Welcome to my MLS Soccer picks, and with the season now approaching the final straight there’s plenty of betting opportunities available for us all to make more money off the bookies.
An all-Western Conference clash is up next with hosts Real Salt Lake looking to close the gap on 2nd placed Sporting Kansas when they entertain struggling Minnesota United at their Rio Tinto Stadium— Kickoff: 2130hrs (EST)
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake are hitting impressive form at just the right time as they prepare for the visit of Western Conference strugglers Minnesota United at their Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah.
The hosts come into this weekend’s MLS action having strung together a three-match winning streak which has not only strengthened their grip on a Finals Play-off spot, but has also given them momentum as they look to grab an automatic Finals place.
Recent wins away at Houston Dynamo 2-1 and a 6-0 thrashing of Colorado Rapids were welcome relief on the road while a devastating 6-2 home win over LA Galaxy underlined their play-off credentials.
As you can see, the goals have been fairly flying in for Saturday night’s hosts and we could see further goals in this evening’s encounter with Minnesota United as the hosts look to flex their muscles once again at the Rio Tinto Stadium.
These recent trio of victories have pushed Real Salt Lake up into 4th spot and they find themselves now just four points adrift of 2nd placed Sporting Kansas at the top of the Western Conference.
Therefore, all three points for the hosts this evening would really put the pressure on Sporting Kansas who are away at San Jose Earthquakes this weekend.
With just one defeat from their last eight matches overall in the MLS, Mike Petke’s Real Salt Lake side appear to be coming home with a wet sail as we approach the final stages of this exciting season.
Real Salt Lake also possess the best home record in the Western Conference…
Home Form & Team News
With an excellent home record which stands at 10-3-1 32/18, Real Salt Lake will be keen to assert their authority on home turf this evening and keep their unbeaten run going strong.
Following a disastrous opening home defeat to Los Angeles FC where Real Salt Lake were well and truly thrashed 5-1, the hosts haven’t looked back since as they’ve embarked upon an impressive run of results on home soil.
Mike Petke’s side have put together an impressive 13-match unbeaten sequence which includes no fewer than 10 wins, and there’s been plenty of goals for the hosts in the process too.
Petke has numerous attacking personnel at his disposal with the likes of striker Albert Rusnak (10 goals, 5 assists) spearheading a forward line that is well supported by Damir Kreilach (10 goals), Joao Plata (8 goals, 7 assists) and Jefferson Savarino (6 goals, 8 assists).
However, Real Salt Lake are expected be without seven players for this clash through various injuries, while defender Marcelo Silva is doubtful with an ankle injury.
The hosts will therefore be relying on their fearsome front four to outscore their opponents in this clash tonight.
Minnesota United slumped to a third defeat on the trot in the MLS during the week when they lost 2-1 away at DC United despite taking the lead on Wednesday night.
Minnesota struck the first blow in Washington through Angelo Rodriguez but the visitors were unable to hold onto their lead and ended up on the losing side as they succumbed to goals from Ulises Segura and Darren Mattocks to go home empty-handed once again.
The visitors had previously lost at FC Dallas and Sporting Kansas, both by 2-0 margins, and they hit the road for a fifth time on the trot this evening when they make their way to Utah.
It’s been a miserable sequence of results for Minnesota United in recent times as they’ve now gone six matches without a win overall, which includes five defeats and just one draw.
Therefore, this means that Minnesota have picked up just one point from the last possible 18 points on offer, and Adrian Heath’s side face an almost impossible task of keeping an in-form Real Salt Lake side quiet in their own backyard this evening.
It’s been a tough schedule for Minnesota who have had to play five of their last six matches away from home, so no doubt they’ll be looking forward to returning to their TCF Bank Stadium for next weekend’s clash with Portland Timbers.
First of all though, Minnesota need to put a halt to this losing streak which has virtually put paid to any lingering hopes they had of claiming a Final Series play-off spot, and in turn, start improving their woeful away record.
Away Form & Team News
While Real Salt Lake possess the best home record in the Conference, the visitors possess the worst record on the road with stats of 1-1-12 15/37 which was further dented with their recent defeat at DC United.
Minnesota have now lost 11 of their last 12 matches on their travels and manager Adrian Heath must be at a complete loss as to how to turn this appalling run of form around ahead of their trip to Utah.
The visitors’ only success away from home this season was a 2-1 win away at Orlando City way back in mid-March which now must seem light years away for Heath’s outfit.
To make matters worse, Minnesota have conceded the most away goals in the Western Conference to date (37) and have conceded 2 goals or more in 13 of their 14 away matches so far.
Minnesota are also likely to be without four players for this trip as Kevin Molino, Ethan Finlay, Sam Cronin and Eric Miller were all absent for the midweek trip to Washington.
The one glimmer of hope for the visitors is that they’ll have their leading goalscorer Darwin Quintero (10 goals, 7 assists) leading the line with valuable support from Miguel Ibarra (6 goals, 6 assists), although the latter is just one yellow card away from suspension.
To sum up, the team with the best home record in the Western Conference host the side with the worst away record so there should be only one winner this evening.