Welcome to my MLS Soccer picks, and with the season already well underway, there’s plenty of betting opportunities available for us all to make more money off the bookies.
My next pick of this weekend’s action features Real Salt Lake taking on Montreal Impact at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah in an Eastern versus Western Conference clash.
Real Salt Lake
Real Salt Lake currently occupy sixth place in the Western Conference ahead of this weekend’s action in the MLS, and also are placed in the last remaining Final Series play-off spot as they prepare for the visit of Montreal Impact to their Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake recorded a valuable three points in last week’s 2-1 home win over Chicago Fire and no doubt they’ll be looking for more of the same this Saturday evening as they seek to keep the chasing pack of Vancouver Whitecaps, Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United at arms length.
Overall form in recent weeks has seen Real Salt Lake suffer just one defeat in their last six matches, which was away at the aforementioned Minnesota United, but manager Mike Petke’s side will be very aware that they can’t afford to slip up on home turf here.
The hosts will look to their goalscoring duo of Joao Plata (6 goals, 4 assists) and Damir Kreilach (6 goals) who between them have notched 6 goals in the last four matches. They’ll more than likely receive valuable support from Kyle Beckerman, Jefferson Savarino and Albert Rusnak (4 assists).
There’s extra incentive for Real Salt Lake to do well on home turf too, as their results away from home have been far from satisfactory, and if they take the maximum points in this clash they could lift themselves up as high as third place in the Western Conference.
Home Form & Team News
Real Salt Lake possess an impressive home record which stands at 9-2-1 25/15 and this is just as well as their performances and results away from home have left a lot to be desired as they’ve managed just one win on their travels throughout this campaign.
Home form has certainly been the major catalyst behind Real Salt Lake’s successful season so far, and along with Houston Dynamo, they’re the leading goal scorers at home in the Western Conference.
After a heavy 5-1 opening home defeat to Los Angeles FC, Real Salt Lake really clicked into gear as Petke’s charges went on an 11-match unbeaten run in front of their home faithful and they’ll be keen to extend this record here this evening.
In fact, Real Salt Lake have suffered just one defeat from their last 20 matches own home soil, which is some feat and hasn’t been matched by many teams in the MLS.
The one blemish though for Real Salt Lake coming into this important clash is that attacking midfielder Luis Silva has been ruled out through injury and is likely to miss this match, but forward Corey Baird (5 goals) is expected to lead the line up front here for the hosts.
Montreal Impact head into this Saturday’s encounter in Utah having shared the points in last week’s frustrating 1-1 draw at home with bottom club, DC United at their Stade Saputo in Quebec.
That point meant that Montreal still remain in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, level on 29 points with sixth placed New England Revolution and just two points ahead of Philadelphia Union.
However, Montreal now find themselves seven points adrift of fourth placed Columbus Crew, while the draw with DC United extended The Impact’s run without a win to three matches.
Indeed, Montreal have seen a slump in form in recent weeks as they’ve captured just one win from their last five matches overall, which was a 2-0 home win over Western Conference basement dwellers, San Jose Earthquakes.
This is a far cry from their previous four-match winning streak which saw the visitors record wins over Orlando City (home and away), Sporting Kansas and Colorado Rapids.
It should also be noted that three of these four recent wins were achieved on home turf where they’ve registered 7 of their 9 wins in total to date this season – but it’s a very different story away from home…
Away Form & Team News
It would be fair to say that Montreal Impact could be forgiven for making their way to Utah with some trepidation as they’ve recorded just one away win from their last nine outings on their travels.
That rare success came in the shape of a 2-0 win at Eastern Conference struggles, Orlando City, but their predicament on the road extends far beyond just this season.
Indeed, Montreal Impact have earned just two wins on their travels from their last 15 outings away from their Stade Saputo ground, and this evening could extend their misery further.
An away record of 2-1-9 10/26 isn’t the kind of form you need under your belts as you prepare to attempt to contain an in-form Real Salt Lake in their own backyard, and although their attacking personnel include the likes of Ignacio Piatti (11 goals, 8 assists), Saphir Taider (5 goals) and Jeisson Vargas (4 goals), it’s been their defensive errors which have cost them dear.
Montreal Impact manager, Remi Garde, also has injury issues to deal with as defender Chris Duvall and midfielder David Choiniere are both sidelined for the visitors.
The omens look good for Real Salt Lake here as they’ve won 14 of their last 17 home matches in the league, as well as scoring at least 2 goals in 9 of their last 10 matches on home turf.
In addition, the hosts remain unbeaten in their three previous meetings at home with Montreal Impact and this trend looks likely to continue here on Saturday night, especially considering Montreal’s poor results away from home.