Seattle Sounders v Toronto FC
Both teams should be heading into this match in fairly good spirits. Quite astonishingly, Seattle came from 0-3 down to draw against New England Revolution last week. Some might see it as two points dropped but to score three times in the last 15 mins will surely have given everyone a lift. Considering that Seattle were a -1 Asian Handicap favourite in that game, you could say the Sounders underachieved, but it was a strange encounter in which the visitors just took their chances really well. Seattle have had a massive target on their back as defending MLS Champions. And often teams will raise their level to try and beat them.
That will certainly be the case here as Toronto FC aim to gain serious revenge. This was the MLS Cup final last season and Seattle won on penalties, despite TFC dominating for large periods. The away side head into this match on the back of a midweek success facing Orlando City (2-1). They came through a tough test in the second half there, often on the back foot, but just managed to prevail. Toronto FC are currently third in the Eastern Conference and look highly likely to be a major contender at the end of the season again. Quite how much that midweek match has taken out of their legs remains to be seen, but they won’t lack for motivation.
Seattle have been conceding a few goals recently and there are a few reasons for this. Firstly, injuries haven’t helped their cause. All season long their lack of a proper right back has been a major hindrance. Brad Evans is back soon, but I still think he’s better in a central position anyway. The likes of Chad Marshall and Romain Torres have all been playing hurt recently and can’t be classed as 100%. The other thing is that the Sounders have lost their defensive ‘edge’ possibly due to them having won the MLS Cup. Toronto have been much more solid at the back but I can’t help but feel they’ll struggle after a tough midweek match here. The pick I like is over 2.75 goals at a decent enough price. Seattle are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites, and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off that selection either. But I see an open game with chances at both ends, so I think the over is the better option to take.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals @2.05
DC United v Montreal Impact
Both teams are currently outside of the playoff places in the Eastern Conference and compared to the strength of some other sides, it might stay that way come the end of the season. DC United have improved their form in recent weeks, but still don’t look wholly convincing. A win away in Atlanta (3-1) last week papered over a lot of cracks in their defence. This is a backline which has looked quite porous recently and been bailed out many times by star goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who has been in great form. The custodian is rated doubtful for this clash because of a groin injury, and if he didn’t feature it’d be a massive blow. United also have two regular defenders, Steve Birnbaum & Nick DeLeon rated questionable which won’t help their cause.
Montreal Impact were very close to making the final of the MLS Cup last season, blowing a 3-0 lead in the Eastern Conference final against Toronto, and ultimately failing in the second leg. You tend to get the feeling they’ve not really recovered from that blow yet and this season has been a major hangover for them so far. The Impact have only won a solitary game and although haven’t been too bad, much more is needed. In fairness, they haven’t been helped by the injury to star playmaker Ignacio Piatti. Now that he’s back fully fit and firing they should be much more dangerous. However, on the flip side key striker Matteo Mancosu is ruled out for up to six weeks with an injury of his own. Montreal have drawn 3 of their 5 away games, which is an acceptable record in this league.
I personally think DC United are an ‘under the radar’ over 2.5 goal team. It’s worth noting that 5 of their last 7 ,matches have all gone over that mark, and the other two fixtures both ended 2-0. Ever since United found their goalscoring boots, their games have certainly been more entertaining. One of my big concerns a few weeks ago was the state of the pitch at the archaic RFK Stadium. But it’s been nearly a month since they last played here, and with improved weather I’m sure it’s in much better state. Both teams will fancy their chances of victory which should lead to an open game. Neither can be relied upon defensively at the moment so I think over 2.75 is worth backing at a very generous price. DC United are a -0.5 Asian Handicap favourite, and on current form you’d think they have enough to win. But Montreal can be a weird side and if they play well could cause an upset.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Recommendation: Over 2.75 goals @2.11
Prices correct at time of writing.
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