Orlando City FC vs. Philadelphia Union Prediction, Preview and Odds - 7/22/21
Orlando FC is not in top form, as they host the Philadelphia Union where second place in the Eastern Conference is up for grabs.
Philadelphia is coming off a win and they are in second place in the East just one point clear of Orlando. The Union are unbeaten in their last two matches and only have one loss in their last 11 matches. They have a goal differential of +5 and while they do not have the most dynamic attack their defense has only allowed 13 goals in 14 matches.
Orlando played to a draw in their last match and lost their previous two. They have a goal differential of +8 (21 goals conceded 13 goals) but their attack has struggled as of late.
This is the first match between these teams this season.
Przybylko Saves the Day
In the Union’s last match, they were at home and beat DC United 2-1 where Kacper Przybylko scored the game-winning goal in the 83rd minute. Sergio Santos gave Philly an early lead scoring in the 11th minute and the game was tied early in the second half with the Union conceding a penalty. While Philadelphia lost the time of possession battle 44% to 56%, they had more shots (11-9) and more shots on target (4-3).
The Union have some injury issues, as MF Anthony Fontana, Jack de Vries, and Ilsinho are all ruled out and G Andre Blake and FW Cory Burke will not play due to international duty. Przybylko and Cory Burke lead Philly with four goals apiece and Jamiro Monteiro leads the club with four assists. The Union had only scored one goal in two matches before scoring two in their last one. They have played to a draw in their last two matches facing Orlando.
In their last match, Orlando was on the road and played to a 1-1 draw against Toronto, who are only one point out of the basement in the Eastern Conference. FC has only tallied one goal in each of their last three matches. In the last one they gave up the lead in the 72nd minute and then Nani scored the game-tying goal in the 77th minute. The match was pretty even in terms of time of possession and shots and shots on target. Orlando will try to snap out of their offensive slump facing a Union squad that has conceded the second-fewest goals in the East.
Nani leads the team with seven goals and has three of them in his last five matches. Christopher Mueller and Tesho Akindele lead the club with four assists apiece. The defender duo of Antonio Carlos and Ruan are both out for this match due to injuries and MF Wilfredo Rivera is listed as questionable with a knee injury.
Pick: Draw +260
These teams have played to a draw in the last two matches facing each other and that is the pick for this conference matchup as well. Orlando has only scored one goal in one loss and two draws in their last three matches, and they were less than impressive in their last match facing Toronto, who are near the bottom of the conference table. Both clubs have a good defense, and this encounter will show that as there will not be many chances to score. I look for each club to play well in the midfield but struggle on the attack and I see a 1-1 draw in the Sunshine State on Thursday.
Total: Under 2.5 goals
I am leaning towards the Under in this match. Orlando has only scored one goal in each of their last three matches and the Union had only scored one goal in two matches before netting two in their last one. Both clubs are led by their defense and each has conceded 13 goals. Both teams will be cautious since second place in the East is up for grabs and I do not see either club pressing the issue on the attack. Defense will be the name of the game in this match where the Under is the winning pick.