Seattle Sounders vs Minnesota Utd Preview, Betting Lines, Odds, Picks & Predictions: Support Lack of Goals

Emanuel ReynosoSeattle Sounders welcome Minnesota United to Lumen Field in the MLS on Sunday and both these teams are looking for improvement (4pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN+). Each tasted defeat last time out and they need to bounce back. Can they? This Sounders vs MNUFC preview, with its predictions and betting picks, plans to find out.

Crowned champions of the CONCACAF Champions League recently, the Seattle Sounders have already achieved something big this season, but domestically, they’ve found life tough. Brian Schmetzer’s men have of course had other things to focus on and giving continental competition their full attention certainly paid off. It’s now time to get back to business in Major League Soccer, where they currently sit in a disappointing 13th place in the Western Conference. Sunday’s hosts have lost each of their last three MLS fixtures.

For Minnesota United, things were going well. They had won three on the bounce in all competitions, including two big wins over the Colorado Rapids and the Chicago Fire, though such form failed to act as a springboard for further success. The Loons arrive at this junction off the back of consecutive defeats having lost to both LAFC and Cincinnati. Disappointingly, they failed to score in either of those losses, so boss Adrian Heath will be looking for an improved effort at Lumen Field on Sunday.

Sounders slacking

We’re used to seeing the Seattle Sounders dominate teams and as a result position themselves high up the Western Conference table, so this is uncharted territory a little bit. Not only have they have they lost each of their last three MLS games, but Schmetzer’s men have seemingly lost their ability to dominate games, especially in terms of creativity.

The Sounders have bettered their opponents in terms of expected goals in none of their last five league fixtures, which is worrying. During that time, they have produced an average of 1.28 expected goals for, which isn’t terrible, but is still somewhat below the Western Conference average. As things stand, no team in the west has created fewer expected goals than the Sounders, which given their rich history of going deep into the postseason is both unusual and alarming.

Traveling troubles

The Loons are in much better position than the Sounders right now, make no mistake about that, but it’s not overly easy to get excited about their traveling efforts this season. Heath’s men did emerge victorious from their first road game of the season, beating the Red Bulls by a goal to nil in New Jersey. That victory was fortunate to say the least and it has been downhill since, with Sunday’s visitors losing two and tying one of their last three on the road, during which time they’ve scored just a single goal.

Two goals in four away fixtures makes them the joint-lowest away scorers in the division. The reason behind their lack of goals is simple, they don’t create enough. Only one team in the Western Conference sits below Minnesota United when it comes to expected goals for on the road.

No secrets

It is still early in the campaign, but this is already the second meeting between the pair, who also met three times during 2021, so they know each other well. Last term, it was the Sounders who came out on top, winning two out of three, both of which were at this venue.

First off, they scored four en route to an easy win over the Loons, though they lost on the road, and weren’t exactly resounding winners in the third fixture either, winning by a goal to nil in front of a home crowd.

The Sounders also won when the teams met at Allianz Field just over a month ago, though it would be wrong to say that their win was entirely merited, as they failed to control the game and emerged with an expected goal difference of -0.40.

For those interested in historical trends, this is a fixture that has heavily favoured the hosts in recent times, with the home team winning six of the last seven renewals.

Support a lack of goals

One thing that stands out about both teams is a lack of creativity. Sure, now that they’ve captured their continental prize, the Sounders probably will improve but they’ve not done it yet, and their attacking in MLS so far have been weak. Even at home, they’ve struggled to get going, scoring just three goals in three games at Lumen Field, creating an average of just 1.1 expected goals per 90 minutes. As mentioned in this preview above, on the road, Minnesota have been similarly poor, scoring just two in four, creating an average of just 0.72 xG.

At the same time, neither side has conceded with regularity, which points towards a low-scoring game. Bettors can take advantage by taking ‘Under 2.5 Goals’ at +115. After all, less than three goals have been scored in two of Seattle’s three at home, and in each of Minnesota’s four on the road.

Adding further fuel to the selection is the fact that both teams lack an out-and-out goal getter right now. With Ruidiaz out, the Sounders lack a regular goal man, and while the visitors can call on the mercurial talent of Emanuel Reynoso, who certainly drags the Loons through at times, they are also not exactly blessed with somebody who can’t stop scoring. Robin Lod’s total of three goals in nine starts is unlikely to strike fear into the heart of the hosts, that’s for sure.

So coming to the Sounders vs MNUFC betting predictions for this preview, it is just the one pick against the sportsbooks for American bettors: