MLS Playoffs – FC Dallas v Seattle Sounders Preview (6/11/16)

Dallas preview

The Texan outfit have had a great season, winning the Supporters Shield & US Open Cup. But an elusive treble might be a step too far for them. A crazy 10 minute period during the first leg looks to have put them out of contention and they will need to surmount a massive comeback here to get themselves back in the tie. Seattle take a 3-0 lead into the second leg so Dallas are going to have to come out firing and put a lot of pressure on their opponents. The good news is that Oscar Perea’s men are usually superb at home. Only Colorado beat them here at Toyota Stadium and they won a massive 12/17 encounters in front of their own fans, nailing a huge 33:12 goal difference. It was noticeable how they missed key playmaker Mauro Diaz in the first leg. Diaz is going to be out of action for quite some time due to a snapped achilles tendon. Nevertheless, even without him Dallas will hope to get back into the contest.

Seattle preview

In a similar fashion to their arch rivals the Portland Timbers, it’s the Sounders who look like the in-form ‘hot’ team right now. They entered the playoffs with great momentum and have maintained that in the postseason so far. They perhaps had their lucky moment against SKC in the knockout round, somehow prevailing when they were second best. Right now though they are the very strong favourites to progress into the final of the Western Conference. I don’t expect the makeup of the team to change too much here, although centre back Romain Torres might come into the XI if he's fit enough. Seattle will probably sit back looking to frustrate Dallas, then when their opponents get desperate later on might tey and secure their progression by scoring an away goal. If Seattle score in this game, then Dallas would need to net four times, which would surely be asking too much.

Conclusion & betting analysis

At some point this game is sure to open up. Dallas have to gamble and win well to have any chance. Should they concede a goal then the task would almost be insurmountable. I’m sure Seattle will be hard to break down but they know that a defeat could see them through. Even a heavy defeat would enable progression to the next round, providing they scored an away goal themselves. The way I see this match is Dallas winning outright, but Seattle going through on aggregate. Two bets stick out to me here, over 2.75 goals and Dallas -0.75 on the Asian handicap. They won’t go without a fight and I see them winning on the night. This might only be by a one goal margin but I would still pick up the profit for a half win. The overs should come naturally the more desperate Dallas get. Both teams will probably score and there will be opportunities. Something like a 2-1 or 3-1 Dallas win wouldn't surprise me and I think it’ll be quite an entertaining contest to round out the weekend of action.

Prediction: 2-1

Recommended bets 1 unit each: Dallas -0.75 Asian Handicap @ 1.93 & Over 2.5 goals @ 1.87

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