Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City – MLS, April 23, 2021
Sporting Kansas City will aim to maintain their winning start to the 2021 MLS season when Orlando City visits Children’s Mercy Park on Friday, April 23.
Peter Vermes’ side came from behind to beat the Red Bulls 2-1 on the opening weekend. Meanwhile, the Lions produced a goalless draw with Atlanta United.
You can find my Sporting KC vs. Orlando City prediction and betting pick below.
Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City Odds
With the home-field advantage on their side, the Wizards are the bookmakers’ favorites to win this clash. Still, the high price for the home win suggests that Orlando will put up a fight on Friday.
10bet may view Oscar Pareja’s team as the outsider here, but it is worth noting that Orlando (1.78 PPG) didn’t finish too far behind Sporting KC (1.86 PPG) in the overall standings last season.
Sporting KC Analysis
Having finished atop the Western Conference last year, SKC was expected to hit the ground running in 2021. Going behind to the Red Bulls early in the second half wasn’t part of the plan.
However, Vermes’ men managed to come from behind and steal all three points last weekend.
When Gadi Kinda converted a penalty just before the hour mark, the Wizards were back in the game. A minute later, Daniel Salloi netted SKC’s second goal – and the team was able to fend off the Red Bulls for the final 30 minutes.
The Wizards showed the kind of solidity that saw them finish the previous campaign with the third-best defensive record in the West. After conceding the first goal, SKC recovered and then kept things tight at the back.
With stars like Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido only coming off the bench last time out, Vermes clearly has plenty of options.
Orlando City Analysis
Looking at the final scoreline, you could be forgiven for thinking that Orlando’s goalless draw against Atlanta was a dull affair. In fact, it was a hugely intriguing encounter.
Both sides racked up 11 shots, while both teams recorded three attempts on target.
With ex-AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato leading the line, the Lions’ new-look forward line showed glimpses of real quality. The Brazilian partnered Tesho Akindele in attack, while Chris Mueller and Nani provided service from the wide areas.
When those guys get into their groove, Orlando will be tough to stop.
Pareja’s men were the second-highest scorers in the Eastern Conference last season. If Mueller and Nani continue to create chances for Pato, they could easily be the East’s top scorers this year.
Sporting KC vs. Orlando City Betting Pick
Sporting KC showed great spirit to come from behind and win last weekend, but I think Vermes’ men will find life more difficult against Orlando. After all, the Lions finished nine points ahead of the Red Bulls last term.
Pareja’s men may not have scored on the opening weekend, although keeping a clean sheet against Atlanta is a decent achievement. I can see Orlando frustrating Vermes’ side, too, so the draw is my SCK vs. Orlando betting pick.