Phoenix Rising v New Mexico | Sunday 9th August 2020, 03:30 | YouTube
If you’re struggling to sleep in the early hours of Sunday morning then I would highly recommend switching to the USL Championship YouTube channel as Phoenix Rising against New Mexico is a clash which promises to deliver the goods. Both clubs remain well on course to secure a spot in the play-offs, and each know three more points would be a huge step towards securing that.
Phoenix Rising have made the play-offs for the last two seasons, including a runners-up spot in 2018 after losing the final to Louisville City. Last season they would finish top of the regulation season in the Western Conference but would then be knocked out at the semi-final stage of the post-season event.
In recent years the club have had the likes of Didier Drogba and Shaun Wright-Phillips on their books, so they’re keen to have a go. These days, Solomon Asante and Junior Flemmings are the top dogs on this roster, and are always a big attacking threat.
Speaking of clubs that are ‘having a go’, New Mexico United are very much in that category. They’ve only been in existence since 2018 and earned a 10th place finish in their maiden campaign, and did at least reach the early play-off round.
The ambitious club however are looking to go much further this time around, and since returning from lockdown they’ve looked like a side that looks capable of competing. They’re unbeaten in four since returning, and all of those were away from home because of Covid-19 restrictions, so that form deserves to be bumped up.
This is a match which is exciting to deliver the goods in relation to goals and any bet along those lines is something I wouldn’t necessarily put you off. Phoenix Rising’s matches for example are averaging 3.60 goals, and New Mexico’s last four has contained three or more goals. Without doubt both will play to win this, and I actually think that gives an edge to the home side.
I must admit I was very, very, very surprised to see a price of 3/1 (Unibet) on a Phoenix Rising win. I genuinely think the bookies have priced this wrong and I’d suggest you get on early just in case. New Mexico are in good form, but this really isn’t a league to be taking odds-on for a side away from home, especially when playing Phoenix Rising.
Perhaps the fact this will be played behind-closed-doors is factored into the price slightly, but surely not that much. Since the start of 2019 they’ve lost just two home games.
Kristiansund v Start | Sunday 9th August 2020, 17:00
The Norwegian Eliteserien is a league which is always a good watch and Kristiansund versus Start on early Sunday evening is certainly one clash which might just whet your appetite.
Firstly we’ll set the scene, and Kristiansund are going good guns sitting in 5th position going into this weekend having lost only twice all season, whilst Start have just the one win to their name and therefore are understandable in the relegation places.
Start did have to make a midweek trip to Molde, and were smashed 5-0, which is hardly ideal considering Kristiansund have had a full week of preparation as they look to make it three wins on the bounce, the most recent when coming behind to beat Viking 2-1 away from home last Sunday.
As mentioned, Kristiansund only have the two losses to their name this season, one of those came to runaway league leaders Bodo/Glimt, and the other was to Stabaek, who at the time of writing are the only team to have taken points off Bodo/Glimt this season. The Owls have therefore drawn exactly half of their matches, which may look a concern initially but four of those were away from home.
The one striking difference between these two teams is their output in the attacking third, and this is what affords Sunday’s home team quite a significant edge. Kristiansund are ranked only second to Bodo/Glimt in league action in relation to the number of shots on goal.
They are relentless in their pursuit of goals and clearly it is an approach which works more often than not. They’re averaging 1.92 goals per game, but that number jumps right up to 2.60 when focusing just on matches at their inventively named Kristiansund Stadion home.
Start are actually ranked seventh in the league for shots on goal, so there isn’t a world of difference between the two in that regard. However, Kristiansund have 10 more goals, plus Start haven’t won an away match since last season during their promotion campaign out of the second-tier. Their away league encounters are averaging 3.00 goals per game as well, so there is a lot pointing towards the likelihood of goals.
It is for that very reason why I look the look of the home team here. If the game is to become stretched, to me it suits them just nicely. They have earned the most points in the league this season after conceding the first goal, so don’t be alarmed if they were to fall behind.
Start won’t necessarily be parking the bus, but they did a lot of running in midweek against a top Molde side and as Sunday’s game progresses they could become more vulnerable. Kristiansund won’t be holding the ball up in the corner or anything like that late on as all they want to do is score goals.
Kristiansund to Win and Over 2.5 Goals is a nice little 5/4 (Boylesports) punt which I’m happy to put forward.
Phoenix Rising v New Mexico – Phoenix Rising (3/1 Unibet)
Kristiansund v Start – Kristiansund to Win and Over 2.5 Goals (5/4 Boylesports)