Vancouver Whitecaps look to resume winning ways on Saturday evening as they host fellow Canadians Toronto FC at BC Place (9:30pm ET). In contrast, the visitors come into this fixture having won three of their last four.
Read on for our Vancouver Whitecaps vs Toronto FC predictions with full preview and winding up with our betting picks.
Back in July, Vancouver returned to the pitch after the length break imposed by COVID-19 and scored three goals. Unfortunately, they conceded four in the process. It was a disappointing defeat, though attacking positives could certainly be taken from the match. Marc Dos Santos’ men probably left that game feeling upbeat about their attacking chances going forward. Fast forward a month and any such positivity is probably gone. Since notching three on their return, Vancouver have scored just two goals in six matches, which just won’t do.
In the defensive third, since they have kept just one clean sheet since MLS returned, the Whitecaps haven’t exactly thrived. They are not conceded a mammoth amount, so their trouble is mainly in the final third. Dos Santos’ side have now gone over 360 minutes of soccer without finding the back of net. A lack of forward penetration has meant that Vancouver have lost each of their three matches since the MLS Is Back Tournament ended. Two of those losses have been at the hands of Saturday’s opponents Toronto.
Toronto come into this match having lost narrowly against Montreal last time out, though they were the better side during that match, so aren’t likely to be feeling too down ahead of this clash. Prior to that defeat, TFC won three on the bounce, beating VWFC not once but twice. Much of their recent success can be attributed to their ability to dominate games, which in turn allows them to give little away at the back. Greg Vanney’s men have conceded an impressive total of just one goal in their last four matches. The fact that they have conceded just six shots on target in their last 360 minutes of soccer tells us that they are doing a great job of nullifying their opponents.
With the way MLS is now structured post COVID-19, teams in nearby regions are seeing a lot of each other, which means that Vancouver and Toronto are becoming more acquainted on the pitch. This will be the third match between the pair in the last three weeks. Toronto boast 1-0 and 3-0 victories over their Canadian rivals, though this is the first time this season that the pair will face off in Vancouver. That said, it’s not as if Vancouver have an excellent record when taking on TFC at home. The hosts have won just one of their last five home matches against Toronto. When the pair last met at this venue (in 2019), they drew 1-1.
Numbers favor the visitors
Since the resumption of regular season action, Toronto have posted some very encouraging underlying figures. They have comfortably beaten their opponents in terms of expected goals in four out four, averaging a pleasing 1.8 expected goals for per 90, conceding an average of just 0.42. In stark contrast, Vancouver have delivered an average of only 0.76 expected goals for per 90, while they have surrendered an average of 1.5. An average of expected goal difference of -0.74 explains why they are struggling to get positive results. If a team is consistently creating less than their opponents, then points are going to be hard to come by.
Toronto heavy favorites
Given what we have seen from this pair in recent weeks, it is absolutely no surprise that the visitors come into this match as heavy favorites with the stateside oddsmakers. Those who expect Toronto to record a third easy win over Vancouver can look to cash in at odds of -200. Such a price isn’t overly appealing, let’s be honest, but TFC are that short for a reason. Nevertheless, a bet on the visitors to emerge victorious isn’t what stands out most.
Our Preview’s Vancouver vs Toronto Predictions: Support a lack of goals
At the current odds, this MLS game preview reckons that ‘under 2.5 goals’ looks rather appetizing. For all Toronto have been dominating games and picking up points of late, they have not been thundering in the goals, scoring more than twice in just one of their last six. They have scored more than once in none of their last three. Their excellent defensive record of no goals in their last four also lends itself to the selection, as does the fact that the visitors have conceded an average of just 1.5 shots on target since the regular season resumed.
Similarly, Vancouver, for all their flaws, haven’t exactly been getting battered, conceding more than twice in only one of their last five. When they faced Toronto just a fortnight ago, while they struggled to impose themselves on proceedings, they kept things respectable, losing by only a goal to nil. What’s more, rather shocking attacking displays by the Whitecaps also point towards a lack of goals going in at BC Place on Saturday evening.
At the end of the day, it would be a surprise if TFC weren’t to win this match, though after taking everything into account, they look a good bet to record a comfortable but relatively low-scoring win. So the conclusion of USAbetting’s VWFC vs TFC predictions is the following betting pick: