It’s a top of the table clash in Washington, DC this Sunday evening when DC United, fourth in the MLS Eastern Conference, welcome second-placed Philadelphia Union to Audi Field. Despite the strong league position of these two teams, neither has been in especially good form in their recent games.
DC United drew 0-0 away at Chicago Fire in their last game, following on from a 2-0 defeat away at Atlanta United. Ben Olsen’s team will be hoping for a return to form now that they are back on home soil again. The Union have been inconsistent in their recent outings. They have won one game in four, a run that includes 4-0 defeats away at Real Salt Lake and, in their last game, away at Montreal.
DC United vs Philadelphia Union Prediction: United 1-1 Union
Our prediction for this game is that it will end in a 1-1 draw. While these two teams are near the top of the Eastern Conference, neither has looked especially convincing in recent weeks. The Union, in particular, have shown an alarming tendency to concede a lot of goals. If they are serious about winning trophies this season, that needs to change. United, for their part, will be pleased to be back at home after some tricky away trips. We think that this will be a hard-fought, close game of few scoring chances.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, who are offering odds of 3/1 on the game being a draw where both teams score. This bet matches our prediction of a 1-1 draw perfectly, while also giving you some flexibility when it comes to the actual final scoreline. The odds of 3/1 offer some decent value to astute punters too. Neither of these teams has been in particularly good form in recent weeks, and we suspect that confidence is low in both groups of players. This makes a low-scoring draw the likeliest result in our view.
This game on Sunday in Washington, DC will be the first meeting of these two teams in the 2019 MLS campaign. Last season, the Union met United twice, and emerged victorious on both occasions. The first meeting was in April, and was a close affair. The team from the city of brotherly love edged past the team from the capital 3-2 in Philadelphia. In August last year, the teams met at Audi Field for the first time, and Union won the game 2-0. Fafa Picaul scored one of the goals.
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Players to watch: Wayne Rooney & Jamiro Monteiro
Former England international Wayne Rooney remains DC’s top performer when it comes to attacking play in 2019. The ex-Everton and Manchester United man leads both the goalscoring and assist charts for his club, having scored 11 goals and provided seven assists for his team-mates. Four of his goals have come from the penalty spot, and five have turned out to be game-winning goals. If United are to return to winning ways they will need Rooney to be on form.
Jamiro Monteiro is a doubt for this game, but the Union could really do with him being fit to face United. The Dutch-born Cape Verde international offers stability in midfield, and has provided seven assists for his team-mates in 2019. He could feature on the bench, having returned to full training earlier this week after suffering an ankle injury in early July. His quality in the middle of the park would certainly give Union a boost.