Goals are expected when the Red Bulls play Orlando in the Eastern Conference this weekend as two inconsistent MLS teams meet at the Red Bull Arena.
Checking out the top sports betting sites (catch up with our online sportsbook reviews here) we can see that the Red Bulls are rated as favorites. The oddsmakers currently have New York at -130 and Orlando, the visitors, at about +400. Additionally, if you want to wager on the draw, you can do so at +297.
Although the Red Bulls are still vying for a top-four place, recent MLS matches have shown some concerning trends. Gerhard Struber’s team has won only one of their previous six games overall and one of their previous five league games coming into this matchup versus Orlando.
That additional loss came at the end of July when they suffered a 5-1 drubbing at the hands of Saturday’s opponents, knocking them out of the US Open Cup at the semi-final stage. They had only won one of their previous three games, a high-scoring thriller in Austin and in their last two MLS games, they lost another exciting contest, this time to Colorado 5-4, before being held to a tie by DC United.
As a result, they are seven points ahead of the clubs vying for postseason spots and eight points behind Conference leaders Philadelphia. They are still in a good position to make the playoffs, but their home record poses a challenge. They have only won three of their eleven MLS games played at Red Bull Arena, and they must snap this home losing streak if they want to prevent further deterioration.
Oscar Pareja’s team has been slipping down the standings after a comparatively strong start to the season and a five-game winless streak has seen them slip out of the playoff spots.
Although their victory over the Red Bulls to qualify for the US Open Cup final was a major highlight, they have been performing poorly in the MLS, losing their last three games. After a close loss to Philadelphia, they were defeated by DC United at Audi Field despite taking an early lead thanks to Junior Urso. DC United scored twice in four minutes to turn that game around.
Following that disappointment, Orlando suffered an even worse loss at the hands of the New England Revolution last time – a 3-0 reverse in which they never maintained any kind of competitiveness. This means that they enter this weekend’s round of fixtures with 30 points from 24 games. They are now outside the playoff places in the Eastern Conference standings, although only on goal differential.
Given the frenetic nature of the schedule, the Red Bulls’ injury list is relatively short heading into this weekend. Struber will be without Wikelman Carmona and AJ Marcucci in midfield as Carmona has a foot injury, while Marcucci is still recovering from a shoulder issue. Otherwise, the squad is full strength, although Dru Yearwood and Cameron Harper are in danger of suspension.
The team news for Orlando is not quite so good. Mason Stajduhar won’t be available due to a jaw injury he got during a victory over Inter Miami back in May. Along with Gaston Gonzalez, who has been sidelined for a considerable amount of time due to cruciate ligament surgery, midfielder Joseph DeZart is also absent as he heals from a knee ailment.
Red Bulls fans might not be overly optimistic going into this game, despite the fact that playing at home should offer their team an advantage, given how their club has recently played at Red Bull arena. But it’s difficult to say who has the advantage right now because both clubs are going through a shaky period.
Orlando will be able to draw inspiration from their recent US Open Cup victory, but the Red Bulls, who suffered a humiliating 5-1 loss, may also get inspiration from that match. In the end, these two opponents are inconsistent, making it difficult to predict a winner. As a result, other markets seem more appealing.
One angle could be their tendency to produce goals. In the MLS thus far, Red Bulls matches have averaged over 2.8 goals, while Orlando are at 2.6. The Red Bulls have produced some entertaining games, most notably their two most recent games versus Colorado and DC, which included an aggregate of 16 goals. Both teams have also recorded multiple games with five or more goals, so we can expect more entertainment on Saturday, and over 2.5 goals appears to be a good betting pick.
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