MLS – An Eastern Conference cracker is on the cards

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MLS expert Luke Beaumont (@_LukeBeaumont) analyses Sunday's early hours action.

Philadelphia Union v New York City | Sunday 19th August 2018, 00:00 | Sky Sports

The Eastern Conference matchup between Philadelphia Union and NYCFC is on Sky Sports this weekend, and it has the potential to be an exciting game. The Union are rarely involved in a tedious affair – their last five MLS outings have featured an eye-grabbing 23 goals.

Philadelphia are only two places behind City in the standings, but they’re separated by a whopping 17-points. The two sides will be looking for three points for different reasons. NYCFC need to keep the heat on Atlanta in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, and the Union are currently looking over their shoulders at the resurgent D.C. United and New England Revolution.

This is a tough game to predict because Philadelphia are on a rocky run at home, losing three of their last four, while NYCFC aren’t reliable on the road. However, they did pick up an impressive win in Toronto last weekend.

The best bet for this fixture is to back goals as both sides provide them in shed loads. Over 3.5 looks favourable as that has landed in four of Philadelphia’s last five games, and in NYCFC’s last three.

San Jose Earthquakes v Toronto | Sunday 19th August, 03:00

Toronto have been poor this year but that doesn’t stop me from thinking there’s a lot of value in them this weekend. They’re set to face San Jose Earthquakes – who have been the worst team in Major League Soccer this year. Their season is effectively over.

The Earthquakes did pick up a surprise win over FC Dallas recently; a result that left the whole league bewildered. However, they have since fallen back to earth and were beaten by fellow Western Conference strugglers, Colorado Rapids.

Embarrassingly, San Jose only have one home win to their name this season, and that came on the opening day of the season back in March. They have since gone on a run of nine home fixtures without tasting victory – So, it would be a surprise if this came to an end against reigning champions, Toronto.

7/4 looks an attractive price for the Toronto win, but I would go for the draw no bet option in case the Canadian side continue to drop unnecessary points.

Best Bets

Philadelphia Union v New York City – Over 3.5 goals (11/10 Bet365)

San Jose Earthquakes v Toronto – Toronto draw no bet (1/1 Wiliam Hill)

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