New England Revolution v LA Galaxy
Both teams head into the match in good form. New England are unbeaten in seven games, whilst the Galaxy have only suffered 1 defeat in their last 8. Brad Friedel’s Musketeers have been one of the pleasant surprises in MLS this season. I don’t think expectations were particularly high, especially as he happily cut out star player Lee Nguyen before eventually trading him to LAFC. But the Revs have only lost 4 out of 18 games, which represents one of the best tallies in the whole league. They have a good mixture of attack and defence and Friedel has managed to get certain players who have historically underperformed to actually produce the goods. Combine that with new signings like Cristian Penilla firing well, and there is a nice blend of players within the squad. I certainly feel that there is a strong sense of togetherness at New England this year.
More was expected of the Galaxy preseason, and for quite a large part of the campaign, they flattered to deceive badly. However, it looks like in recent times head coach Sigi Schmid has managed to turn things around and they’ve been involved in a much better run of results. Last weekend they cruised past Columbus Crew 4-0 and this was probably one of their best performances of the campaign. Galaxy have scored 10 goals in their last 4 games and are especially firing in the final third of the field. Then again, when you have the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kei Kamara at your disposal then this shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. Los Angeles have kept 4 clean sheets in their last 8 games but I’m still fairly unconvinced by their defence. If teams actually get at them, especially with pace then it’s shown plenty of vulnerability. DC United and San Jose Earthquakes both managed to fire quite a few goals past them recently.
New England are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites around the even-money mark. This looks pretty fair and I wouldn’t want to put anyone off backing the Revolution. It’s a long trek for LA and sometimes away teams in inter-conference matches can be sloppy. Foxboro isn’t a location anyone really looks forward to visiting either. The problem I have is that New England tends to draw a lot of matches, more than any other side in MLS actually with seven so far. I certainly think it will be a very watchable sort of encounter at least. Last weekend the Revs were involved in a rare MLS 0-0 draw, but that was against a Seattle team who are known for being more negative and have more unders than most teams in this league. On this occasion, I think the matchup is much better for goals and over 3 is very backable. There is enough attacking quality on the field with in-form players to deliver the goods and I think both coaches will fancy going for the win too which should lead to an open game of football.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.880
Minnesota United v Real Salt Lake
Minnesota are now halfway through their second MLS campaign and I think it’s fair to say so far they’ve probably exceeded expectations. In truth, nobody thought they’d be anything better than bottom of the Western Conference, but at this particular stage of the season there are four teams below them in the table. Any hope of the playoffs is probably slim, but they would have hope with a strong finish to the year. Recent form has cost them, losing 4 of their last 5, albeit a string of those were on the road and one loss at home was to the in-form FC Dallas. Their one victory during this run was a memorable 4-3 classic vs Toronto FC, during which star designated player Darwin Quintero scored a magnificent hat-trick. This guy gives belief to anyone connected with Minnesota and he is the one true high-class player they have at their disposal. If Quintero gets going, he can be very hard to stop in this league.
Real Salt Lake travel here third in the Western Conference and are perhaps one of those teams slightly under the radar at the moment. Nobody is really talking about RSL but they have silently moved up the table and are a definite playoff contender this year. Mike Petke’s men have lost eight matches in 2018, but their high strike rate of victories has served them well. As a rule, this team generally ‘doesn’t do draws’ and Petke will gamble if a match is level with not long left. One big problem for RSL is their poor away form though. On the road, they’ve lost a massive 7 out of 9 games with the lone victory coming against struggling Seattle. This is a much more manageable encounter though and Minnesota are certainly beatable. I’d be surprised if RSL come here with any fear and they will be eyeing up a maximum point haul.
History was made in this fixture last season when Minnesota claimed their first-ever MLS victory. It was a wild night and ultimately ended 4-2, the match was wide open and massively end to end. I could see a similar sort of outcome here because I just think both teams will fancy their chances. No side goes to Minnesota just looking to hold out for a draw and RSL will definitely see this as a chance to register a rare road win. Neither team has been blessed in the injury department this season and a number of players remain on the long-term casualty list. However, of late things have been more settled, especially in attacking areas. Minnesota are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites for this match but they are never a trustworthy team and can throw in a stinker of a performance at any time. Instead, the better bet is to back goals and over 3 seems like a generous price. Both sides tend to be involved in higher scoring matches more often than not and this feels like the sort of clash which should swing from end to end regularly.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals @ 2.030
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.