USA MLS – Philadelphia Union v Vancouver Whitecaps Preview (25/6/16)

PU-VW

Philadelphia preview

The Union retained their lead at the top of the Eastern Conference on Wednesday night, beating Chicago 4-3 in what was an absolute thriller. For the most part of that game Philly played really well and created chances at will. The negative was how poor they looked defensively against one of the worst attacks in the league. This Philly side is much improved this year though, especially in terms of goalscoring and home record. Jim Curtin’s men are unbeaten in front of their own fans, winning 6/8 contests. You can sense the crowd is really getting behind the players. The injury situation is quite good too. Key striker CJ Sapong might return here following a two game absence. However, they’ve found an unlikely star with Roland Arlberg playing some superb football in the no10 role. Confidence is high, the place is rocking and it’s a good time to be associated with the club.

Vancouver preview

The Caps lost in their first MLS match following the Copa America resumption, somehow going down 1-2 at home to New England last week. It was a match they totally dominated, yet amazingly Carl Robinson’ men only scored one goal. Of course, matters weren’t helped by the fact that key playmaker Pedro Morales and first choice striker Octavio Rivero were both suspended. With those two back in the team Vancouver should be more clinical in the final third. Centre back Kendall Waston is still banned, but right back Fraser Aird could return following a niggling bone injury. The Caps are situated sixth in the Western Conference and have lost 5/7 away games this season. At least they’ve managed to win a couple of matches on their travels, but it seems they either play well or produce a stinker away from home! Which version will we see from them here?

Conclusion

Both teams have been involved in some high scoring MLS matches recently so the expectation is that this should be a highly entertaining fixture. Both teams have scored in 8 of Philly’s last 9 games and their main strength now is actually scoring goals. This goes against their natural reputation as a boring team who only scrape 1-0s when they win. That was the old Philly, but not so much the case now. Both teams have also scored in all of Vancouver’s last eight games and their recent fixtures have been end to end contests. I just sense that each defence is struggling at the moment and doesn’t really know how to keep clean sheets. I expect a lot of chances to be created here and also a lot to be missed. But at the end of the day enough will surely hit the back of the net and this could end anything. Momentum is definitely with Philly and they are the more likely winners, but I could see something like a 2-2 draw with both sides taking a point, or maybe someone winning 3-2 thanks to a late winner.

Prediction: 2-2

Betting analysis

My bet for this game is an obvious one and will come as no surprise. I strongly fancy the overs, the only question is exactly which line to take. I think this will be a really open fixture and contain goals at both ends. It’s the sort of match I think could go fairly easily over, so I’m willing to take a higher goal line at a better price. Over 2.5 is currently priced @ 1.85 which is perfectly acceptable. Anything 1.65+ is a reasonable price for that line. I prefer to take over 2.75 @ 2.09 though. I think the odds will shorten throughout the day but anything 1.85+ is an acceptable price. Even if only three goals are scored then this will pay out as a decent half winner. The match result is much more difficult to call and has Philly priced @ about 1.85 on a -0.25 handicap. This seems very fair to me and I see no edge in that market because the overall match outcome feels hard to predict.

Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 2.09 (minimum price acceptable 1.85)

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One thought on “USA MLS – Philadelphia Union v Vancouver Whitecaps Preview (25/6/16)

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