MLS Betting Preview: Western Conference is tight

MLS: New England Revolution, Montreal, Minnesota, and Portland Timbers all in action

The past week has been rather dramatic in the MLS. Atlanta United parted company with Gabriel Heinze, as he was fired after just 13 games in charge following a 1-0 defeat to New England Revolution. In this preview, we will address the weekend’s biggest clashes, which sees New England Revolution host Montreal, while Minnesota United and Portland Timbers lock horns in the Western Conference.

New England Revolution spell death knell for Gabriel Heinze

New England Revolution returned to winning ways last weekend, as they edged out a spirited Atlanta United 1-0. It may have been a hard-fought win, but the shutout was vital after shipping seven goals in their previous three outings. Gustavo Bou popped up with the only goal of the game, as the Revs opened up a four-point gap at the top of the Eastern Conference.

However, the result had serious ramifications for Atlanta and Heinze, who was relieved of his services. Atlanta have had a disappointing campaign to date, and they are currently 10th in the Eastern Conference. But that won’t matter one jot to New England, who have fixed their sights on lifting the MLS Cup for the first time in their history.

New England Revs shore things up defensively

Recently, the number of goals that the Revs have conceded has been alarming. Defensively, they have been brittle, and before the clean sheet against Atlanta, they had let in multiple goals in five straight games for the first time in three years. A strong defence is the foundation of any successful team, and perhaps the shutout against Atlanta will give the back four more confidence.

Montreal still in the hunt after nine-goal thriller against Cincinnati

It may not have always been comfortable viewing for the Montreal fans, but their 5-4 win over Cincinnati was a humdinger of a game. After trailing 4-2 in the second half, Montreal turned the game on its head when Ahmed Hamdi grabbed two goals inside the space of 13 minutes to complete a remarkable turnaround.

Wilfried Nancy makes interesting admission after Montreal’s victory over Cincinnati

Although many coaches may not concur, Montreal’s head coach Wilfried Nancy claimed he really enjoyed the helter-skelter nature of his side’s win over Cincinnati. He said: “Call me crazy, but I loved it. It showed the squad isn’t playing pretend.” Maybe that victory could act as a catalyst to take down the Revs.

Minnesota United derail Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders

At some point, the Seattle Sounders were bound to see their unbeaten streak come to an end. Going an entire 34-match campaign unbeaten would have been incredible, but Minnesota didn’t read the script. The match-winner came courtesy of Robin Lod nine minutes from time, and it keeps them in the playoff picture.

The result will have delighted the Minnesota fans, as it was the first time they had seen their side beat the Sounders in eight attempts. Last year, Minnesota lost in the Western Conference Final to the Sounders which was demoralising, but revenge was sweet.

The victory sets Minnesota up nicely for the week ahead, as they entertain Portland Timbers on Saturday evening before they travel to take on Los Angeles FC next Thursday. Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath was delighted with his players. He said: “I’m pleased for the players, who, by the way, I thought were magnificent.”

Portland Timbers back on track after snatching victory against FC Dallas

If you take away the top three in the Western Conference, there are just five points separating fourth down to eighth. It is nip and tuck, and were the Timbers to beat Minnesota, they will climb above them into sixth. The 1-0 victory over FC Dallas could be priceless come the end of the season.

Jeremy Ebobisse proved to be the difference between the two sides, and his strike arrested a three-game winless streak for the Timbers. However, the Timbers’ record against Minnesota doesn’t make for good reading. Minnesota have won each of the past two encounters, and the Timbers haven’t tasted victory over Minnesota since a 3-2 win in 2018.

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