MLS – New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union Preview (1/10/16)

nyrb-puNew York Red Bulls preview

The Red Bulls are unbeaten in 13 games and this is a run which has put them in contention to win the Eastern Conference. Jesse Marsche’s men have won 6 and drawn 7 during this period and would’ve obtained more victories were it not for blowing some decent sized leads. The Red Bulls will be pleased they are ending the season on a high anyway, with the playoffs not far away. The main objective will be to obtain a top two seeding, thus giving them a bye in the first round. Here at the Red Bull Arena they have a formidable 11-2-2 record and in recent times have been irresistible in front of their own fans, always getting the business done. Injuries have plagued the team all year but finally things have settled down and the only absentees are to long term casualties.

Philadelphia preview

For the majority of the campaign, the Union have been one of the big surprises. At the start of the season, few gave them much of a chance of making the playoffs. But they’ve been in and around the top four for a long time now. The problem is that Philly are starting to slide at the wrong time, failing to win any of their last four games. Their place in the play offs looks fairly secure but finishing any lower than fourth would be a big disappointment and mean they have to play on the road in a one off match in the first round. Philly are one of the highest scoring teams in the MLS but their defence is also weak. Clean sheets have been a rarity for them this season, despite possessing one of the best goalkeepers in the league, Andre Blake. The extra attacking style has paid dividends though and the Union will feel like they can outscore most sides.

Conclusion & betting analysis

The Red Bulls are incredible strong at home and I’d say it’s likely they will win the game. They are a -1 Asian handicap favourite though, which might be a little too short. This is a matchup between 4th and 2nd in the Eastern Conference and also a clash between two old rivals. It should be an exciting encounter because both teams like to attack. It’s true that the Red Bulls have laboured to a couple of recent 1-0 home wins, but to only score a single goal against Philly would be a surprise. The visitors themselves should get a few chances to get on the scoresheet, although are unlikely to have much possession. I would say over 3 goals is the best bet in this case. Not many Philly games end with less than three goals in them and even if they have a bad day going forwards, the Red Bulls could still cover this line on their own.

Prediction: 3-1

Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 3 goals @ 1.85