MLS – Philadelphia Union v Toronto FC Preview (20/8/16)


Philadelphia preview

Philly roared back into life last weekend by hammering New England 4-0 away from home. It was a great display by the Union and puts them back on track following a tricky run. Jim Curtain’s men had won just one of their previous seven games heading into Foxboro, but they dominated from start to finish. It might just be the tonic they need to kick start their campaign and they moved back up to fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Now they face a fellow rival who are also in a playoff spot. Who knows, maybe these two will meet each other at the end of the year when the stakes are raised tenfold. Striker CJ Sapong is rated doubtful for this clash because of a head injury picked up last week, but the manager is hopeful he’ll be available. Philly have yet to suffer a home defeat against fellow Eastern Conference opposition this year and they’ll hope that run continues.

Toronto FC preview

TFC’s four match winning run was brought to an end last week when they could only draw 1-1 at Houston. The Canadian outfit are still in good form though and those victories have propelled them right into the heart of the Eastern Conference playoff battle. Toronto had a bit of a sticky spell a couple of months ago which coincided with Sebastian Giovinco’s poor run of form. Fellow frontman Jozy Altidore was also out of action around that time. But he’s now back fully fit and Giovinco has been on fire of late, scoring some great goals. TFC haven’t been on the road much recently but they did win here last season. In fact, they actually claimed a clean sweep over Philly in 2015 winning all three matchups!

Conclusion & betting analysis

Both teams will head into the match full of confidence. Toronto are on a great run and Philly should be flying high following their great victory last week. This is a battle between two good Eastern Conference teams and come the final whistle I don’t think much will separate them. I do think it’ll be an open encounter full of chances though The one big noticeable thing about Philly in 2016 is how open and high scoring their games are. They have been involved in a ridiculous amount of over 2.5 matches and the sensible option each week is to keep backing these overs! Sooner or later they will have to have an under, it’s the law of averages. But I don't expect it to come here. Toronto’s attack force has just started to click recently and I just don’t see how the notoriously porous Philly defence will be able to keep the likes of Giovinco and Altidore at bay. Something like a 2-2 draw could be on the cards and I’m firmly in the court of over 2.75 goals.

Prediction: 2-2
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.90 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)

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