The midweek MLS action for the 2022 season begins on Wednesday night when the first non-weekend game of the campaign takes place as FC Cincinnati take on Toronto FC in a clash between two Eastern Conference sides.
These two shouldn’t need much time to acquaint themselves to one another as they met as recently as Saturday when Cincinnati won 2-1 in Canada. This time they meet in Ohio in what feels like a potentially defining match of the campaign of both.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on the Free Sports channel in the UK. The programme begins at 12.35am with the kick off coming shortly after.
The win in Canada on Saturday was the third of the season for FC Cincinnati. This is a big campaign for them because they have offered little to nothing to the competition in their opening two full terms in the league and at the very least they need to be showing that progress is being made. With that in mind, it is a positive that a win here would send Chris Albright’s charges into the top six and give them a platform to build from.
Part of the problem Cincinnati have had in their MLS tenure to date has been finding the back of the net. In the two full seasons they have had they have scored 31 and 37 goals while in the 2020 campaign which the pandemic shortened to just 23 outings they scored a ridiculous 12 goals. They currently have 11 from nine this term so that is encouraging. They now need to work on making the Nippert Stadium a tough place to go so that they can climb the league.
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Toronto FC were expected to be challengers this season by a number of judges, myself included, and while there is no doubt that they will finish the campaign strong when Lorenzo Insigne arrives and embellishes himself into the side, they will want to be in a position to strike upon his arrival. With that in mind, they will be eager to win here to move back into the top seven and then look to build on a victory with a sustained run of form.
The immediate concern for Toronto FC heading into this match is that they are yet to win on their travels in the MLS this term. That includes two draws and two defeats so if they are going to achieve what they, and I, hope they can then they are going to need to find a way to perform on the road. Having conceded 19 goals in their nine matches so far this term they also need to come up with a way to stop goals going in their net.
This isn’t the easiest league to bet on when it comes to midweek matches because teams tend to do a lot of rotating, although with this being the first midweek game for both these sides in the MLS this term that might keep it to a minimum when it comes to changes. Both teams have defensive issues for this match. Cincinnati have been without a couple of defenders for a couple of weeks while Toronto boss Bob Bradley hinted that a couple of his star defenders won’t be available for this match.
One person who might be is Ayo Akinola who returned to action after nine months out when these two met on Saturday and he might be given a slightly longer role here. I expect to see goals in this game. Jesus Jimenez is one of the joint leading scorers in the league while in Luciano Acosta and Alejandro Pozuelo both teams have someone who creates a lot of chances. Cincinnati matches are averaging more than three goals this season which extends to 3.75 goals per game at home. Toronto FC games are averaging a shade under four goals this term and that goes up to 4.5 on their travels. When you put all those statistics together combined with some key defenders missing I think over 3 goals is the way to play this one.
Back Over 3 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.80 with BetVictor
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