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Odds taken from Betway.
Our Pick: Philadelphia Union to win.
Philadelphia Union will look to maintain its fortress at home to clinch a victory over the Eastern Conference leaders. The oddsmakers have favored Philadelphia Union as the favorites in the clash while FC Cincinnati will head into the fixture as underdogs.
The hosts will be high on confidence in their second consecutive home fixture after thrashing NY Red Bulls 4-1 in the last match. Philadelphia displayed a brilliant recovery after trailing in the 11th minute to a goal from NY Red Bulls’ American midfielder Omir Fernandez.
Philadelphia Union found the equalizer through a goal from Jakob Glesnes in the 29th minute as matters became worse for the visitors after their defender Sean Nealis was sent off in the 44th minute. The hosts returned in the second half with complete control as Damion Lowe, Julian Carranza, and Daniel Gazdag struck once each to seal the deal for Philadelphia.
Meanwhile, FC Cincinnati will look to play out a close contest and even clinch all three points after their slender 2-1 win over Atlanta United in the last away fixture. Colombian midfielder Edwin Mosquera put Atlanta United in the lead in the 10th minute and dominated the majority of possession. However, Luciano Acosta and Brandon Vazquez netted one goal each in the final 15 minutes of the match to seal a victory for the visitors.
Philadelphia Union and FC Cincinnati have faced off 10 times in the MLS, since March 2019. Philadelphia Union has clinched victory in six matches, FC Cincinnati has won twice while two fixtures ended in a draw.
The clubs faced off last time in the domestic league in April. FC Cincinnati coach Pat Noonan opted for a 3-4-1-2 formation while Philadelphia’s Jim Curtin headed into the game with a 5-3-2 combination. Hosts FC Cincinnati dominated the majority of the possession but Philadelphia created more chances in front of the goal. However, Acosta converted from the spot to clinch a slender win for the hosts.
FC Cincinnati will be wary of their away form as they have registered only two wins in their last five away fixtures. The club has lost twice while registering one draw in these matches. Their last away win came against Atlanta United on August 31.
Philadelphia Union are the club to beat at home as they have registered five consecutive wins to hold their fortress. The club thrashed New York Red Bulls 4-1 in their most recent home win earlier this week.
Philadelphia Union registered a brilliant run in the Leagues Cup that saw them finish at the third spot after seeing off Monterrey 3-0 in the third-place clash. Following their exit from the Leagues Cup, Philadelphia Union have returned to the domestic league to collect six points in three matches.
The club registered an away win over D.C. United but were thrashed by Toronto, before they returned to collect all three points against the NY Red Bulls. Curtin will be eager to help his side maintain their fine run in the upcoming home fixture and seal all three points for a place in the playoffs.
Philadelphia Union has been lucky enough to find plenty of options in front of goals in the ongoing season. However, their Argentine forward Julian Carranza has led the team from the front with 12 goals in 24 appearances. His compatriot and Hungarian midfielder Daniel Gazdag has proven to be the most valuable player of the squad as he has netted 11 goals and assisted 10 in 24 appearances.
The club will expect their Danish forward Mikkel Uhre to bring his scoring boots into the match if he gets a start. Uhre has netted eight times in 25 appearances for the club. Alongside him, American footballer Alejandro Bedoya will be the key in the midfield with his creativity. He has already made his presence felt in the ongoing season by providing six assists in 21 matches.
Curtin focuses on a high-tempo playing style through his more favored 4-4-2 combination. The combination has helped the club to display a high-pressing game, allowing them to transition into counter-attack ruthlessly.
In the ongoing season, the club has not believed in maintaining possession. But they have directed the ball directly toward their more physical strikers Uhre and Carranza. This style has brought success to the club in the ongoing season.
FC Cincinnati will be eager to restore dominance in the MLS as the Eastern Conference leaders after their inconsistent run following the Leagues Cup return.
The club returned to the domestic league and registered a convincing 3-0 win over New York City FC at home. But they lost their next fixture 2-1 to Atlanta United and added to their losing streak by registering a 1-0 loss against a ten-man Orlando City.
FC Cincinnati will have their task cut out against Philadelphia. But it will be a good chance for them to resurrect themselves as a dominating side in the league.
FC Cincinnati forward Acosta is chasing the Golden Boot and all eyes will be on him to close in on the gap against Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar. The Argentine has netted 13 times in 26 appearances in the ongoing season and is one goal short of equalizing Mukhtar’s tally. He has also been the most valuable player of the squad by providing 11 assists to cap off a phenomenal season.
Meanwhile, his Argentine compatriot Alvaro Barreal will be another vital player for the visitors. He has provided six assists in 27 appearances. The Acosta-Barreal pair has maintained solid chemistry and will be looking to inflict more pressure on the opposition through their movement in the midfield.
FC Cincinnati head coach Noonan has favored his three-man defensive set-up. His setup features the partnership between Brenner and Brandon Vazquez with their quality No.10 Acosta behind them. The club primarily focuses on hitting their opponents hard on the break and using their full-backs to create width down the flanks.
The three-man defensive wall has helped FC Cincinnati solidify its defense and restructure it after a poor last season. The club also looks tempted to switch to diamond formation at times. It will be interesting to see how a three-man defense withstands a strong Philadelphia Union formation that will play with flair and creativity.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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