MLS Betting Preview

MLS: Philadelphia and Nashville ready to make moves in the Eastern Conference

After a bumper-packed round of midweek fixtures, there are a couple of big matches to look forward to over the coming days from the Eastern Conference. In this preview, we will run the rule over the New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union, and Nashville SC v Atlanta United FC. We will also divulge the latest match odds.

Philadelphia Union eager to get back on track after Nashville reverse

After embarking on an eight-match unbeaten streak, Union saw their run snapped by Nashville last weekend. A C.J. Sapong goal just 70 seconds into the encounter was enough to separate the two sides, but Union were far from their best. Union managed just four shots on the target, and they played the majority of the game with 10 men.

Indeed, it was just the third time this season that Union have fired blanks. It was also their first since a 2-0 defeat at home to New York City FC back in May. Moreover, the Union, who are third in the Eastern Conference, will face Nashville bereft of Andre Blake, Cory Burke, and Alvas Powell, who have all joined Jamaica for the Concacaf Gold Cup.

New York Red Bulls have made Red Bull Arena a fortress

The Red Bulls have made their home a fortress. They have won six of their past seven matches on home soil, netting in their last 10 matches at the Red Bull Arena. Fabio has been instrumental for the Red Bulls, as he has had eight goal involvements since the start of May. A win for the Red Bulls will lift them into the playoff spots.

New York Red Bulls sweating on fitness of Tom Edwards ahead of Philadelphia Union meeting

The Red Bulls have seen their injury tally mount up over the course of the campaign. Their squad has been depleted by injuries, including Caden Clark (appendectomy), when he underwent surgery last month. What’s more, Tom Edwards is another big doubt for the game due to a quad injury, but he will be assessed in the run-up to the match.

New York Red Bulls v Philadelphia Union: How the numbers stack up

After picking up four of a possible nine points on their recent travels, the Red Bulls will be relieved to be back on home soil. But there is little separating the two sides insofar as the head-to-head record goes. However, Union have won each of the past three clashes, and they came out on top against the Red Bulls with a 1-0 win in May.

Nashville firmly in the mix after Philadelphia victory

Nashville are trending in the right direction, and they have been commanding at times this season. While they were the draw specialists earlier on in the campaign, they have ground out some big wins in recent weeks, including the 1-0 victory over Union. They are currently nestled nicely in fifth spot in the Eastern Conference.

Although Union shaded the possession stats last weekend, Nashville managed more attempts, and their passing accuracy stood at 87.5%. However, the Union victory should serve as a blueprint for how Nashville start matches. Nashville coach Gary Smith emphasized that point during his pre-match press conference. He admitted he wants to see his side take the initiative against Atlanta.

Meanwhile, Nashville made an important announcement earlier this week when they confirmed they had signed Ake Loba from CF Monterrey for a club-record fee of $6.8million. Loba was wanted last season by Nashville, and they’ve finally got their man. He is expected to be unveiled in front of the fans before they take to the pitch against Atlanta.

Atlanta have to trust the process

Of course, things haven’t panned out for Atlanta the way they would have hoped this season. When they hired Gabriel Heinze before the start of the 2021 season, they had a clear vision in mind. Although they’ve picked up just two wins from 11 MLS games to date, they have to trust the process. They must continue to believe Heinze will turn things around soon.

Naturally, Nashville, who come into the game with five clean sheets, which is the joint second-most in the MLS, will be a big step up. Atlanta will take confidence from the 2-2 draw with Nashville back in May. If they are going to have any joy this time, then they will have to get more crosses into the box, and press high.

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