Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that bookies have made Philadelphia the clear favorites at -114. The draw is priced at +265, while New England fans who think their team can cause an upset can wager on the visitors at +300.
|Philadelphia Union v New England Revolution|
Union Leading the Way in the East
After their defeat in last season’s Conference Final, Philadelphia Union have returned to action in fine form and seem determined to go one better this time round.
Currently leading the way in the East, Union started the season strong with a run of five wins, including victory against reigning MLS Cup holders NYCFC. They haven’t maintained that level of form, and at one point developed a frustrating draw habit, recording seven in a nine-game unbeaten run. But a solid draw against Columbus at the start of the month was followed by a 7-0 thrashing of rivals DC United last weekend and a hard-fought 2-1 win against Miami in midweek.
Improving Revs Target Playoffs
New England Revolution’s defeat to NYCFC last time out brought a ten-game unbeaten run to an end, which in itself represents a significant improvement on where they were in the spring. After dominating MLS last year, they suffered five defeats in their first eight games of the 2022 season, as they struggled to adjust to a new-look squad following an off-season of transfer upheaval.
Their improvement has enabled them to climb the table to ninth, and they are just two points outside the playoffs, with a game in hand over many of the teams above them. Upcoming games against Columbus and Ohio therefore give them the chance to close that gap.
MLS Betting Team News
Stuart Findlay, Olivier Mbaizo and Cory Burke came into the Philadelphia starting lineup for the game against Miami, replacing Jack Elliott, Julian Carranza and Nathan Harriel and Findlay at least is likely to keep his place given Jack Elliott’s sprained knee, while it would not be a surprise to see Carranza recalled for this one.
Union goalkeeper Andre Blake is ranked second overall in the league for clean sheets, having recorded eight so far, and will be keen to add to that. Blake, along with Kai Wagner, are the only two Union players to have earned a spot in the All-Star game in Minnesota next month, while Wagner, Burke and Alejandro Bedoya are also only one booking away from a suspension after accumulating four yellow cards.
The team news for New England head coach Bruce Arena is not too bad going into this game. Dylan Borrero recovered well enough from the injury he picked up in the game against Cincinnati to start against NYCFC, although Arena also has the option of starting Arnor Traustason on the left, while there is plenty of competition for the right-sided midfield attacking position, with Emmanuel Boateng and Sebastian Lletget enjoying game time recently.
One player who will definitely be absent here is center half Andrew Farrell who will be serving a suspension after the red card he picked up in New York. It will also be interesting to see whether Giacomo Vroni, signed for a reported $10 million from Juventus, will be involved here.
Union Can Edge this Clash
Although Philadelphia are in a strong position in the league, they have been far from flawless so far this season and this clash with a battle-hardened and improving New England team, coached by one of the most experienced managers in the US is a potentially tricky assignment.
New England have not been anywhere near the levels that they showed last season, but they are still difficult opponents. Their creativity allied to fluid movement make them difficult to contain during passages of open play, while their array of playmakers will always cause opposing teams to worry. It is no surprise to see that they are third in MLS in the Key Passes ranking, despite their lowly league position.
But there also obvious issues that New England are yet to resolve, most notably their inability to close out a game when they are on top. In fact, so far this season they have dropped a notable 15 points from winning situations. That means opponents know that they are never out of the game, and it puts tremendous pressure on the Revolution players.
Philadelphia are also an extremely well-organized team and that basic and reliable structure means that they can secure results even when they are not playing well. Both teams look like playoff contenders, but Union are considerably stronger at the moment and they can edge this clash in the East.
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