In-form teams clash at America First Field as Real Salt Lake take on Orlando City in a battle between squads that won last time out (2.30am BST Sunday; 9.30pm ET Saturday). Can the hosts make it four wins from their last five games? Or will the visitors extend their own unbeaten run? This RSL vs OCSC preview, with its betting tips, aims to clarify.
The 2023 Major League Soccer campaign continues to go well for Real Salt Lake, who currently find themselves sitting in a lofty fourth position in the Western Conference. They arrive at this juncture after a pleasing win on the road in Toronto last time out, keeping a clean sheet in the process. They have now won three of their last four and are without a loss in six MLS games, four of which they have won. It is fair to say that Pablo Mastroeni’s men are in fine form.
The hosts are not the only ones with reason to be upbeat ahead of this clash. The visitors, OCSC, have been in solid form of late. Oscar Pareja’s men extended their winning run in the week, beating Toronto FC on home soil by four goals to nil. Young forward Duncan McGuire kept up his good form, scoring for a third time in five matches, while Uruguayan midfielder Cesar Araujo was once again influential, both scoring and assisting.
The visitors come into this fixture unbeaten in four and they have now won two on the spin, which means that they’ll go to America First Field with their tails up.
The pressure of playing at home too much?
The hosts do come into this fixture in rather sturdy form. However, they have not exactly made light work of playing at home in recent times. Hard to beat they may be, but they have won none of their last six home games in MLS, which is a little worrying.
They can shut teams out, for sure, keeping three clean sheets in their last six at home. They have developed this rather odd habit of failing to score when they keep their visitors quiet, as each of those three games has ended 0-0. Stranger still is the fact that they have scored two or more in their other three recent home games in the league, but they have conceded at least two goals in each of those three.
Take their game at home against Minnesota recently. They offered plenty going forward and certainly showed great determination to fight back, but in offering lots offensively, they gave quite a bit away.
Goals now coming thick and fast
For the visitors, the goals have certainly been flying in of late. Not only did they smash four in against Toronto last time out, but they also found the net on three occasions against the Chicago Fire before that. Pineda’s men have now scored in all but one of their last 11 MLS games, scoring two or more in seven of those. That is impressive.
What they do not have is a singular out-and-out goal scorer. They don’t have a Hany Mukhtar or a Denis Bouanga, but what they do have is a cluster of offensive contributors, who together make up a rather fierce offense. Both Duncan McGuire and Facundo Torres have notched seven MLS goals this season, while Ercan Kara has five. Martin Ojeda has four, not to mention eight assists. They have got players to produce the goods. Even on the road, these boys can make their presence felt, which is why the visitors have scored two or more in three of their last five away games.
Wins few and far between for RSL in this fixture
Orlando City touched down in Major League Soccer back in 2015 and these two teams have faced each other on the soccer field on six occasions. Only one of those has gone the way of Saturday’s hosts. The visitors have won two of the other five, but are without a win in two. When the pair last met, they drew 0-0 in Orlando. This will be the first renewal of this fixture for over three years, so perhaps we should not draw too much on the head-to-head record.
Stats Indicate Goals
If you are looking to bet this fixture, then you could probably do worse than jump on ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at best odds of 4/5 with William Hill.
For starters, both teams have been amongst the goals of late. Three of RSL’s last four games have contained at least three goals, two of them have contained four, while in three of Orlando’s last four, three or more goals have gone in too.
What’s more, the way RSL set up at home tends to lend itself to goals being scored at both ends, despite the fact that their 0-0 draws of late suggests otherwise. As we saw last time out at this venue, they got on the front foot and created a lot, but that often comes at a price. In their last three at home, they have scored seven and conceded seven. In Orlando’s last four on the road, they have scored seven and conceded five, while four of their last five away games have contained at least three goals.
Looking at recent expected goals figures, you would also have to say that goals look likely here. At the very least, it looks as though this pair can produce plenty of creativity. RSL comes into this game having delivered an average of 1.71 xG for in their last five at home, while the visitors have averaged 1.38, giving us a combined average of 3.09. Combine that with the goals that have been score in those games and that is enough for this preview, and its betting tips, to support ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at the current odds.
- Over 2.5 goals @ best odds of 4/5 with William Hill.
Bradley Gibbs is an experienced football writer. He is an expert analyst on Premier League, and all global football leagues & tournaments, for Just Bookies. Bradley has been published by many respected outlets, including USA Betting and the Racing & Football Outlook. He has also written betting strategy guides.