New England Revolution host Club de Foot Montreal at Gillette Stadium, where they will be looking to extend their winning run after earning two away-day victories (6pm ET Sunday). In contrast, the visitors will be looking to bounce back after tasting defeat last time out.
Eastern Conference leaders New England arrive at this junction in good form. Last time out, they thrashed Inter Miami away from home, scoring five goals in the process. That was their second road win in quick succession, not to mention their second straight clean sheet. Bruce Arena’s men had hit a bit of a blip, but that appears to be a thing of the past, as they are now back out in front in the east and are looking strong.
CF Montreal’s recent form is essentially the reverse of New England’s. Sunday’s visitors had been in great form, winning three on the bounce and going six matches without tasting defeat, but their unbeaten run came to an end last time out, as they were beaten by New York City, losing by a goal to nil. That run will likely have dented the confidence of Wilfried Nancy’s men, but they still have plenty to be upbeat about.
Gillette Stadium a fortress
Much of New England’s success this season can be put down to their outstanding form at home. Arena’s side were beaten when last in action on home soil, losing narrowly and somewhat unluckily to Toronto, but that’s their only blemish. Prior to that defeat, the Revs had won five out of five at home, scoring ten and conceding four in the process.
That said, defensive frailties have started to creep into New England’s game at home. In their first three home matches of the campaign, they conceded just one goal, while they surrendered an average of 0.66 expected goals. In their last three at home, they’ve conceded no fewer than six goals, giving up and average of 1.2 expected goals.
Visitors up and down on the road
Montreal have struggled to put together any sort of consistent run away from home this season, so much so that they’ve not won, tied or lost two travelling matches in a row. In fact, the only consistent thing about the visitors on the road this season has been defensive weakness.
They’ve recorded two clean sheets in seven away games, one of which was somewhat fortunate, while they’ve tended to present their opponents with no shortage of chances, conceding expected goals figures of 1.8, 2.1 and 2.0 in their last three on the road, which tells us that they were lucky to concede just two goals during that time. On average, Montreal have surrendered 1.6 expected goals per 90 away from the comforts of home during the current campaign.
In recent times, the Revs have been too strong for CF Montreal when the pair get together. The last meeting saw Sunday’s hosts win by three goals to one at this venue, while New England have now won each of their last four matches against Montreal. Although only one of those victories was by more than a single goal, while the Canadian club have scored in three of those four. Just one win in six in this fixture is a slightly worrying statistic for the visitors.
Where’s the bet?
No matter how we look at it, New England are the most likely winners of this fixture, but that has already been heavily factored into home odds of -250, and thus a play on the home win makes little appeal.
One bet that does stand out at the current odds is ‘both teams to score’ (BTTS). Yes, New England are the better side and yes, they’re likely to come out on top, or at least it would be a surprise if they did not. That said, they’ve not covered themselves in defensive glory at home of late.
We know they’ve got the tools to unlock Montreal’s less than sturdy rear-guard, but they’ve got defensive issues of their own having shipped six goals in their last three home matches. Add in Montreal’s recent record of getting on the scoresheet, even in defeat, in this fixture and a small play on both finding the net becomes even more appealing.
What’s even more interesting is that Montreal have scored in each of their last three matches at this venue, conceding five in the last two. Goals for both could very much be on the cards on Sunday evening and bettors can profit by siding with BTTS. So the prediction for this MLS preview is:
- Go both teams to score @ -140 with Bovada.