Austin FC go in search of back-to-back wins for the first time since May when they host FC Dallas on Sunday (8pm ET). The visitors will be looking for their first win in four matches, as well just their second away win of the campaign.
How will this MLS game play out? Keep reading for our betting predictions as part of this full matchup soccer preview.
Austin had appeared to be back on the downslope. They had lost three on the bounce, scoring just one goal in the process, but the return to familiar surroundings sparked a return to form last time out, as they scored three goals en route to beating Portland Timbers at Q2 Stadium. Having won two of their last three at home, the hosts ought to fancy themselves to get a positive result here, especially as they’ll be acutely aware of Dallas’ frailties on the road.
The visitors, in contrast, arrive here out of sorts having won none of their last three fixtures. They did stop the rot last time out by tying 2-2 away against Houston Dynamo, which was the first time that they’ve scored in three games, but just one win in five doesn’t exactly point towards a side that is moving in the right direction.
Modest home form
The hosts will be more up for this match than they may be for a travelling fixture, as their best efforts have generally come at Q2 Stadium, though they have certainly not been in imperious form at home, winning three, tying two and losing four of their nine matches in front of a home crowd.
One thing that can be said for the hosts at home is that they rarely get easily beaten. Only once have they been beaten by more than a single goal at home, while they are yet to concede more than twice in their own backyard. Moreover, Josh Wolff’s men often hold their own in terms of expected goals, beating their opposition in that respect in six out of nine. They boast a slightly underwhelming yet far from terrible average expected goal difference of +0.11 at home.
Away-day struggles for Dallas
Sunday’s visitors haven’t been outstanding at home this season, but their efforts have been respectable, which is a lot more than can be said for their exploits away from the comforts of home. They’ve lost seven out of ten on the road, winning just one of the other three. Offensively, the goals haven’t flowed, as seven in ten suggests, while defensively, things have continually gone awry. Dallas has shipped 19 goals in ten away games, keeping zero clean sheets, conceding two or more in six out of ten.
When the teams met earlier in the campaign, Dallas won by two goals to nil at Toyota Stadium, though on the balance of play, that win was perhaps on the fortunate side. To score two goals and keep a clean sheet when creating 0.8 expected goals and conceding 1.2 is somewhat lucky, so it’s not entirely difficult to feel that Austin could turn the tables on their visitors here.
Side with the hosts?
Austin are currently three points behind Dallas in the Western Conference standings, while they lost when the teams met earlier in the season, though there’s plenty to suggest that they can collect three points here.
For a start, the hosts arrive at this junction having picked up a very encouraging home win last time out, while Dallas are without a win in four, so there’s the confidence element. Throw into the melting pot that the visitors really have struggled on the road, losing seven out of ten, posting an average goal difference of -1.2, as well as an average expected goal difference of -0.70, and the case for a home win begins to build. Wolff’s men have an average expected goal supremacy of +0.81, while they both score more and concede less goals on average (at home) than the Dallas boys do on the road.
All in all, after some positive home results of late, beating both Houston and Portland, scoring six goals in the process, the hosts are worth supporting to dispatch the visitors who continue to struggle away from home.
Paraguayan to pack a punch
If you’re interested in player props with any of the USA sports betting firms, then look no further than Austin’s Paraguayan dynamite Cecilio Dominguez, who is a fixture in the forward line.
The scorer of five MLS goals this season, Dominguez arrives here in decent form having notched last time out, as well as in Austin’s last home match before that. Against a Dallas’ back-line that has struggled immensely to keep teams out, shipping no shortage of goals, the 27-year-old, who averages 0.27 xG per 90 minutes, plus 2.32 shots, gets the nod in the anytime scorer market.