Bethlehem Steel FC look to keep playoff hopes alive at Indy Eleven

Bethlehem Steel FC play their last regular season road match at Indianapolis. Indy Eleven currently sit two points ahead of Steel FC. This match could prove to be crucial to both sides playoff hopes. Bethlehem look to jump Indianapolis, and move into fifth place in USL’s Eastern Conference with a win.

Steel FC captain, John Chambers plays ball against Ottawa Fury FC. Mandatory Credit: Bethlehem Steel FC.

Both of these sides are looking to fortify their playoff chances. Indy sit in fifth place with two matches left; Steel FC are in sixth place with two matches to play. This match will easily determine which of the two teams clinch a playoff spot. Here’s how both teams are doing heading into this crucial match.

Bethlehem Steel FC’s current form

Steel FC’s recent form has been shaky to say the least. Bethlehem had only four games through the month of September; their record of 1-2-1 is not so inspiring. Losing to Penn FC at home, and Pittsburgh Riverhounds on the road are the low points from the beginning of September. A 4-0 rout vs last place TFC II the loan win of the month, while last weeks 0-0 draw at 7th place Ottawa finished off the month.

At a time where points are so crucial, taking only four points from four matches does not instill much confidence. Indy has not had a great September either.

Indy Eleven’s current form

Indianapolis had a jam-packed September; playing six matches. Their record over those six matches is nothing special. A 2-3-1 record has Indy stuck in the fifth spot, with little chance to catch fourth place Charleston Battery. While they may have missed an opportunity to move up the standings last month, they have not lost a home match since back on July 4th.

A seven game home unbeaten streak is on the line as Steel FC come to town in need of a win to better their playoff chances.

Playoffs?!

Despite both teams bad September’s, both clubs have playoff hopes riding on this  upcoming match. The 5-seed vs 6-seed matchup is like a playoff game before the playoffs.

Indy Eleven have a 97% chance of making the playoffs right now. A win against Steel FC would all bu clinch a playoff spot for Indianapolis. They will have the home field advantage for the crucial matchup with Bethlehem, but Steel FC have a great chance to secure a playoff spot with a win

Steel FC have 84% chance of making the playoffs as of now. They can pass Indy Eleven with a win, moving into fifth place. This would make their playoff making percentage increase dramatically heading into the season finale at home vs Tampa Bay Rowdies October 14th.

Steel FC will need a win in a hostile environment, against a team that could secure their playoff hopes.

Indy Eleven vs Steel FC

In the previous two matchups that these two faced-off in earlier this season, the road team has won both times. Could this be a good omen for Steel FC as they travel to Indy to play this match?

This match will be played at the same time as the Philadelphia Union’s match against Minnesota United, where the Union can secure an MLS playoff berth. This is important as some of the Union players that have regularly played for Steel FC this season may not be available for selection.

Union players Jake McGuire, Anthony Fontana, Marcus Epps and Olivier Mbaizo should be the first-teamers who make the trip to Indy Eleven with Steel FC. Bethlehem will rely heavily on their young core to get the W Saturday night. It’s crunch time for Steel FC. They will be up to the challenge and will show they are a team that will be a part of the 2018 USL playoffs.

Prediction: Indy: 1 – Steel FC: 2

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Mandatory Credit: Bethlehem Steel FC.

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