Charlotte FC vs Philadelphia Union Picks, Betting Preview & Predictions: Go Away on Moneyline

Julian CarranzaA rejuvenated Charlotte FC take on league leaders Philadelphia Union at Bank of America Stadium on Saturday (5.30pm ET). Can the hosts upset the team that’s running away with the Eastern Conference? Or will the top dogs once again show why they’re top of the tree?

Things had really started to go awry at Bank of America Stadium, though the Major League Soccer newbies may just have turned things around. They’ve won two on the spin, first beating playoff regulars New York City FC. They followed that excellent home win up with a pleasing display on the road, where they scored three goals away at Chicago. Such a result should mean that the men temporarily lead by Christian Lattanzio come into this fixture full of confidence. It also means that they are not without a chance of reaching the postseason in their first MLS campaign.

As for the visitors, well, what can be said about a team that was quick out the gate and has kept striding along in front. The Union continue to dominate in the east, and they arrive here in solid form. Jim Curtin’s men were held by Atlanta United last time out, but still, they kept a clean sheet in doing so. They have now gone six Major League Soccer games without tasting defeat, five of which they’ve won. With a five-point league as things really start to hot up ahead of the postseason, Philly will take some stopping, that’s for sure.

Hit and miss

The Charlotte boys have delivered some very pleasing performances at home this term, but they’ve become far too inconsistent at a crucial part of the campaign. Yes, they won narrowly when last in action at this venue, but they had lost three on the bounce at home prior to that, and if we dig into their recent attacking form at this venue, it’s easy to see them coming up short on Saturday.

In their last three at home, the hosts have scored only two goals, while their xG numbers look weak. In those three games, creativity was not their thing, as expected goals totals of 0.6, 1.0 and 0.7 show.

Yes, they scored goals last time out and played well in the process, but it is one thing doing it against a Fire side that isn’t destined for the playoffs and another thing altogether doing it against the best team in the league. In their last five overall, Lattanzio’s men have scored just five goals, failing to score twice. That is worrying given Saturday’s opposition.

Home works but they can cut it on the road too

Superlatives such as an incredible and unstoppable are often overused in sport, but the Philadelphia Union have been both of those things at home in recent times, there can be no getting away from it. By winning an incredible eight games straight at home, the Union have been unstoppable at Subaru Park and not just in terms of picking up three points.

The sheer number of goals scored by Curtin’s men on their own patch is staggering. In their last eight home games, the Philly boys have notched no less than 31 goals, scoring four or more in six of those eight. Such form is virtually unheard of. Unsurprisingly, they are the best attacking team across the whole of MLS.

It’s not just what they’ve done at home that has impressed. Even on the road, Philly can get it done. Sure, they have not been as irresistible, but they’ve picked up a very solid 26 points from 16 traveling fixtures, scoring the third most road goals in the Eastern Conference, conceding the fewest.

Hosts hoping for better

This will be just the second time that the pair have faced off on the soccer field. When they met earlier in the campaign, back in early April, it was a rather straightforward evening for the Union, who won by two goals to nil, thanks to goals from the impressive duo of Daniel Gazdag and Julian Carranzo, who now have 33 MLS goals between them this term.

In that fixture, Charlotte FC perhaps paid the price for being a little too cavalier. Sure, they got on the front foot and dictated possession, registering more shots than their hosts in the process, but they failed to create anything of real substance, while they left themselves open.

Visitors hard to oppose

If we’re being honest, the Union look a good bet against just about anyone, especially at odds of +150 with one of the top sportsbooks for USA betting that we recommend. Even on the road, they could, and probably should be shorter that that, especially given that the hosts have been anything but reliable at home in recent times.

Whether this comes down to offensive power or defensive security, it is the visitors who look the stronger team. They are unbeaten in three on the road, two of which they’ve won. In that process, they’ve scored eight goals and have conceded zero. That blows what the hosts have done at home of late completely out of the water.

Carranza can

If it’s a player prop that you seek, then look no further than Julian Carranza. The youngster has been in great form this season and despite not scoring in any of his last three, continues to be a huge threat. Not only does he average 0.62 goals per 90 minutes, but he’s averaging 0.63 expected goals per game, plus 3.52 shots. Add in that he scored against Charlotte earlier in the campaign and you’ve got an excellent bet at odds of +240.

This is our brace of betting predictions and picks for this CLT vs Philly preview: