After three matches without a win, the Philadelphia Union will be hoping to turn things around by beating Orlando City on home soil. The visitors are also looking for an improved result after leaving the field pointless in each of their last two.
This will be the second time that the pair have met this season. Back in July, Orlando emerged victorious from a game on home soil, winning by two goals to one. The Union will be out for revenge now in their own backyard.
Philadelphia Union – Tough to beat at home
The Union come into this fixture out of sorts, losing each of their last three in all competitions, while they’ve only won one of their last seven overall, which is by no means pleasing. However, we’re still talking about a team that is hard to face on their own patch.
At home, Philadelphia has a strong record, or rather they haven’t often been beaten when playing in front of their own fans, losing only three out of 12 at Subaru Park, and what makes them so tough to beat at home is their relative defensive solidity. Only one Eastern Conference team has conceded fewer home goals than the Philly boys, who’ve been breached only nine times, conceding an average of 0.75. They;ve also lost just one of their last ten at home, so the visitors have no easy task on their hands.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
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Orlando City – Travelling troubles
After quite a few seasons in the wilderness so to speak, Orlando is now in a strong position to lay down something of a serious challenge. Sunday’s visitors are third in the Eastern Conference, and are currently one of just five teams to have registered ten or more wins.
Unfortunately, in recent times, things have gone awry, especially on the road. Óscar Pareja’s men are without an away-day win in six matches, three of which they’ve lost. In recent times, a lack of goals scored has blighted the visitors on the road, where they’ve failed to score in two of their last four, scoring only four in their last six. It’s now been just short of three months since Orlando scored two or more in an away match. Therein lies the problem.
Expected Line-Up: Pending
Expert Pick #1 – Philadelphia to Win @-110
It’s certainly not like the Union will arrive at Sunday’s kick-off in good form, not at all, but this is an opportunity nonetheless. The visitors have really struggled to get going away from home of late, while in general, Philly have thrived on their own patch.
At home, Sunday’s hosts collect an average of 1.75 points, compared to the 1.18 picked up by Orlando on the road. More importantly than this, the Union have an average expected goal difference of +0.22 at home, while the visitors have an average expected goal difference of -0.43. Such a disparity isn’t easy to ignore, nor is the fact that we’re looking at a home goal difference of +6 against an away goal difference of -8.
Expert Pick #2 – Philadelphia to Score Over 1.5 Goals @-120
Just like this is a good opportunity for Philly to win, it’s a good opportunity for them to flex their attacking muscles and score a few goals. After all, Jim Curtin’s men have scored multiple goals against some good sides this term, netting two or more at home against the likes of D.C. United and Portland Timbers, both of whom sit inside the top five in their respective conferences.
In addition, the away side has tended to crumble at times, conceding three away against Atlanta United last time out, as well as five away against NYCFC. They;ve also conceded two or more on three other occasions away from home this season, so don’t be quick to rule out multiple home goals when the teams face off on Sunday.
Expert Pick #3 – Philadelphia to Win to Nil @+
A final option, and one at larger odds, is a bet on the hosts to win without conceding. We’re talking about a Philadelphia side that keeps clean sheets at home, recording five in their last ten at Subaru Park, while Orlando’s attacking efforts away from the comforts of home really have left plenty to be desired.
Pareja’s side have failed to score in two of their last four travelling matches, but more than that, they’ve struggled hugely to create chances, posting expected goals figures of 0.3, 0.7, 0.9 and 0.5 in their last four road matches. Such numbers make a home clean sheet (on route to a home success) seem slightly more likely than the current odds suggest.
Orlando City is in a promising position as far as the Eastern Conference standings are concerned, but they don’t come here in good shape, while the recent travelling efforts of the visitors have been weak. So weak that this cannot be described as anything other than a great opportunity for the Union to register another vital home win.