Minnesota United v New York City FC
This is a really big night for Minnesota United as they prepare for their first ever home fixture at the brand new Allianz Field Stadium. The ‘Loons’ are in their 3rd MLS season as a full franchise but moving to such a high-quality new stadium it really feels like they belong at this level fully. Perhaps they can use it as a springboard to move on to greater things. To be fair to Minnesota though they have started 2019 pretty well, picking up 9 points from 5 games so far. All of those fixtures were away from home so their achievement is considerable, especially in the last round when they won 2-1 at New York Red Bulls. The Loons even managed to win without their star designated player Darwin Quintero, who missed the match through injury. Supposedly he is ‘in line’ to return here and I would be surprised if Minnesota didn’t start him on such a big occasion.
What the home team need is a victory to christen the new stadium on its opening day. And the opposition probably couldn’t have been hand-picked better based on current form. New York City FC might have only lost 1 match out of 5 but they’ve drawn four and yet to obtain a win of their own in 2019 yet. Something just isn’t right with this side. Whether it’s the manager Dom Torrent or them missing the presence of David Villa I’m not sure. What I do know is that this isn’t a great phase for NYC. They got battered 4-0 by Toronto in their last away match and then were held at home to Montreal in what was a pitiful 0-0 draw. An awful lot more is needed from them in all areas of the pitch and this is quite frankly a nightmare time to be facing Minnesota on such a big night for them.
Adrian Heath’s men are going to be giving it absolutely everything here in an attempt to get 3 points this weekend. They will be so fired and pumped up that it may well give them an extra edge and advantage. Right now I see Minnesota as the better team anyway and this looks to be an excellent time to be facing NYCFC. It would be great for Minnesota if Darwin Quintero is fit enough to suit up and start, but perhaps a more important loss would be Maxi Moralez for NYC. He has missed the last two games and the team has looked totally lost without him. I think the best pick for this game is to take Minnesota just to win on the nose with a straight -0.5 Asian Handicap line. They can be backed close to even money at the time of writing but anything 1.8 or bigger is worth a go here. I definitely sense the Loons will find a way to get the 3 points on their big night at Allianz Field.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Minnesota United -0.50 at 1.950
Los Angeles FC v FC Cincinnati
LAFC are absolutely flying at the moment. They already sit comfortably clear of the Western Conference and have won their last two matches 5-0 and 4-0 respectively. The most recent success away at DC United really raised some eyebrows. Many people were dubbing that match as a battle between the current two best teams in MLS. Well, based on that evidence there is absolutely no debate right now, LAFC are head and shoulders above the rest. Of course, this is only a small frame in time though and the real test is whether they can stay consistent throughout the whole year. Peaking in time for the playoffs is a massive thing as well, in addition to keeping players fit. In Carlos Vela they have probably the most in-form player in the whole league right now and is he scoring goals for fun. The whole team is playing with a lot of confidence, especially offensively.
This weekend they take on new franchise FC Cincinnati who have been reasonably good in their debut year so far. Cincy have picked up some points here and there although when facing some quality sides there have been moments when it’s seemed they are out of their depth. Examples of this were against Seattle and Philadelphia. This is a team that shows good raw potential but also one that makes some crucial mistakes. Perhaps that is to be expected for a new franchise looking to find its feet in MLS though. Key striker, Fanendo Adi has been out injured recently and is questionable to return. They could certainly do with his presence up front in a match like this.
For LAFC, their own striker Adama Diomande limped off with a hamstring injury last week and is unlikely to play here. That shouldn’t be a problem though because Christian Ramirez is another very good option for them upfront. I don’t think Cincinnati are a dreadful side by any means, but I expect them to take a good old fashioned ‘tonking’ here. LAFC are quite simply playing too well for anyone right now and I would expect them to show their extra class this weekend. I like two picks for the match, LAFC -1.5 Asian Handicap and over 3.25 goals. Truth be told, I think LAFC will score four on their own really but Cincinnati have been carrying a threat of late so might nick a goal somewhere. It should be mostly one-way traffic anyway and I envisage scorelines of 4-0 4-1 or maybe even more if LAFC continue their ruthless streak in front of goal.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: LAFC -1.50 at 2.000
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.25 goals at 1.850
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