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MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Philadelphia Union

Real Salt Lake vs Philadelphia Union Prediction Real Salt Lake vs Philadelphia Union Preview and Prediction

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Philadelphia Union

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, March 14 – 21:30 ET (01:30 GMT – Sunday 15) 

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 17/20 – Draw 5/2 – Philadelphia Union 3/1

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake entertain Philadelphia Union in their first home game of the 2015 MLS season on Saturday night with both sides still looking for their first goal of the new campaign.

Both had to settle for 0-0 draws on the opening weekend in two of the less entertaining games in a round of fixtures where many games could be described as tentative.

Real Salt Lake’s goalless draw came away at the Portland Timbers, while Philadelphia Union’s 0-0 home draw was against the Colorado Rapids in a game they would have expected to win, especially as the Rapids went down to ten men.

Axel Sjoberg Colorado Rapids

Philadelphia Union vs Colorado Rapids (Photo: MLSSoccer.com)

RSL and Philadelphia have drawn in each of their last three meetings, with the past two games ending 2-2, including last season’s meeting, so although there have been goals neither side has been able to kill the game off.

The Union have never beaten Real Salt Lake in MLS in their seven previous meetings and are underdogs going into this one.

Although we’re only one game into the new season, every club knows every result is going to count in their push for the playoffs and this is a game Real Salt Lake will expect to win, but they will know the Union can still be a threat and that sets the game up nicely.

Alvaro Saborio and Liam Ridgewell

Alvaro Saborio and Liam Ridgewell battle in Portland Timbers’ 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake (Photo: MLSSoccer.com)

Real Salt Lake are unbeaten at Rio Tinto Stadium in their last 11 MLS games, and despite going out in the playoffs 5-0 to LA Galaxy, they drew the home leg of that tie 0-0.

Philadelphia Union have only won one of their last seven away fixtures and based on that form, RSL look to be in a much better position heading into this game.

Team News

Real Salt Lake look like they are set to be without the same five players who missed out in the opening draw to Portland. Joao Plata (metatarsal), John Stertzer (toe), Justen Glad (knee), Demar Phillips (hamstring) and Pecka (hip) are all expected to miss the game.

Philadelphia Union will still be without Andre Blake (knee) and midfielder Danny Cruz (hamstring), who both sat out of last Saturday’s draw with Colorado.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s form: D

Philadelphia Union’s form: D

Key Stat: Draws – There has been only one win (Real Salt Lake 2-1 Philadelphia – September 2011) between these two sides in their last six MLS meetings.

Key Player: Javier Morales – The playmaker will be the key to unlocking the Philadelphia defence and his performance will be even more important to Real Salt Lake as they are missing some big names.

Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Philadelphia Union – RSL need to get three points and that important first win out the way to ensure they don’t slip into a winless run. Given the recent results between the sides we can expect this to be another tightly fought tie but home advantage should help Real Salt Lake to victory.

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About Lewis Addley (593 Articles)
Major League Soccer and Premier League reporter. Sub-editor, writer and Social Media manager for MLSGB. All views are my own.

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