MLS – Chicago Fire v New England Revolution Preview (16/10/16)

cf-neChicago preview

For the Fire, this season has been over for quite some time. They finished rock bottom of the MLS standings last year and now it looks like they’ll be picking first in the 2017 draft as well. Failure to win this match would ensure of that fact. It feels like the Fire have made some sort of progress this season, but in terms of raw results and points tally they might actually regress on their awful 2016 attempt. Their home record to an extent isn’t that bad, only suffering three defeats and they've largely remained competitive, even when little has been at stake. An example of that was on Thursday night when they came from behind to draw against Columbus Crew, and in fact they very nearly won that match. Key attacker David Accam missed out due to international duty and could return for this fixture, which would greatly aid their threat upfront.

New England preview

The Revs are definitely one of the form teams in MLS at the moment and could be a threat in the playoffs, should they make it that far. For that to happen they realistically need to win both matches and hope that Philly somehow fail against both Orlando and New York Red Bulls. By the end of Sunday night their playoff aspirations might be all gone, but for now they are still alive and in their minds only a victory is enough here. The Revs have won 4 of their last 5 games and played some nice football of late. The likes of Nguyen, Rowe, Kamara & Agudelo have all been in great form and the offense has come alive again. New England don’t have a great road record, but their performance and result at Montreal a couple of weeks ago proved their capabilities if things go right.

Conclusion & betting analysis

This looks set to be a really exciting encounter. Chicago have nothing to play for apart from pride but they still want to entertain their fans. A whopping 9 of their last 10 games have all ended with over 2.5 goals in them, and even the fixture that didn't was an exciting 0-1 loss at Seattle. They don’t ‘care’ anymore which has led to some really relaxed and open performances. The crowd that turn up for this match will want to be entertained which means Chicago have to attack. New England meanwhile, simply have to win. Only three points will really keep them in the playoff hunt and should push hard right until the end. I think the obvious play is to back over 2.75 goals at a more than acceptable price. I don't see how this will be a defensive game, unless Chicago really don’t care and the visitors labour to something like a 1-0 win. But I just don’t see that occurring. New England are going to be the fresher team and with extra motivation should get the three points. So I’m willing to back them on a straight -0.5 Asian handicap @ 2.40. I really don't see the point of taking any draw cover. This is an all or nothing game and if the game was level with not long left then New England would risk everything to win.

Prediction: 1-3

Recommended bets both 1 unit: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.83 & New England -0.5 @ 2.40