Following their defeat on the road last time out, DC United return home to face New England Revolution on Sunday evening (7pm ET). Unlike the hosts, the visitors come into this game off the back of an encouraging win, while they are now unbeaten in two.
Here USAbetting previews the DC United vs New England MLS game with predictions and picks advice in a bid to profit from the betting lines on the American oddssetters’ sites.
Hosts not clicking
It has been a dismal start to the campaign for DC United, who find themselves sat looking up at the rest of the Eastern Conference. Despite paying 13 times, Sunday’s hosts have amassed just 11 points. A week ago, it looked as though Ben Olsen’s men may have turned a corner, as they drew 2-2 against a more than useful Toronto side. However, it was back to square one last time out, as Black-and-Red, despite efforts to resist, succumbed to pressure from Nashville, who ran out 1-0 winners.
Struggling for goals
The big issue for Olsen and his side at present is a lack of goals. Without Wayne Rooney leading the orchestra, and without the tricky, direct dribbling of Luciano Acosta, DC have found it tough to hurt teams this term. They have scored just 11 goals, in 13 matches, notching just two in their last four. The absence of attacking midfielder Paul Arriola, who has been injured since February, is also proving costly.
Not overly easy to beat
One positive for DC right now is that they are not an easy side to beat, despite their clear offensive problems. As touched on above, they fought hard to earn a draw against a solid Toronto team when last in action at Audi Field. They held strong for most of the game, and only conceded once, against Nashville on the road earlier in the week, despite playing with only ten men for the entirety of the second half.
Revs up and down
New England Revolution were winners earlier in the week, beating Montreal Impact 3-1 in front of a home crowd. Prior to that they drew 0-0 with NYFC. At times, Bruce Arena’s men look strong. They have got firepower, and can score goals, certainly against weak defences such as Montreal’s, but they are not great at the back and are inconsistent, as no back-to-back wins this season suggests.
This won’t be the first time that DC and New England have faced each other this term. In fact, it won’t be the second time either. The pair have already faced off twice since MLS returned in July. At the MLS Is Back Tournament, the game finished 1-1, while The Revs won 2-1 in regular season action at this venue just over a month ago. However, it must be said that DC were somewhat unfortunate, not only to walk away empty handed but not to take all three points. If we go by chances created, then it was Ben Olsen’s men that had the upper hand. They produced 1.4 expected goals for, while Arena’s totalled just 0.6.
Tight games commonplace
The two games that have been contested by DC and New England this term have both been tight, which given the recent history between the two isn’t much of a surprise. Neither side has won by more than a single goal in any of the last nine renewals of this fixture. Of those nine, DC have won two, while The Revs have won three.
Hosts disrespected by the early odds
DC have struggled this term, there can be no getting away from that, but as mentioned previously in this preview, they are not the easiest side to beat. They won’t roll over for anyone, as New England have twice found out since soccer returned to the US. Moreover, when the pair last met at Audi Field, it was DC who created the better chances. Keeping this in mind, a home win looks generously priced at +255 on the moneyline.
If we look at New England’s efforts away from home, then it’s not difficult to support a home win at the current odds. The Revs have won two of their three travelling matches since the resumption of the regular season, but they have not done so in convincing fashion. Single-goal victories over Chicago and Sunday’s hosts don’t stand out as anything special, while they were beaten by Philadelphia when they last ventured away from the comforts of Gillette Stadium. Moreover, Arena’s men have been bettered in terms of expected goals in each of their three away games, which tells us that, on average, they are creating less than their opponents. Sooner or later, this will come back to bite them.
Kamara can make the difference
Those who agree that DC can upset the odds on this occasion, may want to look at Ola Kamara as an anytime scorer. The Norwegian forward, who has 54 goals in 118 career MLS appearances, didn’t find the net last time out, but he was on target when DC were last in action at Audi Field, scoring against Toronto. In fact, the goal getter has scored in two of his last three at home, while he currently boasts a respectable average of 0.32 expected goals for per 90 minutes. Against a Revolution back-line that is yet to keep a clean sheet away from home since the regular season restarted, Kamara is backed to find the net at +150.
So these are USAbetting’s DC United vs New England Revolution predictions and concluding picks for this MLS game preview: