Portland Timbers are unable to name the same side which won in the last match. Mabiala is suspended and there are doubts still remaining over Ridgewell, this leaves the centre of defence vulnerable. In midfield, Chara and Guzman are expected to start with back up options having less quality. Going forward, Blanco and Valeri are in good form, both are crucial especially with Adi remaining a doubt. The hosts have been given a -1 handicap for this match which they will expect to overcome. Losing just 1 of their last 5 league games, Portland are full of confidence after an impressive win. The hosts will look to dominate the ball and start on the front foot, taking advantage of the instability that surrounds the opposition, who have recently changed their coach. Portland Timbers will be seeking revenge after a defeat to the visitors earlier in the season. Up against a defensive minded team, scoring early will be crucial and will allow the hosts to relax. The 2.75 goals line is well placed, should Portland concede first they will find it difficult to overcome the goals line as their opponents will take very few risks and defend deep.
Colorado Rapids welcome back da Fonte after suspension, however, the defender is not expected to start this match. Watts and Sjoberg were preferred in the centre of defence in coach Cooke’s first game in charge. The change in formation in the last match meant that Adjei-Boateng was given a rare start, should keep the place. Going forward, Badji, Doyle and Gashi are the key attacking players. The away side are underdogs for this match with a handicap of +1. This is not surprising, as the visitors have scored just 3 away goals all season and have yet to get a win on the road. Recently changing their coach, Colorado lack stability having made an interim appointment. Motivation within the group has been lacking, conceding first is likely to end in a defeat. Colorado Rapids have scored just 3 goals on the road all season, highlighting their problems in the final third. Expect the away side to defend deep for the majority of the match and rely on a direct approach in possession. The best chance of a positive result is to be involved in a low-scoring game, under 2.75 goals line will be the target for the visitors. Conceding early would ruin the game plan.
Verdict & Prediction
Portland Timbers will be in positive spirits after winning their last match against an opponent in good form. Currently, inside the play-off places, Portland will be seeking 3 points against a side they lost against earlier in the season. Anything less would be a blow, halting momentum built. The hosts have lost just 1 of their last 9 home matches, this run of form will give the players confidence. The supporters create a great atmosphere which lifts the team during a match, with a number of away games to come Portland will be aiming for all 3 points. Could go into top 2 with a win.
Prediction: Portland Timbers -1.00 Asian Handicap
Odds: 2.02 Pinnacle
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