We’re on a run. Since Tuesday we’re up around +150 on Football, and we’ve won 8 and voided 1 since Tuesday alone, including a full sweep in our last 3 MLS games and last 4 Confederation Cup games! Tonight, we’ll attack the Confederations Cup, NASL league and MLS once more. It’s great when you’re on a good run. More bets seem to jump out at you and you can be aggressive. Hopefully this sweeping form continues, but being that it’s bound to end at some point, let’s just at least hope for a majority decision here this evening.
Confederations – Brazil vs. Italy – (8.00pm)
Both sides are safely through to the next round, producing 11 goals in 4 games between them. Despite the results showing 2 clean sheets in 2 for Brazil, I think their defence is a weak link and the part of this team that could cost them the World Cup, or probably will in-fact. After giving hapless Mexico a goal through a disastrous penalty, Italy’s defence then conspired to give away another to Japan on an awful back pass, before allowing Kagawa to pick up the ball after missed clearances and fire home. Italy eventually won their opening games 2-1 and 4-3 with late goals from Balotelli and Giovinco. The possibility of Pirlo missing out aside, I think both teams have the ability to cut each other apart on a regular basis in this game, and I think both Neymar and Balotelli are too in-form not to be on the score sheet against defences like these.
Confederations – Japan vs. Mexico – (8.00pm)
Japan were absolutely unbelivable against Italy, unluckily losing 4-3 late on after controlling the game and even playing Spanish like football for large parts. Japan I weren’t overly impressed with in Game 1, and they have long been on the decline, but if Kagawa and co can produce a similar performance I have now doubt they’d actually trample a Mexico side I am very familiar with. Mexico have been playing extremely poor football with no idea of how to break any team down. After their winless streak of 7, they eventually beat Jamaica 1-0, but they’re now once again winless in 4 and have a majorly hard job of catching the USA at the top of the qualification group and probably even Costa Rica. There’s an outside chance that Mexico may be forced in to a playoff to qualify for the world cup, and given the strength of the group (US aside), I can’t imagine that’s happened for a very long time. Maybe we should credit Japan as they were the first team to quality for the world cup, and did so fairly easily. If Japan can keep possession in the way they did against Italy, this result may be in no doubt, but certainly the DNB option gives us good cover as Mexico have drawn 8 of their last 11 games.
NASL – Carolina Railhawks vs. Minnesota – (12.00am)
Carolina will move top of the NASL with a win this evening, over a Minnesota side that they’ve beaten 3 consecutive games on this ground, scoring 10 goals in that time period. Minnesota are 3rd in the NASL table and bar goal difference also have a chance to push on towards 1st place this evening, but their inconsistent road form has caused them problems so far this season. Carolina have won all 7 of their home games so far this season, including a combined 5 goals against the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA in the US Open Cup, scoring 20 goals overall in the 7 game run. Moreover, the Railhawks have posted 28 wins in their 41 home games in this league, a most impressive record. Minnesota only managed 1 road win last season and I can’t help but feel they’re slightly over achieving based on home form. Despite road wings against 1st and 4th place this season, they’ve already lost to 7th and 8th place also. Their offense has also let them off lightly, seeing as the Minnesota defence has conceded 2 goals in all 4 of their outings so far, also being eliminated from the US Open Cup by an amateur side.
MLS – DC United vs. San Jose – (12.00am)
The Earthquakes are out of form by their standards, but having picked up 7 results in their last 9 outings, I think they’re in considerably better shape than a DC side that hasn’t won in 13. Moreover, it doesn’t get much worse than taking a 1-0 lead at home to Toronto FC and still losing. This game sums up better than any the changing fortunes in MLS though, and how the mighty can fall. Last season the only meeting of these sides saw 1st placed San Jose beat 2nd placed DC United 5-3 midway through the season. Now, DC would kill for 3 goals in 3 games, let alone 1. 3 goals in their last 8 games is possible the worst return I’ve ever seen in the MLS, and the absences of first choice striker Pontius and midfielders Saragosa and Augusto won’t help the cause this evening. I think DC may be beyond saveable and although it’s hard to do, I think nothing changes until they make the brave decision to kick Ben Olsen. San Jose kicked long-time manager Yallop and has since won 2-1 in Colorado. Their usual physical style was x10 in the last game and has been growing by the week, and I can see it paying off against a soft as DC defence. If you don’t have the desire and strength to out jump 5ft something Robert Earnshaw, best of luck being smashed to bits for 90 minutes by Lenhart, Gordon and Jahn. Last season’s top MLS scorer Wondolowski isn’t scoring and that’s not right, considering he’s had the most shots on goal in MLS this season (57) and I think it’s only a matter of time before we see him go goal crazy in a single game.
MLS – Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire – (1.00am)
Every time we go against the Crew they seem to upset us, so let’s see if they can keep it to form with us backing them, against a Chicago side that hasn’t won any of their 6 road games, and have scored only 2 goals. There’s no doubt that Chicago became more of a goal threat the second Mike Magee signed, and low and behold the man now has 5 goals in his first 5 Chicago games, which adds to the 4 goals he scored in his first 4 games in LA this season. Can the Crew stop Magee scoring like no one else really has? Possibly. Williams and Marshall were stellar in their 2-0 win over Montreal last week, and with another week to settle in at the back, I see no problems at that end. Higuain has done nothing but score, assist and slaughter teams ever since we backed against the Crew and I put him down in the New York game. The combination of Higuain and former Fire striker Dom Oduro has been lethal, and although the Fire are well familiar with the pace of Oduro, maybe they’re too familiar and a lack of attention on Higuain and the returning Arrieta?
MLS – FC Dallas vs. Sporting KC – (1.30am)
I hate to go against my own team, and I hate backing against us regardless of what form we’re in, because Sporting have so much quality in the right areas there is always a big chance of a result anywhere. However, Zusi and Besler couldn’t have given more effort if they tried in 2 HUGE wins for the US over the last week, and I think all the travelling and a 3rd game in around a week could definitely take a toll. Apart from 1 game for Chile goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, FC Dallas is lucky to have as much quality as they have yet no real international players. It’s hard to argue with a team that has won 7 and drawn 1 at home in MLS, and having already seen off Houston, LA, Real Salt Lake and Portland at home I’d call this the last remaining test for FC Dallas in terms of facing top teams. Although, Sporting are horribly out of form and don’t reflect a top team right now. Sporting made a good start and for the third season in a row have pulled their mid-season trick of winning just 1 in 8, or 1 in 9 if you consider their cup exit at home to USL Pro side Orlando City. I think Sporting will have enough to keep themselves in the game for 90 minutes here as they usually do, but Dallas should break them down at some point (especially in the wide areas).
Italy/Brazil: Over 2.5 @ 1.83 with Sky Bet
Japan Draw no bet @ 1.86 with Matchbook
Carolina Railhawks win @ 1.95 with BetVictor
San Jose Earthquakes -0.25 @ 2.14 with Pinnacle
Columbus Crew -0.25 @ 2.06 with Pinnacle
FC Dallas -0.25 @ 2.09 with Pinnacle