MLS – Orlando City v Montreal Impact Preview (2/10/16)

oc-miOrlando preview

A poor run of 3 losses from their last 4 games has all but ended Orlando’s playoff hopes. For the second season running, the Florida outfit look like falling short of the top six and just two victories since August are to blame. They have to win all of their remaining games and then hope, but even that would unlikely see them enter the fray. It’s simply too late now and they are playing for pride. To their credit, they ground out a 0-0 draw away at Toronto in midweek. But that was a must win situation, almost their last chance, so it's likely the team could feel a bit deflated here. Orlando actually possess the worst statistical home record out of anyone in the Eastern Conference, but have only lost three times here. I’m sure the players won’t want to let their fans down.

Montreal preview

The Impact secured a vitally important 3-1 home win against San Jose in midweek. It was their first victory in five games and should secure a playoff berth. They could still do with picking up a few more points but they are in a much more favourable position than what they were prior to that fixture. Last season, Montreal ended the campaign really strongly and went on to have a decent playoff run. This term it feels like they are limping into the postseason but they can’t be underestimated with the likes of Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti in their ranks. The big difference in 2016 is that their defence isn't as strong. Montreal have only kept one clean sheet in their last nine games. The likes of Laurent Ciman, who was so solid last year seem to have regressed.

Conclusion & betting analysis

Despite the fact that their season looks effectively done, Orlando are a short priced 2.05 on a -0.5 Asian handicap. Obviously, this is their absolute last chance saloon and they simply have to win, but even a victory still leaves them with a lot to do. Ultimately, there’s not a lot of pressure on Orlando anymore because nobody really expects much from them. Perhaps this will lead to them opening up more, not that they keep it tight very often anyway! The defence has generally been an abomination in recent times, with the clean sheet in midweek a complete rarity. I’d be surprised if this was a tight match. Neither side is very good at the back and possesses some good attackers. It should be an end to end type game and I fancy Montreal will probably punish the usual Orlando errors with some good finishing.  I can’t see this game containing less than three goals, so over 3 looks like an obvious call.

Prediction: 2-3

Recommendation: Over 3 goals @1.88

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