Philadelphia Union failed to qualify for the Play-Offs last season after finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, and with fifteen games of the 2018 campaign gone they remain in that very same position. On Saturday Philadelphia play host to a Vancouver Whitecaps side that are enjoying another fruitful MLS season which looks likely to see the Canadians qualify for the Play-Offs yet again. The visitors sit fourth in the Western Conference with twenty-three points from their sixteen league games and could move into the top three if they better LAFC’s result this weekend.
When Vancouver Whitecaps played host to Philadelphia Union back in March the pair played out a forgettable goalless draw. The Canadian hosts were outplayed in their own backyard, managing just one shot on target during the entire ninety minutes. Philadelphia Union looked like the only side that was going to win the game from the early stages, but failed to make their 52% possession and six shots on target count for anything more than a share of the spoils. The game itself was played in good spirits, with just one player from each team receiving a booking. This lack of aggression ended up costing both teams the chance of victory and we may well have had a different game on our hands if either side had put in more challenges and closed their opponents down when in possession.
Despite remaining unbeaten in their last six matches, Vancouver share the tag of form favourites with their hosts as both have picked up the equivalent of ten points from their last six matches. The visitors have won two and drawn four of their last six matches, all of which have arrived in the MLS, while Philadelphia have won three, drawn one, and lost two during that same period, though two of those victories arrived in the US Open Cup. Vancouver Whitecaps have the edge over Philadelphia in their most recent encounters, remaining unbeaten against Saturday’s hosts in their last four meetings which includes two wins and two draws. That along with their six game unbeaten run in the league and their superior standing in the MLS this season suggests that Vancouver have a great chance of picking up a point or maybe even all three on Saturday. Philadelphia have lost their last two in the league and won’t fancy taking on their hard to beat guests this weekend.
Dočkal and Brazilian Ilsinho top scores in the league this season for the home side with three goals apiece and will cause the Vancouver defence the most problems on Saturday. Having said that, Kamara and Techera have scored six goals each in the MLS for the Whitecaps this season and with that kind of scoring power you have to fancy the visitors chances of picking up another positive result this weekend.
We’re confident that Vancouver Whitecaps will take something from Saturday’s trip to Philadelphia and have backed the visitors with a double chance bet. Philadelphia Union have lost their last two in the MLS and Vancouver are in the midst of an unbeaten run, one that looks set to continue this weekend. As for a final score, we’re backing Vancouver Whitecaps to take all three points via a narrow 2-1 scoreline.
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These two clubs have met eight times before, and with three wins, two draws, and two defeats its Vancouver Whitecaps who just edge the head to head record. Vancouver are unbeaten in their last four matches against Philadelphia.
Richie Marquez remains sidelined after a Hernia operation, but is the only Union player expected to miss this weekends game.
Goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic has a knee sprain and is highly doubtful to feature on Saturday, while defender Marcel de Jong could also miss the game due to a hamstring injury.