Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Avaya Stadium – Saturday, April 11th – 10:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 9/5
The Quakes have lost their last two after back-to-back wins and are sitting seventh in the Western Conference after five weeks of play.
Their 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake last weekend was a disappointing result but not a lot can be done to avoid conceding a goal like Javier Morales’ strike, so Quakes can feel a little hard-done by, especially as they showed promise for much of the game.
The Whitecaps’ four-game win streak came to an end on Wednesday night with their 2-2 draw against the Columbus Crew. After losing their first of the season, Carl Robinson has been getting it right and his side are now leading the way in the Supporters’ Shield standings after going unbeaten in five.
Vancouver’s impressive run is being helped no end by the scintillating form of forward Octavio Rivero, who has five in six and tops the MLS scoring charts early on this season.
For the Quakes, Chris Wondolowski has enjoyed a good start to the season too and has netted three in five. His partnership with Innocent Emeghara could prove to be a hit this campaign, though the two will not feature together this weekend as Emeghara is suspended.
The last two meetings between these two in San Jose have ended 0-0 so we are hoping for a bit more entertainment in their first clash at Avaya Stadium.
San Jose Earthquakes are littered with injuries at the moment as Mark Sherrod, Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart, Paulo Renato, Marvell Wynne and Shaun Francis are expected to miss out. They will also be without Innocent Emeghara as he is suspended for one game so Dominic Kinnear has his options limited.
Vancouver Whitecaps are set to be without three as Andre Lewis, Mauro Rosales and Marco Bustos are set to miss out. Gershon Koffie is battling a knee injury but should be fit to play. We could see some changes from Carl Robinson after his side played on Wednesday night and he could be looking to keep things fresh with squad rotation. Kekuta Manneh started that game on the bench but should start in this one.
San Jose Earthquakes’ form: L/W/W/L/L
Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: W/W/W/W/D
Key Stat: Unbeaten – The Whitecaps haven’t lost to the Quakes since 2012 and given their form, it’s hard to see past that run continuing.
Key Player: Octavio Rivero – If the service is as good as it has been all season we could see Rivero continue his remarkable scoring run.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Vancouver Whitecaps – The Quakes have suffered two losses on the bounce and given how good the Whitecaps have been, they should still be top of the Western Conference after the weekend.