It is crunch time for the New York Red Bulls. With the playoffs approaching, Jesse Marsch’s side know that defeat is no longer an option in the race for the MLS Cup. The Red Bulls are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference and a difficult run through the postseason awaits after a tough regular campaign. Still, it would be foolish to write New York off given their previous form and achievements.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have the Vancouver Whitecaps. Sitting pretty at the summit of Major League Soccer’s Western Conference, the Whitecaps are already in playoff mode and it would take a brave man to back against them in their pursuit of glory. Canadian rivals Toronto FC are favourites for the MLS Cup – and rightfully so – but Vancouver will be right in the mix.
Despite their woes in recent months, New York Red Bulls will head into this contest at the top of the betting markets. At 8/13 with William Hill, they are certainly short enough given Vancouver’s spot in the Western Conference and plenty of punters will be sceptical here. Yes, New York need to win more than the Whitecaps do but recent form must be considered. With just one win in their last 10 MLS outings, it is hard to place too much faith in the Red Bulls right now.
A draw is always worth a second look and bettors may fancy this to land in what could be an open contest. 10Bet are currently going 29/10 on the draw and this looks well priced ahead of Saturday’s big clash. Neither side will want to lose this one and the Whitecaps should be stable enough at the back to cope with New York’s attacking unit.
5/1 with Bet365 for a Whitecaps triumph could turn out to be one of the steals of the weekend if the Canadian side can prevail. Vancouver have lost just once in their last nine Major League Soccer encounters and their excellent run could continue if Carl Robinson lets his troops go for the jugular upfront.
Individual Goal Scorers
Bradley Wright-Phillips will carry the burden of expectation for New York this weekend, just as he has for the most part of his career in the Big Apple. He is currently available at 3/1 to open the scoring with Bet365 and punters will be keen to back the former Southampton star. With five goals in his last 10 outings, he is in decent form and worth backing at the above price.
Given Vancouver’s position, there is no real need for the Whitecaps to go all out here and it may prove prudent to look at Erik Hurtado. He may not start but in the latter stages, he has the skillset and speed to take advantage of a tired defensive unit. 888Sport are pricing the 26-year-old up at a very solid 15/4 for the first goal – he is definitely worth another look.
Other Side Bets
There is one bet here that is definitely worth considering and that is for Vancouver to win OR draw at 13/10 with Betway. We’ve had some success in the ‘double chance’ markets in recent months and this could be another opportunity to tip a winner here. On recent form, it makes sense to side with the Whitecaps and it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if the Canada-based outfit ran riot.
- Vancouver to win OR draw @ 13/10 with Betway
- Bradley Wright-Phillips to score first @ 3/1 with Bet365