Orlando City will play host to Philadelphia Union on Thursday, July 22, at Exploria Stadium, where Union won both of their last two visits with 4-1 and 3-1. However, these two teams last met in Orlando way back in 2019, despite playing in the same conference.
Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union
When: Thursday, July 22 – 19:30 EDT
Where: Exploria Stadium in Orlando, Florida
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms, 29°C
Referee: Alan Kelly (USA)
Only one point separates these two MLS sides, with Philadelphia Union currently sitting in the #2 place in the Eastern Conference. Orlando City are two spots below; however, the team from Florida have played one game fewer, meaning that their table positions could easily swap this evening.
For that to happen, however, Orlando City would need to win tonight, and that’s a lot to ask, considering Philadelphia Union are one of the hottest teams in MLS. That said, the same holds true for Orlando City, who have lost only three outings on the season.
In-Form Nani Leading Orlando City to Success
It’s all about the ex-Manchester United forward Nani when Orlando City are discussed. The 34-year-old Portuguese star has scored seven goals on the season, which is four goals more than Orlando City’s second-best scorer, Tesho Akindele.
With Nani’s input, this team has managed to win six games this season. They also drew four and lost three matches so far. What’s worrying is that two of their three defeats have happened in the past three MLS rounds. In fact, Orlando City are without a win in almost a month.
Their biggest problem over the last couple of weeks has been their defence. Orlando City conceded at least a goal in their previous four matches. The total tally of allowed goals in those four games is seven, which is more than a half of all the goals they’ve conceded so far in the 2021 season.
Philadelphia Union Has Switched Gears
Philadelphia Union weren’t too great in the early stages of the season, but there’s an explanation for that – they had continental duties during that period. It was April when they had to play four games in the CONCACAF Champions League, which shifted their focus away from the domestic league, and as a result, iffy performances followed.
However, those days are gone, and Philadelphia Union have since started playing fantastic football, earning them no.2 spot in the conference with a 6-5-3 record. They seem strong in all aspects of the game, as evident from the fact that their score difference is 18-13.
Same as Orlando City, they also went through a small dip in the form a few weeks ago. In the previous round, they put on a solid performance against DC United, who they beat 2-1; however, you could make a case that the match should end in a draw.
For tonight’s match, the visitors will be without Cory Burke, Alvas Powell, and GK Andre Blake, who are on international duty. Adding to that, Anthony Fontana and Ilsinho are both doubtful, while Jack de Vries is definitely out with an injury.
Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union Betting Picks
Orlando City finished last term fourth in the Eastern Conference, six points short of Philadelphia Union, who came out on top. Despite Union’s success last season, it’s important to note that they have managed only 16 points from 12 away games, whereas Orlando City secured eight more from 11 home outings.
Even this season, Philadelphia Union were not as successful on the road, managing 10 points from seven outings, and are without an away win across their last four. On the other side, Orlando City managed a 3-2-1 record at Exploria stadium on the season and are coming into the match following a 1-1 draw against Toronto FC.
The home advantage should be the decisive factor in tonight’s match.
Pick: Orlando City -0.50 Asian Handicap
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