Real Salt Lake preview
RSL head into this match winless in four games which is their worst run of the season. In midweek they lost 0-2 at Vancouver but fielded a weaker side and rested players. There are a couple of injury doubts here, the most notable to Joao Plata, but certain guys will be more fresh after sitting out that midweek fixture. The Utah side have generally had a really good season and this is their first real sticky patch. Nevertheless, performances have still been fairly good. Their two defeats in this span, to Dallas & Vancouver (both 0-2), were when a seriously weakened XI was fielded. Home draws against DC United & Montreal arguably should’ve resulted in wins. They were unfortunate to come up against a couple of resolute defensive sides on those occasions. Losing Plata to injury would be a blow but they have replacements out wide like Allen & Mulholland who could do a respectable job.
New England preview
Unlike their opponents, The Revolution didn’t play in midweek so have had a full seven days to prepare for this clash. Victory against Columbus Crew in their previous match was a welcome relief after losing three consecutively. It was a much better performance by Jay Heap’s men and new key striker Kei Kamara had an excellent game against his old club. Team news is favourable ahead of this contest with no new injuries to worry about. New England have a huge problem keeping clean sheets and in total they’ve only had one in their last fourteen attempts. It’s clear the strength of this team is going forward, and with the addition of Kamara they have some decent playmakers in their ranks. Lee Nguyen is technically excellent, Teal Bunbury can’t finish but is useful on the right wing. I’d be surprised if the visitors approached this match in a negative fashion. Even if they tried to shut out RSL and play for a draw, I’m not sure they’d be able to manage it.
Conclusion & Betting analysis
This looks set to be a really good game with plenty of excitement in it. The natural style of both teams is to attack. RSL have been frustrated by the likes of DC United and Montreal recently who have stout defences and good keepers. I just don’t see how the Revolution are going to be able to follow in their footsteps though. Whenever I’ve seen them this season the backline just seems incapable of keeping things tight. So RSL should find it much easier to break through in this fixture, but on the other hand New England will be much more dangerous going forward. It was noticeable last week how lethal Montreal were in the first 30 mins attacking the RSL defence with raw pace. New England could adopt a similar tactic and they have proper quality upfront in Kei Kamara who is always a threat. I think both teams will score and the most likely outcome is a home win or a draw. Over 2.75 goals looks a pretty strong pick here. At worst, three goals should be scored but if things really open up then I could see this line covering fully. The price is juicy and this pick seems fairly obvious when you look at the makeup of each side.
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.96 (minimum odds acceptable 1.80)