They will likely travel here with no fear at all and will be targeting goals along with the victory.
A trip to New England is never easy and no team relishes the trip to Foxboro. This isn’t a bad time of year to be heading up north though. The Revolution have literally been revolutionized this season under the management of Brad Friedel. They suddenly find themselves in the play-offs, not a position that they have been accustomed to in recent years. Friedel has managed to achieve the unthinkable, actually getting Teal Bunbury scoring goals! Historically this guy has been terrible at finishing chances but it seems in 2018 his confidence is much higher and the nine goals he has bagged put him fifth in the overall goalscoring standings. Cristian Penilla has also been a shining light in attack for the Revs this year. New England are unbeaten in 5 MLS games, with the majority of those coming away from home so confidence should be fairly high. Here at Gillette Stadium, they are usually very strong.
This should be an exciting game of football. The last time that either side kept a clean sheet was way back in April. It seems from a defensive point of view that neither of them can be relied upon to keep things tight. I fully expect both to have a really good go at attacking each other because right now it’s the strength of each of them. There are plenty of weapons in the final third, not least Yamil Asad who is one of the elite players in MLS. DCU even have Darren Mattocks scoring goals at the moment! New England are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites for this match which is fair enough. But the bet that sticks out to me is over 3 goals. As aforementioned, this should be a wide open game full of chances and hopefully full of goals.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals @ 1.950
San Jose Earthquakes v LA Galaxy
LA Galaxy won the first California Clasico of the season 1-0 so The Earthquakes will be intent on gaining some revenge here. All of the pressure is however on the home side who haven’t won any of their last seven league games. The pressure is certainly on head coach Mikael Stahre who is starting to lose the trust of fans. They don’t like his lack of tactical nous and many just see him as a ‘locker room motivating’ type of manager. The Quakes find themselves bottom of Western Conference and this is probably just about deserved. They’ve conceded a whopping 32 goals and defence has been a massive Achilles heel. San Jose have at least looked decent going forwards, although even then there’s been a feeling of panic about them.
Some people would say that LA Galaxy have underachieved so far this year considering their resources. Zigi Schmid’s men have been inconsistent, although recent form has been better winning 3 of their last 5 games. One of those was in the previous California Clasico and that victory was a relief, ending a poor run of three straight defeats in this big fixture. The introduction of LAFC across town has added another rivalry on the west coast of the US, but nothing will ever match this original head to head clash in which there is usually plenty of spice. Neither side will be at full strength. The Earthquakes miss Anibal Godoy and Harold Cummings to the World Cup, whilst Galaxy have the same problem with both of the Dos Santos brothers on duty with Mexico. At this stage, injury news slightly favours the Quakes but not significantly.
The bookies can’t separate either team. Both are priced around the 1.95 mark on a DNB Asian Handicap. I’m not sure which way this will go. None of these outfits are particularly trustable and my gut feeling is that the Quakes might actually be some value. Their home record is very poor though and already they’ve lost 4 out of 7 times at Avaya Stadium, which is shocking in a league like MLS which is so home side orientated. If I had any confidence in the Quakes, I’d back them, but the bet that I like instead is over 3 goals. A lot of games here at this stadium have been really open, end to end, and quite frantic. I don’t expect too much to change because neither team is particularly watertight at the back. I would expect Zlatan Ibrahimovic punish the lackluster San Jose defence which regularly makes loads of errors. Overall, despite the nature of this fierce rivalry, I’m expecting an open and exciting match which could swing either way.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals @1.910
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.