DC United have doubts over a number of key players including Birnbaum, Kemp and Nyarko. The hosts could name the same defensive unit, with Robinson and Opare impressing lately. The positive results of late means that wholesale changes are unlikely, Stieber and Arriola have made a positive impact in the wide positions. Mullins adds a physical outlet in attack, could be preferred ahead of Brown. The hosts are favorites for this match, with a -0.5 handicap to overcome. The upturn in form from the hosts makes this handicap justified, DC United have managed to win 3 consecutive games which has lifted the morale of the team. The motivation is high for the hosts, a win would send them level on points with the visitors and boost chances of avoiding a bottom place finish. The 2.75 goals line highlights the difficulty both sides have had in front of goal. DC United have scored just 22 goals in 27 games and rely heavily on staying in contests and winning by the single goal. DC United defend with numbers behind the ball, choosing not to press and allowing opponents to have the ball in non-threatening areas. Tight contest likely.
Orlando City are without the services of Aja due to suspension whilst Spector remains a doubt. This means that Orlando could be weakened in the center of defense, with Leo Pereira and Redding likely to start. Johnson is suspended for an off the pitch incident but Yotun returns from international duty. Kaka will be tasked with creating chances for Larin and Rivas, both have a strong understanding. Orlando are outsiders for this match, with a handicap of +0.5 despite the fact they are above the hosts in the table. The mood in the away side is poor at the moment, Orlando have failed to win any of their last 8 games. The pressure has increased on the coach, defeat here would see the hosts go level on points and increase chances of Orlando finishing bottom of the Eastern Conference. The visitors are lacking confidence because of a poor run of results, which makes the under 2.75 goals line appealing. Averaging just 1 goal a game, Orlando will look to settle into the game and rely on counter attacks. An early goal would make the game more open, should Orlando fall behind they would panic and take risks to get back into the game.
Verdict & Prediction
DC United remain bottom of the Eastern Conference and have endured a poor season overall. However, the club has managed to win their last 3 league games, this run of form has lifted the spirits at the club and given the team a chance of avoiding a bottom placed finish. Motivation high. Recent new signings have had a positive impact at the club. This game carries big significance for DC United, as they face an opponent who are just above them in the table. A win would put the hosts level on points with the visitors. Big incentive to get the win.
Prediction: DC United -0.25 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.74 Pinnacle