Orlando City vs. FC Cincinnati – MLS, May 1, 2021
Following back-to-back draws, the Lions will be confident of recording their first win of the 2021 MLS season when Cincinnati visits Exploria Stadium on Saturday, May 1.
Having managed to steal a point off Nashville on the opening weekend, Cincy suffered a humiliating 5-0 thrashing at the hands of New York City last time out.
Before we get to my Orlando City vs. FC Cincinnati prediction and betting pick, let’s look at the odds for Saturday’s clash and assess both sides’ chances.
Orlando vs. Cincinnati Betting Odds
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Orlando City (1.43) is the clear favorite to win this one. In fact, 10bet isn’t giving Cincinnati (6.75) much of a chance at all.
The Lions have yet to win a game this season, but the bookmakers believe the visit of lowly Cincy provides them with the ideal chance to secure their first three-point haul of 2021.
While I completely agree with the bookies’ viewpoint, we still need to take a closer look at the teams before making a final Orlando vs. Cincinnati prediction.
Orlando City vs. FC Cincinnati Preview
Oscar Pareja’s men kicked off their campaign with a goalless draw against Atlanta United, despite seeing just 40% of the ball on the opening weekend.
Last time out, the Lions enjoyed 60% possession against Sporting Kansas City. But they were unable to register their first win of the season, with Nani’s cheeky backheel goal canceling out Gianluca Busio’s first-half strike.
Orlando enjoyed a hugely successful 2020 campaign, finishing fourth in the Eastern Conference before reaching the Conference Semifinals.
It’s fair to say that Pareja’s men haven’t fully gotten into their grove this year. However, they will surely view Saturday’s clash with Cincinnati as the perfect opportunity to seal their first victory of the season.
Unfortunately, Alexandre Pato sustained an injury against Atlanta and missed the game against SKC last weekend. With the new DP sidelined, guys like Nani and Chris Mueller will be expected to step up in his absence.
Let’s face it – Cincy’s opening-day draw with Nashville was a freak result.
Jaap Stam’s men raced into a 2-0 lead inside 12 minutes, with Luciano Acosta and Brenner getting on the scoresheet. But after facing a barrage of 31 shots, they eventually drew 2-2.
Having clinched a rare point against Nashville, the Orange and Blue would have been quietly confident of upsetting the odds against New York City. As it turned out, NYCFC crushed Cincinnati 5-0 at Yankee Stadium.
Cincy gave their fans a glimmer of hope a fortnight ago, but that hope was swiftly turned into despair last weekend.
We all know that Stam’s side has been the worst team in Major League Soccer over the past two years. Sadly, that doesn’t look like changing anytime soon.
Orlando vs. Cincinnati Pick
Orlando City to Win1.43
Stam’s men showed glimpses of promise against Nashville on the opening weekend. However, they quickly returned to their old ways against New York City – making mistakes and conceding goals.
Meanwhile, the Lions can count themselves unfortunate to have only managed a draw against Sporting KC. Following two ties, I’m backing Orlando to overcome Cincy without any problems on Saturday.
The home win is my Orlando City vs. FC Cincinnati betting pick.