Eight previews sent to clubgowi subscribers today, covering English, J-League and MLS games, you can read one below .............
MLS: New England Revolution- Real Salt Lake
In early season I spoke about Revolution's offensive options and how they had looked to tighten up the other side of things in the off season ..........
Revolution will be hungry in their home debut after starting with two away and fruitless trips to Colorado and Dallas. They will be pleased to be back home, where they won their final four home starts last season, with an 11-2 goal difference, all by 2 +. Despite that run, they missed out on the playoffs on a tiebreaker, which was painful, Kei Kamara, Lee Nguyen , Kelyn Rowe, Diego Fagundez and Juan Agudelo , give them as much offensive potential as almost anyone in MLS and they made upgrading the defense in the off season their priority and the signings of Benjamin Angoua and Antonio Delamea Mlinar, plus the return from injury of defensive midfielder Xavier Kouassi who made his debut last week eight months after his signing, should really (eventually) strengthen their central defensive spine . Huge game for them, as they are back on the road next week with a long and always difficult trip to Portland and I am expecting a big showing.
They certainly showed that they have goals in them, scoring five that day (four coming via the players named above), but did concede twice and those issues have clearly yet to be addressed and they have conceded an Eastern Conference high 16 goals , through ten starts.
Mostly famine with a bit of feat thrown in the middle from RSL, who, after going without a win in their first five starts, posted solid back to back wins, before going off the rails again to lose their last three, conceding nine goals, three in each. They sit second from bottom in the West and feel like the archetypal team in transition, they waved goodbye to Javier Morales after ten seasons through which he has contributed to 121 goals , including 71 assists and that just in MLS games and he led them to pretty much constant success, missing out on the post season just once in 9 years. They had lost prolific scorer Alvaro Saborio the year before and these are franchise leading players that are very difficult to replace. Their long in the tooth squad was getting a little stale, but I am not sure the changes and more direct approach has worked, they stumbled over the finishing line last season and have yet to find their footing, winning just 2 of 17 MLS starts since the end of August. Joao Plato was supposed to pick up some of the slack last season and did so until August with 9 goals and 9 assists, but only one assist and no goals since and when you have limited outlets, teams soon work out how to stifle the threat.
They have a great goalkeeper in Nick Rimando (pictured), probably the best all time in MLS , but he was asked to face an addition shot on target per game last season compared to 2015 and the backline in front of him needs replacing and are made to look better than they are by his brilliance, witness the five losses (one draw) in the six games he has missed in the last 12 months, they have a 0-11 goal difference in those with the whole team seeming set up to offer protection for his replacement at the cost of anything offensively. He looks set to miss out again this weekend and Real are a little depleted defensively.
This is a game which usually produces goals and NER have conceded 7 in their last three to offer some hope for the visitors and they have missed a MLS high 11 "big chances" this year, not 100% sure about that number, it was on the official site , but you get the idea and that will level out at some stage soon. They will probably score one or two, it might not be enough !
1.5 units "over" 3 goals 2.19 asian line/Sportmarket.
Not sure what the Rimando beer tastes like, but it will be no London Pride which is Brentford's favourite tipple, however, for an equally tasty option, check out Sportmarket Pro !