Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. Philadelphia Union
Venue: Sporting Park – Sunday, April 5th – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Sporting KC 17/20 – Draw 12/5 – Philadelphia 100/30
Sporting KC come into the game off the back of their first win of the season at New York City FC last time out and will want to win their first home game of the season against a Union side that are struggling to perform.Embed from Getty Images
Philadelphia have yet to win a game and the 1-0 loss to Chicago Fire last week piled the pressure on Jim Curtin and his team ahead of what is a tricky trip to Kansas City.
The Union have now lost two on the bounce and need to start getting points on the board quickly.
They will take confidence from the fact that their recent record against SKC is good. The two sides met three teams last year when Sporting KC were still in the Eastern Conference, with Philadelphia going unbeaten against their opponents, winning twice and drawing one.Embed from Getty Images
This will be the 13th MLS clash between the two sides. This game is perfectly poised in terms of past games though as both sides have won four of the previous 12, with four draws.
Both teams know that a win in this one will give them a platform to build from as the conference standings start to take shape.
Sporting KC will be without Chance Myers (achilles) and Graham Zusi (hamstring) for the game, while Krisztian Nemeth is a doubt but should make the squad after recovering from a knee sprain. Dom Dwyer will start in attack as he still searches for his first goal of the season.
The Philadelphia Union travel to Kansas City without four players as Cristian Maidana (knee), Eric Bird (hernia), Sheanon Williams (hamstring) and Conor Casey (abdominal) are all out. Former SKC forward CJ Sapong is a doubt but is pushing for a start as his old club. Zach Pfeffer is suspended and will not play.
Sporting Kansas City’s form: D/L/D/W
Philadelphia Union’s form: D/D/L/L
Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have only won one of their last 11 games in MLS and are without a win this season.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Ike Opara – The powerful centre-back has scored two in four for Sporting KC and is looking like the league’s most influential defender at this early stage of the season. Expect him to be key once again on Sunday.
Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Philadelphia Union – Sporting KC looked better in last week’s win against New York City and will want to follow up that victory with a win in front of their own fans. The Union don’t look like a team ready to succeed and are likely to fall to their third straight defeat away in Kansas City.