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Apr 4, 2019
Apr 4, 2019

MLS preview: NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United

NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United odds

Do NY Red Bulls have unattainable expectations?

Will Minnesota benefit from a change in style?

Why NY Red Bulls should dominate Minnesota

MLS preview: NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United
Perennial MLS Cup contenders NY Red Bulls host Minnesota United after a relatively shaky start to the season. Can the home side get their season going with a big win? Read on to inform your NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United preview.

NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United odds

NY Red Bulls carry a strong reputation with them in MLS and with the added benefit of home field advantage, it’s no surprise to see them as such strong favourites - the market has them at over 60% chance of getting all three points.

This fixture also pits the fifth-highest scorers from last season (NY Red Bulls scored 1.82 goals per game) against the second-worst defence (Minnesota United conceded at a rate of 2.08 goals per game). This is the likely reason for the Over/Under being set at 3 goals, but the under is stil the most likely outcome according to the odds with a 52% chance.

NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United: Key information

Date: Saturday, April 8

Time: 23:00 (UTC) kickoff

Venue: Red Bull Arena

NY Red Bulls vs. Minnesota United predicted lineups

NY Red Bulls

4-2-3-1: Robles (GK), Lawrence, Long, Parker, Murrilo, Davis, Rzatkowski, Royer, Kaku, Muyl, Wright-Phillips

Minnesota United

4-2-3-1: Mannone (GK), Calvo, Boxall, Opara, Metanire, Gregus, Alonso, Ibarra, Quintero, Ibarra, Rodriguez 

Do NY Red Bulls have unattainable expectations?

New York Red Bulls have quite an incredible record over the past decade of MLS.Since an abysmal season in 2009 where they finished bottom of the Eastern Conference (winning only five of 30 games), they have made it to the playoffs in every single season

There is a potential mismatch here in terms of attack vs. defence and with home field advantage, the NY Red Bulls -1 Handicap looks like a solid bet.

While the team tends to run into struggles when it comes to the postseason (they’ve only reached the MLS Cup Final on one occasion - losing out to Columbus Crew in 2008), the fact that they’ve won the Eastern Conference five times in the last nine years shows how strong this team is.

The fact that Chris Armas’ side broke the record for the most regular season points last year (71) shows that NY Red Bulls are continuing to develop and grow as a team. They still need to improve when it comes to the high-pressure matches but no one can doubt their quality in the regular season.

Many believe NY Red Bulls are one of the strongest and deepest teams in MLS right now. The loss of Tyler Adams to RB Leipzig will have hurt, but it would be a major surprise if this team wasn’t competing for CONCACAF Champions League qualification come the end of the season. The question is really whether they can get their hands on some silverware as well.

Will Minnesota benefit from a change in style?

Minnesota United’s tactics last season weren’t exactly pleasing on the eye and their results and final league position was evidence of that. The weakness for this team is really at the defensive end of the field - only Orlando City (74) conceded more goals than Minnesota (71) in the whole of MLS last season - so their tactic of just keep the ball away from their final third is understandable to a degree.

It would appear that recruitment in the offseason has been focused around addressing these defensive issues and this would ultimately lead to the attackers having more ball possession to work with. This is obviously a period of transition and while we’ve seen some improvement in the first four games, the low possession numbers (an average below 45%) suggest this tactical shake up is still a work in progress.

It is important to note that this is only Minnesota’s third season playing MLS and, rather than “rebuilding”, they are still just building. The expected goals numbers from last season do suggest that Minnesota were unfortunate to conceded so many (they had figures of 58.2 xGA - a 12.8 discrepancy from their actual numbers) so sneaking into the playoffs isn’t out of the picture for this year. 

Why NY Red Bulls should dominate Minnesota

It’s difficult to see this fixture ending up as anything other than a NY Red Bulls win. Although it’s been a fairly shaky start to the season, the five-time Easter Conference winners have too much firepower for what is still one of the poorest defences in MLS.

Having already been eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League, NY Red Bulls will be focused on getting back on track in the league and this weekend’s fixture is the perfect opportunity to do it. There is a potential mismatch here in terms of attack vs. defence and with home field advantage, the NY Red Bulls -1 Handicap at 1.934* looks like a solid bet (especially when you consider they had the best defence in the league last year and only conceded 0.97 goals per game).

The potential for a high scoring victory also means the Over 3 goals at 2.030* could offer value, especially when it means the margin of victory doesn’t matter.

Odds subject to change

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