Orlando City FC v LA Galaxy
Unfortunately, both selections advised in the LA Galaxy match lost last week as they went down 0-1 at home to Colorado Rapids. The key factor was just a day or so before the match when striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic got banned retrospectively for an incident the previous weekend. Zlatan is worth so much to this Galaxy team and it’s no surprise they failed to win without him. Zlatan is once again suspended for the trip to Orlando, which promises to be a pulsating clash. The Florida hosts lost three games in a row but bounced back in style by hammering Cincinnati 5-1 last week. It seemed like Orlando really go their mojo back and the duo of Nani and Tesho Akindele were especially impressive. Winger Chris Mueller has looked quite sharp recently too.
Despite that victory Orlando remain as low as 10th in the Eastern Conference and I have never felt that their home field advantage here is a strong as it could be. The Lions have already lost 3 times in front of their own fans this season although maybe the recent win last week can help them turn the corner. They will certainly eye this as another potential 3 points facing the Zlatan-less Galaxy, who have also lost 3 of their 5 road games this season. It has been quite noticeable in each of their last two away fixtures how bad the defence has looked. Both the Red Bulls and Columbus Crew scored three times against them. The match vs Colorado last weekend might have ended 0-1 but it totally masked what a wild encounter it was. There were a gazillion chances at both ends, the problem was that nobody could take them.
Copa del Rey Match Preview: Barcelona v Valencia.
Orlando have enough quality and firepower upfront to take advantage of Galaxy’s woes at the back. To me, the obvious pick is over 3 goals in what should be an end to end type game. Of course, I would love Zlatan to be available because the visitors will probably spurn a number of opportunities without him. But they should be able to hit the back of the net at least once still. Orlando themselves have a habit of gifting big opportunities to their opponents. The home side can be back on a -0.5 Asian Handicap around the 1.90 mark. I actually think Orlando will win but I just can’t trust them at this stadium. Galaxy might not have Zlatan available but still have a number of quality players in their ranks. There is also plenty of pace in the side that could expose Orlando. So I’m very happy to take Over 3.00 goals because this has the feel of a potential goal glut.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.900
Philadelphia Union v Portland Timbers
The Eastern Conference seems wide open this season with no real stand out team at the moment. Philadelphia Union currently sit top of the pile on 24 points and have lost just 1 of their last 11 games. Not a lot of people would have said that a few weeks ago but the Union do seem a legitimate threat, especially at home where they’ve dominated a lot of games. Last week they drew 0-0 against Seattle and that ended a run of 5 straight victories at the Talen Energy Stadium. Philly were easily the better team though and created numerous chances, just couldn’t put any into the back of the net. The lack of a serious quality striker in the team is always a worry for me personally. If they had a proven clinical star upfront I really feel this team would be a huge force to be reckoned with.
After a long long wait, the return home time for Portland Timbers is soon upon us. They will finally get to play a home match next week after their stadium renovations have now been complete. It’s been a brutal spell of 11 straight away games for the Oregon outfit and now they have just one more to tick off the list this weekend in Philly. To be honest, Portland haven’t done ‘that’ badly to pick up 11 points considering all of their games have been away. They even managed to win three consecutive matches not too long ago and have been gradually improving as the season has developed. With so many home games yet to be played (17 out of 23 left), I would anticipate Portland will be climbing their way up the table in a similar way that DC United shot up the standings last year.
The last two Timbers matches have ended 1-0 and 1-1 but prior to that they went on a ridiculous run of 9 consecutive over 2.5 games. Their most previous encounter at Houston really should’ve ended over as well, there were enough chances at both ends. The simple fact is Portland are a very attack minded sort of outfit who haven’t defended well this year. There are plenty of playmakers who can make a difference in this side. Unlike Seattle last week – who effectively came for a 0-0 draw at Philly and got it, I think Portland will come to play for 3 points. This will suit the Union because there should be some more space for them to exploit compared to last week. Overall, I think there will be an open feel to the game and that should naturally lead to a few goals being scored. Philadelphia are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites but I prefer to side with over 3 goals as my pick. Portland offer some threat going forward so it’s not a guarantee the Union will have things their own way.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 2.020
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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