Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday April 25th – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: New England Revolution 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Real Salt Lake 14/5
New England Revolution host Real Salt Lake on Saturday night in a game which will see the Revs looking to continue their impressive run of form as they will hope to extend their unbeaten run to six. While Real Salt Lake will look to bounce back following their first defeat of the season last weekend to the Vancouver Whitecaps.
It’s no surprise that the Revs have got back into the swing of things after a poor start to the campaign. They now look more like the side that made it to the MLS Cup final last season and it coincides with key players coming back from injury, which has led to morale-boosting performances as that showed as they came from behind to win against the Philadelphia Union last Sunday.
The goal conceded against Philadelphia Union last time out was the first the Revs have conceded in 250 minutes of play – the fifth longest streak in MLS this season.
Going unbeaten through their last five has seen them propel up the Eastern Conference into third behind first-placed New York Red Bulls and DC United. All three teams are on 11 points but New England have played two more than the Red Bulls and one more than DC United after seven weeks.
Western Conference side Real Salt Lake come into this one in seventh place in a conference that sees five teams on nine points. RSL do have a game in hand over some of their opponents in the chasing pack for those all important playoff places at this early stage and will hope to leave New England with three points on Saturday night.
Since the 3-3 draw with the Union, Real Salt Lake have only scored three goals in the four corresponding fixtures. The loss of Joao Plata before the season began seems to be the reason behind the teams lack of goals.Embed from Getty Images
After the visit to New England, Real Salt Lake face tough home games against San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy, so three points will give them a confidence boost going into those two matches.
Plus a win could see them elevate as high as third in what is a very congested Western Conference.
This fixture could cause some problems for the Revs as they have failed to beat Real Salt Lake in their last seven meetings, with their last win coming back in 2009 as they prevailed 3-1.
The last time the two sides met, RSL ran out 2-1 winners in a match that saw the return of Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando from the 2014 World Cup.
New England could welcome back Daigo Kobayashi who looks to have recovered from his hamstring strain, but Chris Tierney could miss out along with Jose Goncalves and Darrius Barnes.
Real Salt Lake will be without Joao Plata, who is a long-term absentee along with Chris Schuler, who is still 4-6 weeks away with his torn medial meniscus. Doubts remain over Sebastian Jaime, who has been suffering with a right tibia fracture.
New England Revolution’s last five: D/W/W/D/W
Real Salt Lake’s last five: D/W/W/D/L
Key Stat: In the 18 fixtures between the two, Real Salt Lake have won nine of them.
Key Player: Kelyn Rowe – New England’s top goalscorer is already on two for the season, and will aim to keep on firing to end this seven game duct in which the Revs have failed to beat Real Salt Lake. An impressive performance will be needed against a defensive RSL side.
New England Revolution 2-1 Real Salt Lake – The Revs are long overdue a win in this fixture and they should seal all three points this week as they strive towards the top spot in the Eastern Conference.