New York Red Bulls should be able to get their season back on track when they take on Toronto in Saturday’s MLS Eastern Conference clash.
Who do Bettors Favor?
|NY Red Bulls v Toronto|
According to the best online sportsbook sites, this is set to be a one-sided game with the Red Bulls rated as big favorites. New York can be backed at -277, while the visitors Toronto are major outsiders at between +680 and +800. But if you think they can earn a draw, that can be wagered at +400.
New York Aim to Bounce Back in MLS
After an impressive start to the MLS season, the Red Bulls have lost their way a little in recent games, most notably on the road. Having won their first five away from home, they’ve now lost back-to-back games on their travels, their latest setback being a 2-0 defeat against Charlotte last weekend.
Although there were some regular first-teamers missing through international call-ups or injury, that doesn’t fully explain how flat they looked in North Carolina, conceding a goal in each half and managing just seven shots on goal, breaking their streak of 27 games in which they registered at least ten.
Nevertheless, they remain one of the stronger teams in the East and their expected goal difference figure is the best in the league, so they will be expecting to bounce back here against Toronto.
Toronto have been out of action since the end of May, but that month did at least end with a welcome victory over Chicago, in which they showed plenty of resilience to withstand huge pressure from the visitors in the second half, eventually registering their first win since mid-April.
A difficult month of May for the Reds ended on a positive note as they overcame a lot of Chicago pressure in the second half to win for the first time since mid-April. They currently lie two places off the bottom of the East, but to be fair to Bob Bradley’s team, they have been unlucky in some of their results this season and with veteran Italian star Lorenzo Insigne on the way in the next two weeks, there is genuine optimism that they can improve drastically in the second half of the season.
MLS Team News
The Red Bulls were without center-half Aaron Long and Cristian Casseres for the game against Charlotte as both were on international duty and we can’t be sure if either will be available here. Andres Reyes is also doubtful with a foot injury, while Lucas Monzon and Serge Ngoma are still recovering from hamstring issues. There is also some doubt about the availability of Cameron Harper, due to a knee injury.
Leading Toronto scorer Jesus Jimenez has lost his scoring touch at the moment, having failed to score in six games, but both Alejandro Pozuelo and Deandre Kerr were on target in the game against Chicago and both should start this game.
Quentin Westberg made his seasonal debut in the game against Fire and came up with seven saves so may have done enough to retain his place, but Toronto’s injury team news is a concern. The participation of Jonathan Osorio, who picked up an injury against Chicago and subsequently missed Canada’s Nations League games, is in doubt, while the quartet of Kadin Chung, Chris Mavinga, Noble Okello and Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty are all struggling to be fit in time for this clash with an Eastern Conference rival.
Red Bulls and Toronto Head to Head
The head-to-head record between these two long-established MLS franchises gives the New York team a clear edge over their Canadian rivals. In 40 previous meetings, the Red Bulls have finished victorious on 21 occasions, with nine draws and ten wins for Toronto. The latest of those games was earlier this year when a Lewis Morgan hat-trick set up a 4-1 win for the Red Bulls at BMO Field.
In games played in New York/New Jersey, the record is even starker. The Red Bulls have lost two out of 18 home games against Toronto, and a third of those wins were by a margin of at least three goals.
MLS Betting Picks
With an experienced head coach and a team that is still learning together, there is a lot of upside for Toronto, while Insigne’s arrival will give them a huge boost.
In the short term, however, they may continue to struggle. They’ve let in the third-highest number of goals in the league, including five goals in their last two outings, and have been particularly poor in transition, being too easy to play through.
With a lot of work still required to turn this Toronto team into playoff contenders, they could be vulnerable to an attack-minded Red Bulls side, so the best betting picks here are New York for the win and Over in the Over/Under 3.5 goals market.
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