Two teams that are very familiar with each other meet in the MLS Eastern Conference Championship match on Thursday as New England hosts Chicago.
It will be the fifth time in six seasons the Fire and Revolution have met in the MLS Cup Playoffs, and New England has won three of the last four matches. For those soccer betting fans this might be something you should keep in mind.
SBG Global Betting Line: New England -1/2, Chicago +1/2, Total 2.5
Three-Way Line: New England -115, Chicago +265, Draw +210
New England comes into the game after back-to-back shutouts in the semifinal series against the New York Red Bulls. "Overall, we are extremely pleased with how the defense has been playing, or how the whole team has been playing defensively rather. We were struggling there at the end of the season giving up goals — giving up late goals — and it seems like we’re back on track right now," said Michael Parkhurst. One oddity about this game is that the Fire has had a week to rest since their win against D.C. United while New England played last Saturday. "It is odd that some teams will have more rest than others in the playoffs," Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis said. During the regular season the teams met three times with Chicago winning two of the three matches.
Chicago will be looking for revenge against New England since they have been eliminated by the Revolution each of the last two years including losing a penalty shootout last year. "We want revenge," Fire forward Chad Barrett said. The Fire are unbeaten in their last 10 games, the final eight of the regular season then the two games (a win and a draw) against D.C. United. "I think the real question is who wants to play us. We’re really the hottest team in the league right now. We’re playing real well on both sides of the ball, and we’re playing with confidence. D.C. United didn’t really want to play us. So we’re just going to keep on fighting hard to play our best," said Fire head coach Juan Carlos Osorio. "We have really developed a strong team spirit here," Osorio said. "We’re playing to our strengths now. We don’t concede too many goals, and our strikers know what they’re all about. We play a much more organized kind of soccer these days." The all-time series between the two teams in the MLS Playoffs is tied 5-5. Chicago has scored 14 goals in those games while New England has scored 11.