Whatever happens in the MLS Cup final this weekend, we’re guaranteed to see a new name on the trophy, with Toronto and Seattle Sounders both preparing for their first ever final.
So, will hosts Toronto continue their high-scoring ways to justify their short price for victory? Or will the Sounders build on their impressive head-to-head record against the Reds?
Here’s how the Ladbrokes News team are calling it.
Altidore can be late difference-maker
Fans of Hull City and Sunderland may be struggling to comprehend why we’re tipping up Jozy Altidore to score after the striker’s dismal stints in the Premier League. But hear us out…
The 27-year-old is enjoying a new lease of life in Toronto, with his energy, physicality and rediscovered eye for goal. And those attributes have made him especially useful in the latter stages of games, as the Reds grind their opponents down.
Indeed, 13 of the 28 times Altidore has found the net for Toronto in the MLS has been with the final goal of the game. That makes the 9/2 for him to be the last goalscorer look like a terrific bet.
Seattle’s assist king can be contained
It’s fair to say the signing of Nicolas Lodeiro earlier this year was quite a coup for the Washington state club, with the pass master living up to his reputation and unsurprisingly winning the MLS Newcomer of the Year prize for 2016.
A lynchpin of the Uruguay side which won Copa America in 2011 and reached the knockouts in successive World Cups, the 27-year-old chalked up five assists in his first nine games at Seattle.
However, opponents have begun to focus more resources on the former Ajax ace, pressuring him on the ball and keeping men close to him at all times. And while his fierce long-range finishing is hard to contain, he hasn’t set-up a goal in his last nine games. Toronto can take that dry spell into double figures.
Expect visitors to play on the break
In only two of their last 10 away games have the Sounders created more chances than their opponents – but they’ve retained a decent record on their travels, with four wins and two draws in that period.
And there’s little chance they’ll change their counter-attacking approach at Toronto’s BMO Stadium, especially against a side who tend to dominate possession and set up in an attacking 3-5-2.
With Reds’ head coach Greg Vanney and Seattle’s Brian Schmetzer both having a distinct approach to game management, this could well turn out to be a fascinating battle of wits in the dugout – as well as on the pitch.
And with the finalists each having scored in every one of their last seven games, the 8/11 for Both Teams to Score looks like a no-brainer.
Looking forward to the big match? Place your bets and watch the action unfold live at Ladbrokes.com
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing