Draw specialist FC Dallas are back in action on Saturday and in need of a win as they host Colorado Rapids in Frisco (8.30pm ET). Can they pick up a first win in five? Or will the visitors stop that from happening and bounce back after losing last time out? This MLS game preview and its betting predictions, plus picks, aims to answer those questions.
The hosts come into this fixture in relatively sturdy form, but they find themselves in a rather precarious position. They are unbeaten in seven Major League Soccer matches, which bodes well, but they have only won one of those. They currently sit in ninth place, which happens to be the final playoff spot, holding just a one-point lead over their nearest pursuers. As a result, the postseason fate of Nico Estevez is far from decided. The pressure is now on as they require a win to keep the playoff dream in their own hands.
For Colorado Rapids, the playoffs are not an option, as they sit rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference after what has been a disappointing season. They have picked up a few positive results of late, beating Austin at home and tying with the Vancouver Whitecaps, also on home soil. It is a case of too little, too late for Saturday visitors, who will now look to take solace from denying their hosts a place in the postseason.
More needed in the offensive third
We know that this FC Dallas team is hard to beat, recent results suggest that, while they’ve certainly made Toyota Stadium a venue that is tricky to visit. Saturday’s hosts have lost none of their last five in front of a home crowd, but they have won just one of those five, and that is partly down to a lack of offensive guile.
Sure, in each of those five home games, the hosts have scored at least one goal, though they have scored more than once in just one of them, which is a bit of an issue when they are trying to make the most of their home games whilst pushing to make the postseason. If we scratch beneath the surface a little, we can see that a lack of creativity is perhaps the reason for their lack of goals and lack of wins on home soil. Their last three expected-goals-for totals at home read: 0.99, 0.91 and 0.41. Such numbers don’t exactly scream offensive strength.
Visitors Colorado Rapids giving too much away
Fortunately for the hosts, their relative lack of creativity and offensive nous may well be aided quite substantially by Colorado’s lack of defensive strength on the road. The visitors come into this fixture with a terrible recent away record and that is largely because of their glaringly obvious lack of solidity at the back. It would seem this team is rather easy to score against.
The Rapids recently conceded five goals on the road in Houston, while they shipped three in Portland prior to that. They have now conceded two or more in each of their last nine traveling MLS games. Therein lies the problem. They have scored a few goals on their travels, scoring in their most recent away game, and scoring twice before that, but any offensive positives have generally been outweighed by such heavy defensive negatives.
Home teams on top in this fixture
In recent times, this fixture has firmly belonged to whichever team has had the benefit of playing on home soil. Each of the last five renewals have been won by the home team, with four of those going the way of the Rapids. When the teams last met, back in July of this year, the Rapids won by two goals to one, though when they last visited Toyota Stadium, in 2022, they lost 3-1.
Hosts FC Dallas can outscore their struggling visitors
To be quite honest, even though the pressure has largely been taken off the shoulders of the visitors and firmly put on the home players, this is a massive opportunity for FC Dallas to put one foot in the playoffs.
Bettors can make this fixture pay by taking ‘FC Dallas to Win & Both Teams to Score’. Yes, as touched on in this MLS game preview above, the hosts have not exactly been in menacing offensive form. The fact that they have scored in all of their recent home games does bode well, as does the fact that they scored twice at home to Atlanta, who’ve also surrendered lots of goals, recently.
At the end of the day, this is a game that the hosts should fancy themselves to dominate and with the likes of Jesus Ferreira up top, they have got the tools to really hurt an opposing team that just cannot stop conceding goals on the road. Let’s face it, teams worse than FC Dallas have enjoyed plenty of offensive success against Colorado Rapids.
However, don’t be surprised if Estevez’s men fail to keep a clean sheet here. Sure, the Rapids have little to play, but that means there’s no pressure on them, which has actually allowed them to score some goals of late, scoring three goals in their last two road defeats. Moreover, for all the hosts are tough to beat at home and should have enough quality to get the job done here, they have not kept a clean sheet at Toyota Stadium since August. Therefore, betting on the home team to win this game without keeping a clean sheet seems like the most logical option at the available prices. So for the betting picks and predictions for this preview, the suggestion is for this one: