Four games coming up in the MLS and here are my thoughts on those games.
DC United v Atlanta United (00:30)
Atlanta sit just outside the play-off spots in the Eastern Conference and Tito Martino’s side have the best attacking record in the whole of the MLS. They travel to the capital to face a DC United that is struggling to say the least.
The phrase can’t hit a barn door springs to mind with them failing to score in six of their last seven MLS games and with forward Patrick Mullins being ruled out after knee surgery for the long-term then their struggles can continue.
Atlanta have lost their last four on the road but did record wins at Real Salt Lake and Minnesota plus draws at Seattle and Toronto with those two draws coming at difficult places to go too.
Yes Atlanta tend to concede but DC United don’t tend to score, so I think the prices are wrong here. I’m looking towards an away win, especially now that Josef Martinez (11/5 – Paddy Power) is back to fitness. He scored in the 3-1 victory over Columbus at the weekend after coming off the bench, so he is worth a play to score given he’s now got six MLS goals and one in the US Open Cup last week.
I’m definitely favouring Atlanta in this given they create chances and play some attractive football, Despite their away record I had them at a 17/10 chance and the bookies seem to agree but I didn’t have DC United as short as the bookies do.
For me, take the safe Atlanta Draw No Bet at EVS but the 17/10 for them to take the three points does look a big price.
Minnesota United v Portland Timbers (01:00)
Minnesota have struggled in recent weeks having lost five of their last seven but that is something that expansion clubs face and they have to find a way through the barren spells.
That said the two wins they’ve recorded both came here over Orlando and Sporting KC to take their home record to four wins and three defeats in the campaign.
The worrying thing for them is they’ve conceded the second most goals in the MLS with 34 but only 11 of them have been conceded at the TCF Bank Stadium.
Caleb Porter may have half an eye on the weekend for Portland’s crunch clash with Seattle, so may make changes. Liam Ridgewell is out with injury, which once again leaves defensive question marks.
Portland won two of their first three away games at LA Galaxy and Vancouver but since then just one draw in their last five shows the slump they’ve gone through.
In those five recent away matches they’ve conceded 12 goals and only scored four themselves.
They took the lead at Colorado at the weekend after Sebastian Blanco gave them the lead and he had two more excellent changes but failed to convert. After a slow start he seems to have got going and that’s good news for the Timbers Army.
The Timbers are the second top scorers in the Western Conference with 27 goals and they’ll be expecting to take something from this game given that form Blanco showed at the weekend plus the fact Fanendo Adi has eight goals this season.
These sides met for the first MLS game of the season with Portland running out 5-1 winners at Providence Park. I think we will see goals once again with these sides, so Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (5/6 – Coral) does look to be the best angle with the players on show plus the fact that Minnesota are strong at home but poor defensively against a side that travel poorly yet are good in front of goal.
Colorado Rapids v LA Galaxy (02:00)
These two sides are much improved in recent weeks and it must be said that LA Galaxy have looked better on the road than at home.
Colorado have won their last four MLS home games – three of them by single goal margins but they’ve scored eight goals in those game, which shows they are creating more than they did at the start of the season.
Former Galaxy striker Alan Gordon (2/1 – Various) has scored twice in four and with his height late in the game plus the Rapids style of play suiting his style then he could haunt his former club.
LA Galaxy are unbeaten in seven games having come from behind twice to draw with Houston Dynamo at the weekend plus they’ll be boosted by the return of Jelle Van Damme from suspension.
Away wins at NYRB, Minnesota and San Jose have slightly changed my opinion on them, especially away from home where they’ve proven dangerous and they can do so without Giovani Dos Santos.
This fixture tends to see goals in the second half with seven of the last nine coming after the break meaning Second Half Highest Scoring (6/5 – Betstars) does look a good price.
But the play here is Both Teams to Score (19/20 – Betstars) given the threat both sides pose in attack areas and it does go against recent H2Hs but there has been enough to suggest from both sides that goals are the way in here.
Seattle Sounders v Orlando (03:30)
Defending MLS Cup champions Seattle have clicked in recent weeks and were unlucky to lose at a rather wet Yankee Stadium to NYC on Saturday. After taking the lead the referee awarded the hosts a penalty despite the defender wining all of the ball. Villa slotted that home before scoring his and NYC’s second to win the game, so they can feel hard done by.
Orlando are fourth in the Eastern Conference but they’ve played more home games than away and they struggle on their travels.
Away defeats at Toronto (2-1), Houston (4-0) and Minnesota (1-0) highlight that problem plus they’ve were well beaten on their only visit here in 2015 when going down 4-0.
In truth the Lions don’t defend too well. That was highlighted in Saturday’s 3-3 draw with Montreal with the Canadian side doing little in attacking areas but when they got forward it seemed to panic the Orlando defence – it took a Jonathan Spector stoppage header from a corner to rescue that point after they looked rattled.
Seattle have Jordan Morris, Clint Dempsey, Nicholas Lodeiro and Christian Roldan to call upon, so it is hard to see past a home win. The Sounders have won both previous clashes Seattle too.
With the Green Army being strong at home having won their last three MLS home games 1-0. That said they will create chances and I worry for this Orlando defence given that shambles against Montreal, so a wider margin of victory is something I’d expect.
Seattle -1 (8/5 – Betfair) on the normal handicap is something that would appeal given their attacking threats and the lack of Orlando defending. The other angle I’d be interesting in is Seattle to Win to Nil (7/4 – Bet365) because they’ve been good at the back on home soil and Orlando’s leading scorer Cyle Larin is likely to miss out after his recent off-field problems.
Clint Dempsey (11/8 – Sky Bet) will have happy memories against the Lions after he netted a hat-trick the last time the sides met.
This is a more chancey bet but I’ll be backing Seattle -1 at 8/5.
A four-fold of:
Atlanta to Win
BTTS Colorado/LA Galaxy
Seattle to Win
12.43 with Bet365
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