MLS expert Luke Beaumont (@_LukeBeaumont) shares his thoughts on Saturday night's Stateside action.
Montreal Impact v Atlanta United | Sunday 29th July 2018, 00:00
Atlanta United are in Canada this weekend to take on Montreal Impact in a game that is considered must-win by many. Week 22 in Major League Soccer began early, with both New York Red Bulls and New York City winning midweek, piling the pressure on Atlanta.
The Five Stripes still find themselves top of the Eastern Conference ahead of Saturday night’s game, but NYCFC are a point behind with a game in-hand, and the Red Bulls are three points behind with two games in-hand. So, the pressure really is on and Atlanta must find a positive result on the road.
Montreal are managed by Remi Garde, who is known in England following his short time at Aston Villa. The Impact sit fifth in the East, and it’s fair to say they’re overachieving thanks to the demise of stronger outfits such as Toronto FC and Orlando City.
Although, I must give Garde credit for turning around his side’s form. They have improved in the last couple of months and have won five out of their last seven games in MLS.
After much-needed improvements defensively, Montreal have only conceded once in their last five at home. However, Atlanta boast the most prolific striker in the league, Josef Martinez, so it would take something special to keep them out.
While I fancy Atlanta to win this game, I would recommend going for the insurance option and backing them to win either half at 8/13 (Bet365).
DC United v Colorado Rapids | Sunday 29th July 2018, 01:00
DC United are in a similar position with a must-win game against Colorado Rapids. They are at home again after a disappointing loss against New York Red Bull’s during the week.
Bradley Wright-Phillips scored the only goal of the game, becoming the fastest player in MLS history to reach 100 goals.
Before opening their new stadium, Audi Field, DC had to play 12 of their first 14 games this season on the road. Due to the difficult start, they find themselves bottom of the Eastern Conference. However, they do have an advantage as they still have 13 home games left to play.
If DC United have any hope of making a late run to the play-offs, it must start on Saturday against Colorado Rapids. Colorado are terrible away from home, even if they claimed a point against Real Salt Lake last weekend. They came back from 2-0 down, however, a thunderstorm and match delay let them off the hook.
I envision a comfortable win for DC and I fancy Wayne Rooney to get his first goal for the club. He didn’t start during the week, which was most likely down to a plan to utilise him here, and at 11/10 (BetVictor).
The hosts are 4/6 (Marathon) to score Over 1.5 Goals.