Last season’s Supporters’ Shield winners are struggling for form and the Red Bulls can match them in this week’s big MLS game.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best online sportsbook sites ahead of this game, we can see that the New England Revolution are the big favorite with all the top bookies. You can back them at -120 while the draw is priced up at about +280 and the Red Bulls are slight outsiders at +300.
|New England Revolution v New York Red Bulls|
How Does the Head to Head Record Look?
Two of the founding members of MLS, the Revolution and Red Bulls have been competing against one another in the Eastern Conference since 1996, so there is very little these two franchises don’t know about one another. Throw in the traditional New York v Boston animosity and you have one of the most fiercely contested rivalries in MLS.
Since 2003, they have met 66 times and New England have had the upper hand. They’ve won this fixture on 30 occasions, while the Red Bulls have 17 wins to their name, and 19 games have been drawn.
Last season, the Revolution completed a clean sweep over their New York rivals, winning all three games during the regular season, scoring nine goals across those three games. The Red Bulls still made a fight of those contests, two of which ended 3-2, so fans will be hoping for more of the same entertainment.
Shaky Start for the Revolution
The challenge of competing in the CONCACAF Champions League at the very start of the MLS regular season has often proved too demanding for MLS teams and the Revolution seem to be just the latest franchise to struggle with the additional early-season fixtures.
They’ve won just one of their four games so far and have finished with nothing to show for their Champions League efforts, having exited the competition at the quarter-final stage, going out on penalties to UNAM of Mexico, despite leading 3-0 after the first leg.
Of course, as Bruce Arena will know all too well, it is often better to finish strong than start well. Last season, the Revolution were by far the best team in MLS, strolling to the Supporters’ Shield, but suffered a shock exit in the Conference semi-finals at the hands of eventual MLS Cup winners NYCFC.
Red Bulls Building Slowly
Last season was Gerhard Struber’s first in the Red Bulls hot seat and after a slow start, his team eventually finished seventh in the East, departing in the first round of the playoffs after taking Philadelphia Union to extra time.
Struber’s rebuild has continued in 2022, with 12 new players arriving in New York, but there still seems to be plenty of work to be done. The Red Bulls won their opening two games, against Toronto and San Jose but were then beaten at home by Minnesota and held to a 1-1 draw at the Red Bull Arena by Columbus, so will be hoping for a better performance here.
MLS Big Game Team News
Given their tough early-season schedule it is slightly surprising that the Revolution don’t have more significant injury problems, but at this stage, it looks as though their only absence is goalkeeper Matt Turner, who is still out with a knee injury.
The Red Bulls have more to worry about with their injury list as both midfielder Wikelman Carmona and left-back Andres Reyes are unavailable due to foot problems. More significantly, both Tom Edwards and new signing Luquinhas will be omitted from the squad as their visas have not yet been granted.
Betting on Revolution v Red Bulls
According to the sportsbooks, the Revolution are big favorites to pick up a home win here, but there are significant doubts about their early season form.
For all of their superb consistency during the regular season, they ended the 2021 season with very little to show for their efforts and their CONCACAF Champions League campaign has proven similarly disappointing. There are clear early signs that they are finding it tough to deal with the expectation as they embark on another grueling Eastern Conference campaign.
After such a strong start, the last two games have brought Red Bulls fans back down to earth and underline the inconsistency that still hampers this team. The absence of four first-team players is also a complication that Struber could probably do without.
Still, we can draw the lesson from their games so far that they are well set up to be effective on the road so with the onus on New England to make the running, they may pose more of a threat. The draw looks a good bet here, and I wouldn’t be too quick to assume this game will be as high-scoring as previous encounters. Neither team is firing on all cylinders and this fixture could turn out to be quite a cautious affair, so backing Under on the Over/Under 2.5 goals market offers some potential value.