FC Cincinnati looks to improve things at home to Inter Miami on Saturday night. At TQL Stadium, the hosts will be hoping to get their first win in 12 matches, while the visitors go in search of a fourth game without defeat.
Inter Miami have a 100% record against Cincinnati, having won by three goals to two when the pair met earlier in the campaign, as well as winning by two goals to one last season.
FC Cincinnati – Hosts in trouble
For a short period, it looked as though Saturday hosts were slowly getting their act together. They hadn’t ended their winless run, but they had gone four games without tasting defeat, keeping three clean sheets and conceding just one goal in the process. Such form was clear progress for Jaap Stam’s men, though they’ve since gone in the wrong direction, losing two on the bounce.
The hosts have seemingly gone from one extreme to the other in recent weeks, from being solid, conceding just one goal in 360 minutes of soccer to floundering massively, shipping seven in two. They need to once again tighten up, while they’ve been crying out for offensive improvement all season too.
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Inter Miami – Improvement occurring
It’s not been a great campaign for Inter Miami, there’s no getting around it, but after something of a horrific start, a start that lingered on for several weeks, Phil Neville’s men have improved over the last month or so, losing only one of their last eight games. Finally, the men in white have laid foundations from which to build, so much so that the postseason no longer seems out of reach.
Things haven’t been so good on the road, though. Inter Miami remains without a travelling win since May. Then again, they have lost just one of their last three away games.
Expert Pick #1 – Cincinnati to Win @+140
Going with the hosts, who’ve not won for some time, won’t be for everyone, but there’s reason to feel that Cincinnati warrants stronger favouritism here, even in their current form.
There hasn’t been too much wrong with the recent home performances of Jaap Stam’s men, who despite not creating an abundance in the final third, have consistently outperformed their opponents in terms of expected goals, coming out on top when it comes to xG in five of their last six at home.
They’ve drawn five on the bounce at TQL, which tells us that though they’re solid, conceding only four goals, they’re struggling to get over the line, but it’s going to happen before long.
Against a visiting side that has created next to nothing away from home, scoring only six in nine, averaging a poor 0.62 expected goals for, conceding an average of 1.62, the hosts can pick up that elusive win.
Expert Pick #2 – Cincinnati to Win to Nil @+300
A small play on both a home win and a home clean sheet also appeals. What we’ve seen from Cincinnati is that they can keep things tight. On home soil, Stam’s men have conceded just a single goal in their last three, while they’ve also kept a clean sheet in three of their last six overall. What’s more, the hosts have surrendered xG figures of just 0.3, 0.9 and 0.3 in their last three at TQL, which tells us that opposition chances aren’t easy to come by. Combine this with Inter Miami’s poor attacking record and weak defensive displays on the road and a home win to nil makes a little bit of appeal.
Expert Pick #3 – Under 1.5 Goals @+225
Another small play that may not be for everybody, but there’s lots to suggest that the goals really could stay away from TQL Stadium on Saturday evening, or rather a really low-scoring game looks slightly more likely than the current odds suggest. After all, more than one goal has been scored in just four of Inter Miami’s nine away games, while the hosts have made a name for themselves as low-scorers at home.
Cincinnati’s winless run has gone on and on, so anyone could be forgiven for assuming that they’ll come up short here, and they easily could, though lots of evidence points towards Jaap Stam’s men finally walking off the field victorious. Punters can profit by siding with a low-scoring home win.