Real Salt Lake Preview
The Utah side had their 100% home record ended at the weekend as the Portland Timbers held them to a 2-2 draw. That was a pulsating contest, often end to end and rather sums up RSL matches in recent weeks. Their last four fixtures have all ended with at least four goals in them and the team is playing some very entertaining football. The likes of Juan Manuel Martinez and Yura Movsisyan have been in great form recently. The squad is in good condition too with only key midfielder Kyle Beckerman unavailable due to international duty. Left back Demar Phillips wasn’t included in the squad at the weekend, so has to be considered a doubt here, but he isn’t a guaranteed starter anyway.
New York Red Bulls Preview
The Red Bulls have some wings! They head into this match having won 6 of their last 8 games, including their last four consecutively. Some performances in this span have been excellent, including the 7-0 hammering of local rivals NYCFC. On Sunday they beat Seattle 2-0 at home, although in some ways this was a false result. The Sounders created a lot of opportunities in that match but were poor in front of goal. It was the most amount of chances that the Red Bulls have allowed against them in quite a while. They continue to have defensive injuries. Left back Kemar Lawrence, CB Stephane Zubar and Damien Perrinelle are sidelined here. All season long, the Red Bulls have had defensive absences and they’ve done well to keep clean sheets in their last four games, albeit with some luck.
Both teams should head into the contest with decent confidence, especially the Red Bulls. But for all they’ve achieved in recent weeks, nearly all of their good results have been in the city of New York. It’s true they have a 7-0 away win in their books this season, but that was only against their local rivals, so does it count as a proper away match? Not in MLS terms for me. This is a much trickier fixture at a difficult location at altitude. NYRB have lost 5/7 road games this season and I have a feeling they’ll lose again. The defence might be statistically strong of late, but its actual performance has been masked. If they concede as many chances here then RSL will take advantage. That said, NYRB are very strong in the final third themselves and are capable of scoring. Overall, I see a fairly end to end game in which both teams find the net. Ultimately, home advantage and maybe late tiredness from the Red Bulls will see this end as a home win. The scoreline could even be something like 3-2 in a high scorer.
For those who have read this preview in detail, it will come of no surprise that I’m going to back over 2.75 goals. The price is very generously set at 1.94 at the time of writing, although I predict these odds will slash throughout the day. Anything over 1.75 is acceptable on this line, or anything over 1.95 is acceptable on an over 3.0 line if the overs are backed heavily. I think this is a good value bet and the way I see the match there should be at least three goals. In terms of match betting, RSL are priced @ 1.95 on a -0.25 handicap. This is probably a slight bit of value on the hosts, but not enough to tempt me. Ultimately, both teams have plenty of strength going forwards and a draw or an away win can’t be ruled out. So I will just stick with the over 2.75 goals bet.
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.94 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)