Last season’s Supporters’ Shield winners are struggling for form and the Red Bulls can match them in this week’s big MLS game.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best sportsbook sites ahead of this game, we can see that the New England Revolution are the big favourite with all the top bookies. You can back them at 1.85 while the draw is priced up at about 3.75 and the Red Bulls are slight outsiders at 3.80.
|New England Revolution v New York Red Bulls|
|NY Red Bulls||3.60||3.60||3.80|
Assessing the Head to Head Record
The Revolution and the Red Bulls, two of MLS’s founding members, have been meeting on the soccer field in the Eastern Conference since 1996, so there isn’t much these two teams don’t know about each other. When you add in the longstanding animosity between New York and Boston, you have one of the most hotly fought rivalries in MLS.
They’ve met 66 times since 2003, with New England having the upper hand each time. They’ve won this match 30 times, while the Red Bulls have won 17 times and drawn 19 times.
Last season, the Revolution were undefeated against their New York rivals, winning all three regular-season games and scoring nine goals in the process. The Red Bulls nevertheless put up a fight in those games, losing 2-3 on two occasions, so supporters will be hoping for more of the same level of entertainment here.
Slow Start for the Revolution
The pressure of participating in the CONCACAF Champions League at the start of the MLS regular season has proven too much for MLS clubs in the past, and the Revolution seem to be the next side to suffer with the extra early-season commitments.
They’ve won only one of their four games so far and have left the Champions League with nothing to show for their efforts, having gone out on penalties to UNAM of Mexico in the quarter-finals, despite leading 3-0 after the first leg.
Of course, as Bruce Arena would attest, it is frequently preferable to end strong rather than start strong. The Revolution were by far the best team in MLS last season, winning the Supporters’ Shield, but were eliminated in the Conference semi-finals by eventual MLS Cup winners NYCFC.
Signs of Progress for Red Bulls
Last season was Gerhard Struber’s first as head coach of the Red Bulls, and despite a sluggish start, his squad finished seventh in the Eastern Conference, exiting in the first round of the playoffs after a hard-fought extra-time loss to Philadelphia.
Struber’s restructuring has continued into 2022, with a dozen new players arriving in New York, but it seems that there is still more work to be done. The Red Bulls won their first two games, against Toronto and San Jose, but were subsequently defeated at home by Minnesota and restricted to a 1-1 tie at Red Bull Arena by Columbus, so they’ll be hoping for a stronger showing this weekend.
MLS Big Game Team News
Given their demanding early-season schedule, it’s surprising that the Revolution haven’t suffered more serious injuries, but at this point, goalie Matt Turner remains out with a knee issue.
The Red Bulls’ injury list is more concerning, as both Wikelman Carmona and Andres Reyes are out because of foot injuries. More importantly, since their visas have not yet been issued, both Tom Edwards and the new acquisition Luquinhas will be left out of the team.
Betting on Revolution v Red Bulls
The Revolution are heavy favourites to win at home, according to the oddsmakers, but there are considerable reservations about their early-season record.
Despite their excellent regular-season consistency, they finished the 2021 season with nothing to show for their efforts, and their CONCACAF Champions League campaign has been underwhelming. As they enter another arduous Eastern Conference season, there are evident early indicators that they may be struggling to cope with the raised expectations.
After such a good start, the Red Bulls’ previous two games have brought them back down to earth and highlighted the team’s fragility, and Struber could definitely do without the absence of four first-team players for this game.
Still, we can deduce from their previous performances that they are well-equipped to be successful on the road, so with the onus on New England to force the pace, the visitors may be able to replicate those performances against San Jose and Toronto.
The draw seems to be a reasonable bet here, and I wouldn’t expect this match to be as high-scoring as recent meetings have been. Because neither club is firing on all cylinders, this match might end up being a cautious affair, so going with Under on the Over/Under 2.5 goals market makes sense.