Philadelphia Union vs Houston Dynamo FC: Philadelphia Are on a Four-Game Winning Run
- Philadelphia Union will take on Houston Dynamo FC on Saturday at the Exploria Stadium
- Houston Dynamo FC have won once in their last seven MLS games
- Philadelphia Union are on a four-game winning run
Philadelphia vs Houston Dynamo Odds
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Philadelphia vs Houston Dynamo Pick
Philadelphia Union to win
Pick made on 07/27/2022 at 12:50 AM EST
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Philadelphia vs Houston Dynamo Prediction
This is a match between two sides heading in different directions at the moment. Philadelphia Union are moving up, up and away and are currently sitting on top of the Eastern Conference standings, whereas Houston Dynamo FC are struggling in 11th place on the Western Conference standings with one win from their last seven matches in the MLS.
Philadelphia Union have a marginal psychological edge heading into this match based on head to heads. They’ve won nine of the 20 games between the sides, with Houston Dynamo FC winning seven and four ending in a draw.
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That’s not the only reason Philadelphia Union will be expected to win this match. The previous affair between these two sides also ended in their favor. Philadelphia Union won a tight game between the two sides with a 2-1 score line.
Despite taking a lead early in the first half thanks to Kacper Pryzbylko, their goal had to face quite a lot of shots – 10 on total – with one of Christian Ramirez’s finding the back of the net in the 42nd minute. Philadelphia Union kept their cool, bossing the possession (54 percent) and were rewarded with a winner in the 78th minute from Jack Elliot.
Philadelphia Union Get the Points With Another Narrow Victory
The 7-0 victory over DC United a few weeks back was a bit of an anomaly for Philadelphia Union, who have been grinding out victories all season to sit on top of the Eastern Conference standings. They’ve got New York City FC on their tail, who have a game to spare, but this doesn’t mean Philadelphia Union have been any less impressive.
Daniel Gazdag scored the only goal of the match against Orlando City, taking the Hungarian to double figures in goals for the season. It wasn’t easy for the Union with in form goalkeeper Andre Blake making sure they kept the clean sheet.
Daniel Gazdag Has Carried the Side’s Offense
In a side that’s mostly known for its defensive steel, the players in the attacking areas aren’t likely to get a lot of attention, but Daniel Gazdag is well worth his dues now. He scored his 10th goal of the season in the last game and has also contributed with three assists.
He’s done this at a sustainable rate with 10.2 expected goals but is also the first line of defense for the side, which makes him priceless. Teams in the MLS, just like teams in Europe, can no longer carry players and Gazdag has typified Philadelphia Union’s aggressive approach by completing 19.7 pressures in the last 365 days. This is extraordinary for a forward who is also contributing quite heavily in attack.
Defenses Win Leagues
There have been a wide number of reasons for their excellent defense conceding only 15 goals all season. They have a hardworking midfield three and a goalkeeper in Andre Blake who has been on fire all season.
They aren’t the most fun side in the league, scoring 34 goals so far, which isn’t a lot when compared to the other sides in the league that are sitting on top. Nor are they expected to lift the title at the end of the season. But if there’s any team that teams won’t like playing against, it’s this one.
There has been some good fortune involved, with the underlying numbers suggesting that they should’ve conceded 24.8 goals so far but the fact that they’re such an industrious side that also has a goalkeeper who has saved at least four goals (post shot expected goals +/- rating of 4.5 according to FBRef via statsbomb), means teams know that it’s going to take something very special to get the ball into the net. This sort of set-up is ideal for the playoffs, where the smallest margins make the difference in what are usually low-scoring encounters.
Injuries and Suspensions
No injuries or suspensions.
Houston Dynamo Can’t Catch a Break
After breaking their four-game winless record against the San Jose Earthquakes, it was back to square one for Houston Dynamo FC against Minnesota United. It was an extremely frustrating afternoon for the southern side, who dominated the possession with 72.6 percent of the ball and got 22 shots off to no avail despite getting on the scoresheet in the 85th minute. There was no return to form or glorious comeback on the day.
Quintero and Ferreira the Only Real Positives All Season
Despite having a tough season all round that now sees them in 11th place on the Western Conference standings, Darwin Quintero and Sebastian Ferreira’s form has been a big positive for the side.
The two forwards have scored 7 goals each and got three assists as well. This is despite having underlying numbers for expected goals below 5. This suggests that they’ve been extremely clinical when they’ve had their chances on goal. They’ll need to do the same against the likes of Andre Blake, who has been a wall all season.
The Defense Needs a Lot of Work
Houston Dynamo FC have conceded 31 goals this season but could be considered a bit fortunate that they’ve not conceded more with an expected goals against value of 33.6 this season. Other than in the win over San Jose Earthquakes, Houston Dynamo have conceded 2 goals in their last six matches. It doesn’t require great introspection to know where the problems lie.
The best solution would be to bring their defensive line a few yards back and add a lot of intensity to their pressing when teams get near the halfway line but with most of the league season gone and a playoff berth looking unlikely, it’ll be hard to change the approach all of a sudden. Not to mention, it’ll be very difficult whatever approach a team takes against Philadelphia Union, who are in some of their best form all season.
If they don’t concede the 7 that DC United did a few weeks back, they’ll probably take it for the time being.
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How to Watch Philadelphia vs Houston Dynamo
|Teams||Philadelphia Union vs Houston Dynamo FC|
|Location||Subaru Park, Pennsylvania|
|Time||Saturday, July 30 at 7.30pm EST onwards|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, PHL17|
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Varun Shetty WSN
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]