MLS Betting Preview – 20/08/16
MLS Betting Preview – 20/08/16
In our MLS betting preview we look at what could be the best possible bets between the chosen games from this weekends action.
New York City FC v LA Galaxy
In this intra-conference clash of the big spenders, the team from the Big Apple welcome the team from the Golden Coast in a true coast-to-coast battle. The hype around this fixture is huge over in the States as the two teams with the best known players go to battle in the iconic Yankee Stadium and it’s early kick off means it’s on 8pm UK time and is being broadcast live on Sky Sports 5.
Patrick Viera’s New York City currently sit top of the Eastern Conference but anything other than a win in this one could see them overtaken by the two teams below them. There was much uncertainty over Viera and his methods at the beginning of the season with their partizan crowd on the verge of turning on the Frenchman after numerous unispiring performances and embarrassing results against city rivals, the Red Bulls. But City have put together a strong run of home form of late, winning their last three and netting an impressive ten times in the process. Their inconsistency, however, has been evident throughout the season and their goal difference currently sits at zero and, unusually for MLS sides, it’s their away form that has put helped secure their position atop the conference. A large part of their recent success is down to Frank Lampard finally finding his feet in the league. Following his loan to parent club Manchester City, a prolonged injury abscense and his massively unpopular decisions to do punditry work in England during the MLS season, the Chelsea legend was roundly booed on his return from injury. However, in the last ten games he’s scored nine goals which is the best scoring return of his career as his prolifcness in and around the eighteen yard box comes to fruition in the division.
LA Galaxy come into this one full of confidence as their MLS unbeaten streak now sits at an impressive nine matches as their push to secure a top two finish intensifies. Many have said that the Galaxy have underperformed this season and to a certain extent they have. They spend big, get the big names in and are a ‘glamour’ team so every season is arguably a disappointment unless they sweep the conference and then dominate the playoffs. This second half of the season surge has coincided with manager Bruce Arena finally finding a position for Steven Gerrard that benefits the team. At first he was played in a box-to-box role which was a resounding failure as Gerrard’s legs are obviously not what they used to be but now, playing further up the field, the Merseyside legend has certainly settled in to his new surroundings. LA’s away form is much improved of late as they’ve lost just two of their last eight fixtures on the road as their hugely experienced side make themselves incredibly hard to beat. The California side do have a tendency to leak goals, with both teams scoring in each of their last six matches in all competitions but they have the fire power in Robbie Keane, Giovanni Dos Santos and Gyasi Zaredes to get themselves out of trouble.
Both Teams to Score: (Best Priced at 1/2 with SkyBet) – BET HERE
Draw and Both Teams to Score: (Best Priced at 7/2 with BetVictor) – BET HERE
Frank Lampard to Score Anytime: (Best Priced at 2/1 with Paddy Power) – BET HERE
Philadelphia Union v Tornto FC
In this all-Eastern conference clash Toronto FC cross the border into America to take on playoff position rivals Philadelphia Union at the Talen Energy Stadium.
The Union’s home form is as strong as any in the MLS as they recently went ten matches unbeaten which saw them rise up the divsion from relative mid-table obscurity into an impressive fourth position. This has surprised many people as they are a side with a roster lacking players who are known outside of the league. Boss Jim Curtin has quietly assembled a solid side capable of going toe-to-toes with the heavyweights of the league since he took over in 2014. A win in this one would see them draw level with their opponents in this fixture and put them on step closer to achieving their highest finish in their recent history. The Union faithful have been treated to thrilling matches as each of their last six home games have had at least three goals but many want this addressed as their gung-ho approach as caused them to lose games they were drawing, or even winning.
Toronto FC come into this one with all guns blaxing as they’ve won four of their last five fixtures, finding the back of the net an imposing thirteen times. However, the Canadian side’s away form has cost them what could have been a top two finish this season as they’ve not lost in their last six away from home. This is partially understandable as they have to travel huge distances for away games, often more than many European teams have to travel for away fixtures in the Champions League. Fortunately they have the best player in the MLS in their ranks in Sebastian Giovinco who has the capability of creating a goal out of nothing and he’s the MLS top scorer with fifteen goals, without him they could well have found it difficult to even qualify for the playoffs. Like the Union, Toronto have a tendency to ship goals as both teams have scored in their last five away matches. They love a late goal too with 32% of their goals this season coming between minutes 75-90 so don’t be surprised to see Toronto snatch a dramatic late equaliser in this one.
Both Teams to score and Over 2.5 Goals: (Best Priced at 10/11 with Coral) – BET HERE
Over 3.5 Goals: (Best Priced at 7/4 with SkyBet) – BET HERE
Sebastian Giovinco to Score Anytime: (Best Priced at 13/8 with SkyBet) – BET HERE
See the rest of our MLS Previews HERE
Watch highlights from LA Galaxy’s fixure against the Colorado Rapids earlier this month: