DC United, without a win in four games, welcome San Jose Earthquakes to Audi Field on Sunday. United, despite their recent poor run, are still sitting top of the MLS Eastern Conference, after drawing 3-3 at home to Chicago Fire in midweek. Ben Olsen’s team will be without key defenders for Sunday’s game, with Oniel Fisher having undergone knee surgery recently and Donovan Pines being out with knee sprain. Another defender, Joseph Mora, is doubtful with a head injury.
For Matias Almeyda’s Earthquakes, who are down in ninth place in the MLS Western Conference, it is all about building on the three victories in their last four games. Last Sunday, the Earthquakes enjoyed a 2-1 win away at Toronto FC, coming from behind to secure a fine victory.
DC United vs. San Jose Earthquakes Prediction: United 1-1 Earthquakes
Our prediction for this contest is that it will end in a 1-1 draw. United have drawn three out of their last four games, and have struggled to win games in recent weeks. They do have home advantage for this contest, though. The Earthquakes have been in good form themselves, with three wins, two draws and defeat in their last six matches. It remains to be seen what effect the long journey eastward will have on the Earthquakes, but they certainly have enough confidence and quality to come away from the capital with a point.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from Paddy Power. The Irish bookie is offering odds of 10/3 on the game being a draw where both teams score. We think that this bet offers good value in terms of the odds on offer, and also gives you some flexibility when it comes to the final scoreline. DC have been drawing plenty of games recently, while San Jose have been in good form. The only thing stopping us backing the Earthquakes to win is that United are at home. A score draw therefore looks a very good bet to us.
As these two sides play in separate conferences of the MLS meetings between them are not especially frequent. The last time they met was last season, when they played in the league at San Jose. DC ended up victorious on that occasion, triumphing 3-1. The season before, in 2017, the teams faced each other in Washington DC, and United won the day again, with a 4-0 scoreline being in their favour that day. In 2016, the game ended all square at 1-1 in San Jose. The Earthquakes’ last victory came in 2015, when they won 2-0 in Washington.
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Players to watch: Ulises Segura & Chris Wondolowski
Costa Rican utility man Ulises Segura scored two goals in midweek in the 3-3 draw with Chicago Fire. Brought into the side on the right wing because Paul Arriola was suspended, Segura showed just what a valuable member of the United squad he is. His goals came either side of the interval, and the energy he showed was crucial to the fightback from two goals down that his team produced.
Earthquakes striker Chris Wondolowski is in fine form at the moment. He scored all of his team’s goals in their recent 4-1 home win over Chicago Fire, and the Kiowa front man bagged a brace against Toronto last time out. Six goals in his last two games means that the DC defence is going to have to keep a close eye on the striker. He had not scored at all this season until his goals against the Fire, though.