Toronto FC v Minnesota United
Toronto FC lost for the first time in MLS last weekend when they went down 2-3 at Seattle Sounders. After a poor preseason that culminated in NACL embarrassment losing 0-4 away at Panamanian opposition, TFC have been one of the pleasant surprises thus far. They aren’t anything like their majestic 2017 title-winning year but compared to the previous campaign a massive improvement has been noted. The real key has been an attacking mojo which has seen them regularly threaten the back of the net. Their total of 14 goals scored in 5 games is highly impressive and the likes of Jozy Altidore have been in great form. The addition of new playmaker Alejandro Pozuelo has also made a massive difference and he already looks like one of the best players in the whole league.
Minnesota United have been on the road for most of this season but finally opened their new stadium Allianz Field last weekend. They drew 3-3 against New York City FC in what was a wild encounter, full of chances at either end. The ‘Loons’ have to be encouraged at their start to 2019 because they have all round looked much better in all areas of the field. At the back, Ike Opara gives them an extra physical dimension, whilst in midfield new box to box man Jan Gregus has really caught the eye. The key player for Minnesota is of course playmaker Darwin Quintero and last season he tore apart Toronto with a magnificent hattrick.
Sometimes in betting it pays not to overcomplicate matters. Every MLS match involving these two teams has ended with over 2.5 goals so far in 2019. In the case of Toronto FC, all of their fixtures have contained at least four goals. The simple fact is that each side likes to attack and I would anticipate a very open sort of encounter containing numerous chances. Some good news for over backers is the condition of key Minnesota defender Ike Opara, who is a doubt for this game because of a concussion. He would be a big loss and likely increase the goal expectation here should he not feature. Toronto centre back Drew Moor is also an injury doubt here and his absence would soften up TFC. Last year this fixture ended in a 4-3 Minnesota win and in 2017 the match ended 3-2 here at BMO Field. Everything is pointing towards a high scoring match so taking over 3 goals makes a lot of sense in my opinion. It almost looks ‘too easy’ when you look at the statistics. But as aforementioned, sometimes it pays to go with the obvious pick and to take the simple approach to betting.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.800
San Jose v Sporting Kansas City
New San Jose Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda knew that he had a tough job on his hands this season and so far that has proven to be exactly the case. The Quakes have lost 5 of their opening 6 fixtures although have at times shown some promise. The California outfit have already taken some batterings, such as the 0-5 home loss to LAFC. But they followed that up with an excellent 3-0 victory against Portland Timbers and were somewhat competitive last week going down 1-2 at Houston. Almeyda has been dealt a poor hand of cards here and to be quite frankly honest they have nowhere near enough quality to compete with the top teams in this Western Conference. The new Mexican coach is certainly up for the fight though and his passion on the sidelines is there for all to see.
Sporting Kansas City have already played 12 competitive matches this season, which at this stage probably has to be considered a positive. They had a good run in the NACL before being beaten 10-2 on aggregate by Mexican side Monterrey. That was too much of a step up in class for Peter Vermes’ men but it has been encouraging they managed to draw both MLS matches on the back of their midweek endeavours. It’s been a while since SKC had a full week of rest to prepare for a league match so I’m sure everyone has been relieved to finally recharge their batteries in recent days. On the actual field SKC have looked like a decent team with the 7-1 win against Montreal Impact being a stand out result.
Under the management of Peter Vermes, Sporting have had a long standing reputation of being this negative sort of defensive side, but I sense things have changed in the last couple of years. The team still lacks a top quality #9 type striker but there is enough overall threat in the whole squad to score goals. Jonny Russell has been brilliant as an inside forward cutting in from the right hand side and has looked very sharp of late. I tipped over 2.75 goals in that aforementioned SKC – Montreal match recently and it ended 7-1. Once again, I think that an SKC game is being undervalued in terms of potential goals. In MLS, every single San Jose Earthquakes fixture has ended over 2.5 in 2019 and their defence is incredibly leaky. This should be a very open affair with lots of chances and dangerous moments at either end. Sporting are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites around the 1.90 mark. They may well win but I think the best pick here is to take over 3 goals. There is very little to suggest that this will be a low scoring fixture so unless a bunch of chances are missed then there should be at least three goals and probably a lot more.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.950
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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