- Philadelphia is down 0-2 after the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal
- Club America is top of the Liga MX after eight games having conceded just three goals
- Read on for betting odds, a full preview and a best bet for Wednesday night’s game
If the Philadelphia Union are to become just the eighth club from MLS to advance to the final of the CONCACAF Champions League, they’re going to have to do it the hard way. Having already lost 2-0 to Club America in the first leg at the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City last month, Jim Curtin’s team will have to go for broke here.
As a result, the Union should be firing on all cylinders tonight to score at least two goals to take the game to extra time, or possibly three or more to win it.
Philadelphia Union vs Club America Odds
|Philadelphia Union vs Club America||PHI -1 (+370) | AME +1 (-185)||PHI +125 | AME +190 | DRAW +230||Ov 2.5 (-118) | Un 2.5 (-118)|
Odds as of September 15th at FanDuel
One thing going in Curtin’s favor is that he will have an almost fully healthy squad to pick from, having not played since September 3. The only couple of issues lie with Brazilian winger Ilsinho, who has a thigh problem, while striker Sergio Santos is a doubt after picking up a knock in training.
— PhilaUnion🛡 (@PhilaUnion) September 13, 2021
On the plus side, the team does have Jamiro Monteiro and Matt Real available to them tonight, with the pair having been suspended for the first leg.
America the Great
Club America is one of the storied teams in Mexican soccer history, with a record 13 league titles and six Copa Mexico titles, to go along with a record seven CONCACAF Champions League/Champion Cup titles. The team is certainly living up to its reputation in the early going in Mexico, sitting three points clear at the top of the Mexican league with six wins and two draws, having scored 12 goals and conceding just three.
— Cesar Hernandez (@cesarhfutbol) September 13, 2021
And Santiago Solari will have an almost full deck of cards to draw on here. Ecuadorian international winger Renato Ibarra is out with a long-term thigh injury, while midfielders Leonardo Suarez and Santiago Naveda may also miss out on this game.
Philly’s Form Hard to Trust
Despite the long rest, the Union have not played well of late, with their last win occurring almost one month ago, in a 1-0 decision at home to New York City. Since then, the team has drawn against Montreal before losing at DC United and then at home to the New England Revolution.
While Philadelphia is obviously missing the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Mark McKenzie, who both left for Europe over the winter, it has struggled to come close to the form it displayed last year in winning the Supporters’ Shield. Consequently, it is struggling to hang on to a playoff spot in a competitive MLS Eastern Conference.
Makin' moves in the East. ↕️ pic.twitter.com/cCDjdtc95r
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 13, 2021
However, the team should get a boost from the return of some of its players who were off on international duty early this month, such as defensive midfielder Jose Martinez.
— Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (@TheChampions) May 6, 2021
Goals In Short Supply
One red flag going into this match is the lack of goals for the Union. Needing at least two to take the tie to extra time – and even more if Club America gets on the scoresheet – it’s hard to see where those goals will come from.
Philadelphia has scored multiple goals just once in its previous 10 games across all competitions, and just three times in its last 15. The Union’s 28 goals scored is slap bang in the middle of the Eastern Conference, and while it’s slightly less than their xG of 29.8, it’s not a world away.
Philadelphia Union vs Club America 2020-21 Stats
|3-1-1||2021 Champions League Record||3-1-1|
Philadelphia Union vs Club America Prediction
When you have a team in its first continental tournament going up against the most successful team in the history of that tournament, already down 0-2 from the first leg and in a poor vein of form, there’s only likely to be one outcome.
Philadelphia needs to win, while Club America would likely happily settle for a draw. Given the lack of goalscoring from the home side tonight, that seems a plausible result.
Best bet: Draw (+230)