Cincinnati look to re-find the winning path on Sunday evening (7:30pm ET) as they play host to Toronto FC at Nippert Stadium. Can the hosts end a four-game winless run? Or will the visitors continue moving in the right direction? Find out with this Cincinnati vs Toronto predictions and full MLS game preview.
Hosts in trouble
It has been a disappointing fortnight for Cincinnati, who come into this fixture off the back of three consecutive defeats. Last time out, they were bludgeoned by Philadelphia Union, a loss that was preceded by defeats against both NYCFC and Minnesota. Not only have Sunday’s hosts lost each of their last three, all of which have been away from home, but they’ve conceded a worrying nine goals in the process. Worse still, they failed to score against Philly, New York City and The Loons.
Given the revised set up this term, the play-offs aren’t out of question, but as they are currently five points behind, rapid improvement is needed.
Glad to return home
After a shocking spell on the road, Jaap Stam’s men will be glad to return to Nippert Stadium. Playing on their own patch hasn’t exactly allowed the boys in orange and blue to flourish of late, but they have at least been tough to beat at home, which should act as a much-needed confidence boost ahead of this tricky fixture.
Cincinnati are yet to taste defeat at home since the resumption of the regular season: four games, four draws. The fact that they’ve kept four clean sheets is hugely impressive but the fact that they are yet to score at Nippert Stadium is clearly worrying. In a way, for all it is somewhat bizarre, drawing four home games 0-0 on the bounce is somewhat impressive.
As things stand, everybody in the east is looking up at Toronto, who find themselves three points clear at the top of the conference. It was a case of same old, same old for TFC last time out, as they got the better of New England, winning 1-0 away from home. That’s now four wins on the spin for Greg Vanney’s men.
Toronto have also been effective on the road of late, recording back-to-back 0-1 victories, beating each of the New York sides. Sunday’s visitors are also unbeaten in four on the road. Such form bodes well ahead of their trip to Ohio.
Market rightly siding with visitors
Given the highly contrasting recent form of this pair, Toronto come into this match as huge favorites with the United States’ top bookmakers, which is tough to argue with. There could easily be some debate as to the true price of the visiting side, but little over the fact that it is they who are likeliest to emerge victorious. Cincinatti have defended well at home and are certainly not easy to beat, but their sheer lack of forward potency is hard to overlook. Those who can envisage an upset, which certainly isn’t out of the question if the hosts can continue to keep things tight and find a bit more offensively, can bet on a home win at rather chunky odds of +285.
Lack of goals appealing
Perusing what is currently on offer in the sportsbooks’ betting lines, ‘under 2.5 goals’ makes lots of appeal. Cincinnati’s lack of forward power is the first port of call. Not only have they failed to find the net in just over 360 minutes of home football since regular-season action returned, but they’ve performed quite poorly in terms shots too. In their last four at home, Stam’s side have registered a rather measly total of eight shots on target, while they are averaging only 6.75 shots per 90 at home too. Their defensive antics obviously bode well for those looking to support a low-scoring game in the betting, as they’ve conceded no goals in their last four at home. Cincinnati have also conceded just five shots on target at Nippert Stadium since the MLS Is Back tournament concluded, which shows that they have indeed restricted teams.
Add in the fact that Toronto aren’t the easiest side to score against, as their recent traveling clean sheets suggest, coupled with the fact that they too have been involved in some low-scoring games of late, and a small play on under 2.5 goals begins to make plenty of sense, especially at what appear to be generous odds of evens. So, to conclude our Cincinnati vs Toronto FC predictions and picks for this soccer game preview, here is our advice if playing at the oddsmakers: