- Chicago v New York Red Bulls
- Saturday, April 29, 22:30 EST
- Soldier Field
Neither of these teams is in great form, but Chicago has shown some promise this season and it is the pick to get the better of the Red Bulls.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that although bettors favor the home team in the match winners’ market, there is little confidence behind Chicago’s current price of +148. The draw is rated around +224 and the visiting team is as short as +198.
|Chicago v NY Red Bulls
|NY Red Bulls
Chicago Showing Slight Improvement
We’re eight games into the MLS season and it is too early to be drawing conclusions but there are some definite positive signs from Chicago.
A total of two wins and four draws is nothing to get excited about, and it is worth remembering that in terms of points, Chicago is roughly in the same position as it was at this stage of last season, but the performances so far have been way better than we saw at the end of 2022.
For a start, Chicago has scored 12 goals, significantly higher than five it had managed after eight games of last season. Although Hendrickson’s pledge to play possession soccer has not entirely come to pass, and the team has also been guilty of missing some opportunities, it is currently in tenth position, just outside the playoffs and that represents a slight improvement for a franchise that has not reached the post season since 2017.
Its 2-1 loss to Atlanta at the weekend was not a disaster, but one thing that the team will need to work on is its ability to convert good positions. So far, it has surrendered four points from second half winning positions and also conceded a goal in the last minute to slip to defeat against Philadelphia last month.
NY Red Bulls Disastrous Start
After going into the new season with considerable optimism, following significant recruitment during the summer, NY Red Bulls has made a disastrous start to the campaign.
For a start, there have been a series of poor results, including the weekend’s surprise defeat to Montreal, which means that the team is now third from bottom in the Eastern Conference, with just eight points from nine games. In fact, the two teams below New York both have a game in hand so theoretically, Gerhard Struber’s team could be bottom of the table soon.
As if that wasn’t enough, the organization has been hit by the controversy surrounding Dante Vanzeir’s racist slur in a game against San Jose. MLS did not do the franchise or the sport any favors by imposing a lenient six-game suspension, a punishment that even, or perhaps particularly, New York fans thought was too light, leading to a walk out in a game against Houston two weeks ago.
Perhaps most alarmingly of all for the manager is the fact that the new forward signings do not seem to have boosted the potency of the team’s attack. It has managed a paltry six goals so far, while the usual high intensity pressing style of play has not been evident. Nine games into the season and it is not too early to talk about a crisis at the Red Bulls.
MTS MLS Betting Head-to-Head
Chicago was one of the founding MLS franchises and the Red Bulls joined in 2009, so this is one of the Eastern Conference’s oldest rivalries.
The head-to-head record shows that there have been 33 games between these two teams since they first met in 2009 and it has been a remarkably even rivalry. Chicago won both of the first two meetings in the 2009 season and overall has won 13 times compared to 12 wins for NY Red Bulls, with eight games ending in draws.
The most significant meeting came in the 2017 post season playoffs, when NY Red Bulls secured a famous 4-0 win in Chicago, but the most recent games have gone the way of the team from Illinois. Chicago has won three of the last four and earned a 3-3 draw in New York last time they met in 2002.
MLS Betting Team News
For Chicago, Victor Bezerra, Federico Navarro and Jairo Torres sat out the last two fixtures, due to leg problems, and both Torrres and Navarro are said to be questionable while Bezerra is definitely out of action. The team may also be without Xherdan Shaqiri after he too sustained a leg injury last time.
For New York, the team news is much worse. Vanzeir will be out for a while yet, and to compound his absence there are now six players on the injury list. Frankie Amaya (ankle), Steven Sserwadda (knee) and Lewis Morgan (hip) are all out, along with Matt Nocita and Serge Ngoma, who are suffering from hamstring injuries. Struber had hoped to have Luquinhas back by now, but the winger is still out with an adductor strain and is unlikely to be available for this one.
MTS MLS Betting Picks
The betting markets seem to imply that the visiting team has a good chance here, but I don’t agree. Struber’s team is badly depleted by injury and morale appears to be fairly low. Chicago has shown enough this season to suggest it could be a playoff contender and the home win is the best pick here.