Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Orlando City
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, April 12th – 17:00 BST (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)
Match Odds: Portland 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Orlando 18/5
Portland Timbers host Orlando City on Sunday night at Providence Park in an intriguing clash between two sides that will feel they deserve more points than they currently have as both have performed well up to this point.
The Timbers come into the game off the back of an impressive 3-1 win over FC Dallas last weekend, whereas Orlando were left heartbroken after an injury time winner saw them fall at home to DC United last time out.
Portland will be the favorites for this one after they recorded their first win at home last weekend and have only lost one of their opening five.Embed from Getty Images
They will have to keep Kaka quiet however, if they are to win all three points and the Brazilian playmaker will need to put in a similar display to that which he performed in Montreal in the Lions’ last road game.
Orlando haven’t had the best results so far this season, but they have had some very strong performances. They were unfortunate against DC last week and have showed that they are not afraid to attack sides.
The problem comes with their inability to finish chances, and with the creative abilities of Kaka there has to be a leading man to finish these chances on a regular basis.Embed from Getty Images
Adrian Heath has juggled with his striking options thus far, and we are likely to see rookie Cyle Larin start up front in Portland on Sunday night.
Portland will be without Will Johnson (leg break), Diego Valeri (ACL), Ben Zemanski (ACL) and Michael Nanchoff (hernia) as all miss out through injury. Jack Jewsbury could return in midfield having come off the bench against Dallas last week.
Orlando could be without six men as Tally Hall (ACL) and Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) will both miss out, while Martin Paterson (groin), Christina Higuita (groin), Louis Neil (neck) and Tony Cascio (sore back) are all doubts. Cyle Larin is expected to start up front in place of Ribeiro with Kaka in behind.
Portland Timbers’ form: D/D/D/L/W
Orlando City’s form: D/W/L/D/L
Key Stat: Portland are undefeated in their last seven MLS home games.Embed from Getty Images
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – Portland’s lethal striker has started the season with a bang, and will cause Orlando problems all game.
Portland Timbers 3-1 Orlando City – The Lions have started well but cannot take their chances and that could cost them again on Sunday against a Timbers side that will want to record back-to-back victories. Portland look strong in attack and Orlando could struggle to contain their opponents in this one.