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Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City
When: Friday, April 23 – 18:30 CDT
Where: Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: Rain, 13°C
Referee: Joseph Dickerson
Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City are set to clash in the second round of the 2021 MLS season. Last season’s winner of the Western Conference started the new one with a 2-1 win against New York Red Bulls on the road.
In their first game at home this season, Sporting will face off against Orlando City, who are coming to Kansas after a 0-0 draw with Atlanta Utd in their season opener.
Oddsmakers favor the hosts, but history has thought us that Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City matchups are always hard to predict. For example, Orlando won their previous meeting, despite being a 4.50 pre-game underdog.
Fans Will Be There to Support Sporting
COVID might not be yet over in Kansas, but the local government has decided to let the fans attend certain events. Those include games taking place at Children’s Mercy Park.
Having their fans to cheer them on should give Sporting players a boost. Still, as they proved in the previous game, they seem not to mind whether there are fans in the stands or not.
In Round 1 of the 2021 MLS, they played against NY Red Bulls in front of empty stands of Red Bull Arena in Harrison. The hosts were favored by the sportsbooks before the kick-off, but also during the game. In fact, after Red Bull got themselves a lead in 48′, it seemed certain the home team was going to get a win.
However, Sporting players then showed resilience, scoring two goals in the space of two minutes. First, it was the Israeli midfielder top scorer last year (7 goals in 18 games) Gadi Kinda who got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot in 59′.
In 61′, Hungarian forward Daniel Salloi made it 2-1 for Sporting, scoring only his second goal since September 2019.
Kansas City need to count themselves lucky to get all three points in that game, the reason being that they had only three shots on the opposition goal. To win once again, they will have to create way more chances tonight.
Despite Their Offensive Might, Orlando Fail to Score in Opening Round
Orlando City boast some fantastic forwards in the squad this season. Former ex-AC Milan superstar Alexandre Pato is one of them. Then, there’s also Orlando’s captain Nani, who won the Champions League with Manchester United among other things.
Orlando also has some super-talented players who might be flying under the radar of football fans, particularly those from Europe. For instance, Chriss Mueller, a 24-year-old American winger was superb in 2020. He was this team’s second-best scorer, as well as their second-best assistant.
Orlando’s top scorer in 2020, Daryl Dike who moved to Barnsley in the English Championship in February. Orlando’s top assists maker in 2020, Mauricio Pereyra is expected to miss tonight’s game.
Unlike Dike, Pereyra is still in the club, however, he is serving a ban for “serious foul play” in the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. He was out in the opening round as well, which may explain why Orlando City looked pretty anaemic, despite playing in front of 11,500 fans.
Neither team managed to score in the Orlando City vs Atlanta Utd game in the opening round, in what was a rather boring game. Each team had 11 goal attempts, with only three of those pointed towards the goal.
Sporting Kansas City vs Orlando City Betting Picks
Sporting need to be thought of as the favorites to win this game. Still, finding the net against Orlando is not going to be easy.
In the previous three meetings between these two, we saw a total of 5 goals, which accounts for 1.66 goals per game. We probably aren’t going to see the average going (much) up after tonight’s match.
Prediction: Under 3.00 Goals
Prediction: Orlando City +0.50 AH