NY Red Bulls v New England
The Red Bulls just can’t get any consistency going at the moment. Their last 10 results read LWLDWLWLWL and it seems they go from one extreme to another.
For the most part, home results have been quite good but poor on the road. Chris Armas’ men are still situated inside the playoff positions of the Eastern Conference but are starting to drift compared to the likes of Philly and Atlanta.
This division is wide open and there for the taking but the Bulls need to string a bunch of wins together if they are to challenge for honours. New York have the third best home record in the East having won 8 out of 13 contests.
It’s staggering that they’ve suffered 4 defeats at the Red Bell Arena though, which is a really high amount compared to previous seasons. There is too much inconsistency with team selection and they appear lopsided with too many attackers on the roster.
New England Revolution have been completely transformed ever since they sacked Brad Friedel. After his departure, they went on a fantastic 11 match unbeaten run and new manager Bruce Arena has totally re-energised this team.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the turnaround is that Arena has hardly changed the squad. It’s pretty much the same bunch of players that Friedel had under his disposal. It just shows what some good coaching can do to transform a side.
The Revolution have been good both at home and away but the general philosophy is to attack under ‘Bruce’.The legendary MLS coach always likes his sides to carry some sort of threat in the final third.
Carles Gil and Teal Bunbury have been two of the more stand out attackers in recent weeks whilst new playmaker signing Gustavo Bou has also looked quite impressive.
New York Red Bulls are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites for this match around the 1.80 mark. The problem is that New England have regularly covered as an underdog in recent weeks. Montreal, LA Galaxy, Colorado and Seattle all failed to beat the Revs as odds-on favourites so this should send a word of warning to potential Red Bull backers here.
The pick I prefer to take is over 3 goals. A staggering amount of MLS games have ended at least over 2.5 in recent weeks. The total % on the season is nearly 59%, slightly down on last year but it’s a figure I expect to rise as the season progresses.
Most of the goal lines in MLS these days are at least 3. But taking that line in games that involve generally attack-minded teams and you won’t lose many times in my opinion. Both of these sides will certainly have a go in what should be an end to end type encounter.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.86
FC Cincinnati v New York City FC
A fairly rare event happened last week, FC Cincinnati picked up a point! It was nearly even better for them but they blew a 2-0 lead away at Columbus Crew.
Still, FCC will take a draw (2-2) considering it ended a poor run of four consecutive defeats. In total, the new MLS franchise have lost 15 of their last 19 matches which is obviously a horrible return.
A combination of factors have attributed towards these results, but MLS teething problems in addition to a bad injury situation are the main reasons. Cincinnati have a new head coach, Ron Jans. The ex PEC Zwolle manager is quite attack-minded and the aim for the rest of the season is to entertain the fans and try to be as respectable as possible.
It’s highly likely that FCC will be picking up the wooden spoon this year but it’s about getting fans interested in their product and something on which to build for 2020.
New York City FC have much more lofty ambitions. They currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference but have three games in hand on most of their rivals. If they won all of those then NYC would actually top the East.
They have to be considered as a major contender for overall MLS Cup glory and will aim to finish as high as they can before the end of season playoffs. Only LAFC have lost fewer games than Dom Torrent’s men although 3 of their 5 defeats this year have come in recent away games.
Perhaps the one thing NYCFC still lack is a top quality #9 type striker. Let’s be honest, they still haven’t properly replaced David Villa. But with guys like Mitrita, Heber and Maxi Moralez a strong degree of attacking threat is still offered.
The previous meeting between these two sides ended 5-2 in the Big Apple. It’s no surprise to see NYCFC as -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites here. It’s not too often I would advocate backing an away side to win in MLS but the visitors should be prevailing in this instance.
However, Cincinnati have been more competitive since Jans took over at the helm. They were unlucky to lose at home to Vancouver recently (1-2) before being competitive at the Crew last week. FCC have signed a lot of new players in the recent transfer window so could be improved in the remaining part of the season.
I don’t think they have enough to avoid defeat this weekend but a safer bet is over 3 goals. A staggering 11 of the last 14 Cincinnati matches have all ended over 2.5 goals and the three matches that didn’t all ended 2-0.
They can’t defend very well but are willing to have a go themselves. New York City need to be winning this sort of game so should be quite attack minded. 10 of the last 11 NYC fixtures have all ended over 2.5 as well, so all things are pointing towards a high scoring contest.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.95
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.