Dallas continue their pursuit of the Rapids at the top of the Western Conference. They are one point behind but have played two games more, so it’s advantage Colorado at the moment. However, Dallas gained bragging right over them by obtaining a 2-1 win in the US Open Cup on Wednesday. Mentally, this should put them in a good place knowing that they’ve recently beaten their current closest rival. The Texan outfit are one of the top home teams in MLS and have been for a number of years now. Nobody has beaten them at this stadium so far this season and it’s a real fortress. Injuries have been kind to Dallas for most of the campaign and again they have close to a clean bill of health. Their only worries are at the back where Zach Lloyd & Ryan Hollingshead are most likely out of this fixture.
Orlando City preview
Orlando suffered the embarrassment of being knocked out of the US Open Cup by USL side Fort Lauderdale last Wednesday. They didn’t field a full strength side but everyone expected them to have too much for their lower ranked opponents. In MLS, Adrian Heath’s men have only lost three matches all season but a huge collection of draws (8) has cost them. In many cases the victory was there for the taking too but they let a lead slip. Just 6 of their 16 games have been on the road this season and the Florida team aren’t particularly known for their away strength. At least condition of the team should be good with few injuries to report. Resting some key players in the cup won’t do them any harm ahead of this fixture either. But facing a strong Dallas offence, it won’t be easy for a side that’s appallingly only kept one clean sheet so far in 2016!
Something I will be mentioning again for all of these Monday 4th July fixtures in MLS is the Independence Day factor. All teams are going to be really up for it and there’s definitely an emphasis on the home team ‘putting on a show’ This is in terms of both on and off the field action, fans want to be entertained. I fully expect both teams to really go for it here in an attacking encounter which should be easy on the eye. Dallas are really strong at home and I give them the clear edge. In crucial moments Orlando are often found wanting and their defence is as soft as shit. I think both teams will score but ultimately Dallas should have a few more come the final whistle.
Dallas are a really good home team and I’d definitely expect them to prevail here. Orlando might make life difficult for them at times, but the visitors are far too soft in defence and could desperately struggle against such a strong Dallas frontline which possess great pace. The hosts are only 1.80 on a -0.75 handicap but it’s big enough for me to take. I just think they are much the better side and can deliver the goods here. A pick I’m even more confident with is over 2.75 goals. A whopping 11 of Orlando’s last 12 matches have all ended with at least three goals in them. A clean sheet for Heath’s men is rarer than a Tasmanian Tiger! I expect ‘Lando to come here looking to attack as they always do, and most likely should hit the back of the net. More Dallas matches should’ve ended over 2.5 this year and the main reason for this is because they’ve won a large number of fixtures by an exact 2-0 scoreline. But that will change sooner or later and they are naturally an attack minded side. For me, this has a good chance of ending up a comfortable home win in a high scorer.
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.88 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)
Recommended bet: Dallas -0.75 @ 1.80 (minimum odds acceptable 1.70)