MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER expert Kyle Worthington (@SM_Kyle) analyses the action from Saturday night's action from across the pond.
Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire | Sunday 21st July 2019, 00:30
First in the conference host 10th as Chicago travel to Philadelphia in this all-Eastern affair. I’ll start by saying that I can only see this game going one way, and that’s in favour of the hosts…
The Union find themselves sat at the top of the East despite a couple of shaky weeks as we enter what will be game 23 of the campaign for these two sides. Without any disrespect to Philadelphia they have massively overachieved so far and have taken most – including myself – by surprise. Their record after 22 games reads: W10-D6-L with the visitors scoring 39 and conceding 32.
The main reason the U find themselves top of the Conference is that they have a remarkable ability to outscore their opponent on a regular basis, whilst shipping a lot more goals than you’d expect for a team on top of the standings. Their tally of 32 goals against is amazingly only the 13th best defensive record from the 24 teams across MLS – highlighting their reliance on firepower.
A couple of poor results, most notably last time out when they fell 4-0 to Real Salt Lake, has Union their hold onto first place but be cut back to just one point as DC United are breathing down their necks, just ahead of Atlanta. With this being said, I fully expect them to get back to winning the ways as they host a Chicago side who are experiencing a very poor campaign.
Another big plus point, and another reason to have your money on the hosts, is Chicago’s away record – it’s simply woeful. So far their away numbers read: W0-D3-L7. This is a problem that has been going on at the Fire for a while now – not just this season – and I don’t see it changing on Saturday.
With all this being said, I simply cannot ignore taking a couple of bets on Philadelphia to get the job done and the prices are very reasonable as well so look to get the Union win onside at 4/5 (4/5 Bet Victor) and Philly to score in both halves (5/4 Bet365).
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas | Sunday 21st July 2019, 01:30
This game is my pick for goals this weekend and here’s a few numbers to justify what I think are three great angles to punt. Firstly, it’s an all-Western Conference battle as 10th placed SKC host 7th-placed Dallas.
SKC have really underachieved and as a result find themselves stuck with a W6-D7-L7 return. Dallas, on the other hand, have enjoyed the campaign a bit more but I personally saw them doing much better than this; as stated in my pre-season preview, I fancied the guests to challenge at the top, not down towards the lower end of the play-off places.
I can only see goals in this and I wouldn’t dare to pick a winner as it could go either way. What I can almost guarantee is that we won’t be in for a cagey match-up as both sides tend to really go for it and play for maximum points.
SKC have been involved in some crazy home games this season and hopefully we’ll see another here – there’s been a 7-1 win, a 4-4 draw and a 5-1 loss already this term as hosts. Indeed, they’ve seen 32 goals scored and 34 conceded from their 20 outings and that’s an average of 3.30 goals per-game.
Meanwhile, Dallas’ record reads 29 scored and 26 conceded, at an average of 2.75 goals per-game. I will add that Dallas have struggled to score on occasions on the road this season but I don’t see that being a problem here as they face an SKC side that just can’t keep them out.
Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire – Philadelphia Union to Win (4/5 Bet Victor)
Philadelphia Union v Chicago Fire – Philadelphia Union to score in both halves (5/4 Bet365)
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas – Over 2.5 Goals and Both Teams To Score (1/1 Bet365)
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas – Both Teams To Score in the second half (2/1 Bet365)
Sporting Kansas City v FC Dallas – Both Teams To Score two goals or more (7/2 Paddy Power)