Montreal Impact v Houston Dynamo
Houston Dynamo remains one of the MLS great entertainers this season. Their matches average a whopping 3.9 goals per game and a massive 11 out of 12 Dynamo fixtures have ended with over 2.5 goals in them. This may seem extreme, but MLS has generally been a place for goals this year, it’s just that Houston are top of the pile in this capacity. These stats are no fluke either. Houston plays in a very attacking 4-3-3 formation and seems to just about ‘have a go’ almost anywhere, be it home or away. This is often to their detriment and they leave themselves open and exposed at the back. Wilmer Cabrera’s men have a mixed 1-3-2 away record this season but should fancy their chances of picking up 3 points against a poor Montreal team.
The Impact are currently second bottom of the Eastern Conference and although it remains pretty early in the season, the chances of them making the playoffs look bleak. They simply aren’t playing well enough and losing way too many games. In recent times scoring goals has been their biggest problem, now failing to net in four straight games. Montreal needs to rediscover their touch in front of goal and they won’t get much of a better chance than facing a porous-looking Houston backline. Remi Garde’s men bagged four and three goals vs New England and LAFC not that long ago, so it’s in there…somewhere. But this is a team that has lost a massive 8 of its last 9 games so confidence must be remarkably low. There’s already plenty of pressure on the manager as well, even though this is his first season.
Two factors that might play into Montreal’s hands here are a favourable head to head record and likely better freshness within the squad. Houston have played three games in a week, the most recent of which was a trip to RSL in midweek at altitude, which they lost. Now they have to trek all the way north to Montreal which is less than ideal. Maybe some players will be rested and rotated here but the coach usually likes to keep a consistent XI, especially in offensive areas where the likes of Elis, Quito, and Manotas have been in excellent form. There is a remarkable head to head statistic in that 12 of the 13 MLS meetings between these two teams has resulted in a home win. Houston have played here five times and lost them all. With that in mind, backing Montreal on a DNB or -0.25 Asian Handicap could be a good idea. But I don’t trust them, so instead I’ll side with over 3 goals and keep riding the Houston oversville train which shows no sign of stopping.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 2.050
New York City FC v Orlando City
A few weeks ago this would’ve been a battle between 2 of the top 3 in the Eastern Conference. However, both teams have tailed off somewhat, especially Orlando who have suddenly lost 3 games in a row. New York City have been inconsistent of late with defeats at Houston and the Red Bulls tarnishing their good start to the campaign. But on other occasions such as when they hammered Colorado (4-0) or drawing with LAFC away (2-2), they look like genuine MLS contenders. It’s hard to fathom Patrick Vieira’s men at the moment, and part of the problem might actually be him. He has been constantly linked with vacant manager jobs in Europe in recent weeks and there has been a suggestion it’s been unsettling the squad.
Orlando City won six games in a row to propel themselves up the table but have since lost three games on the spin. Losing Dom Dwyer to injury hasn’t helped their cause and they seem a different team without him. Orlando always creates a bunch of chances, but only Dwyer seems to consistently take them. The likes of Justin Meram plus a few others regularly waste good opportunities and lack composure. Orlando still usually find a way to score goals from somewhere though such is their natural attacking nature. The Florida outfit have won two and lost two on the road thus far, with victories at Philly and Colorado fairly impressive at relatively difficult locations. At the time of writing, Dywer is considered ‘probable’ for this fixture so should at least take his place on the bench which would be a real boost.
Both of these teams entered MLS as new franchises together in 2015 so there is always an element of rivalry. It’s actually Orlando who have the better record and impressively Jason Kreis’ men have won twice here at Yankee Stadium, including their one visit last season (2-1). Kreis is a former manager of NYC so will be eager to get one over his old employers. It’s interesting to note that New York City are generally -1 or -1.25 Asian Handicap favourites here. I’m really not sure about that line because Orlando isn’t to be underestimated, especially if Dwyer plays. Instead. I think a better bet is over 3 goals. Both teams are on a mad run of overs, especially NYC who have ten straight over 2.5 matches in a row heading into this encounter! It should be a frantic end to end type affair. I’m sure many chances will get missed but come the final whistle there should be three goals scored at worst.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.840
Preview By: @meatmansoccer
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