One of the highlights of a big soccer Saturday in MLS is a matchup between the New England Revolution and Orlando City SC. As the home team, New England is heavily favored at -169, with Orlando’s moneyline at +405. Meanwhile, a draw is set at +313
The Revolution enters this weekend holding onto the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Despite four wins and two draws in their last six games, New England has just a one-point cushion over Toronto, so they need to keep their foot on the gas if they want to secure a playoff spot.
Meanwhile, Orlando City SC is on the outside of the playoff picture, four points behind New England. The Lions have just two wins in their last seven league games, and both of those came against the lowly Columbus Crew. Saturday’s game is a great opportunity to gain some ground in the playoff race, although a loss would put them between four and seven points off the pace with the calendar ready to flip to August.
Gotta Find the Goal
Orlando’s biggest problem during its recent struggles has been finding the back of the net. They’ve allowed one goal or less in 11 of their last 13 matches across all competitions. More times than not, the Orlando defense holds up well and gives the Lions a chance to take points. But Orlando has scored just three goals in their last four games and are coming off a shutout last week against New York Red Bulls, a game in which they hit the goal frame on three occasions.
Nani remains the main threat for the Lions, leading the team in both goals and assists. However, having a 32-year-old midfielder be the primary scoring threat isn’t a winning formula. Dom Dwyer will return from a two-game suspension this weekend, although he has just two goals since the end of March. Orlando desperately needs him and Tesho Akindele to find their goal-scoring form as soon as possible.
Revs Red Hot
The Revolution may be the hottest team in MLS right now. They’ve scored at least two goals in five straight matches and have kept clean sheets in back-to-back games against Montreal and Cincinnati. Defensively, the Revs are vulnerable to lapses despite recent results, but they can be scary on the attack when they get going.
The key all season has been Carles Gil, who leads the team in both goals and assists. However, it’s not all on Gil. He gets plenty of help from the likes of Teal Bunbury, Cristian Penilla, and Juan Agudelo. New England has also added Argentinian forward Gustavo Bou, who already has a goal and two assists since joining the Revolution earlier this month. Even a solid Orlando City defense could have its hands full with that much firepower.
Out of Sorts
Orlando is surely the more desperate team, but they’ve been hard-pressed to score goals recently, and they’ll struggle to keep a clean sheet against New England. On the road, the odds are slim that the Lions can take anything out of this game. Bet on New England to beat Orlando on Saturday.