Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, April 18th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 5/2
RSL are still unbeaten so far this campaign, winning two and drawing three, but they will have to be at their best to keep that run going against the Whitecaps this weekend.
Vancouver’s start to the season has been brilliant but they have already lost twice, including in their outing, and that will encourage Jeff Cassar and his side.
The ‘Caps lost at San Jose last weekend while Salt Lake drew at Sporting Kansas City, so both sides will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday night.
Real Salt Lake will be hoping key man Javier Morales can influence a win this weekend, as he has scored two so far this campaign and been the standout player in the squad after six weeks.
RSL are certainly missing striker Joao Plata in his absence through injury as they have registered just one goal from their forwards, but are coping well and the team will only get stronger when he returns.Embed from Getty Images
Alvaro Saborio needs to start getting amongst the goals on a more regular basis but things are certainly looking promising for the team.
The Whitecaps will be looking to provide Octavio Rivero with as many chances as possible. The Uruguayan forward has five goals in seven games and is largely to thank for their position at the top of the Western Conference.
Real Salt Lake have five injury concerns. Joao Plata will continue to be unavailable for some time, while Sebastian Jaime, Demar Phillips, Justen Glad and Pecka could all be set to sit this one out.
Vancouver Whitecaps also have five concerns as Andre Lewis, Marco Bustos, Mauro Rosales, Gershon Koffie and Diego Rodriguez are all struggling with injuries. They will also be without playmaker Pedro Morales who is suspended.
Real Salt Lake’s form: D/D/W/W/D
Vancouver Whitecaps form: W/W/W/D/L
Key Stat: Unbeaten – RSL are one of only two unbeaten sides in MLS this season but this will be their toughest challenge yet.
Key Player: Octavio Rivero – Rivero has arguably been the league’s most impressive player so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how RSL set up to stop him.
Real Salt Lake 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Real Salt Lake to keep their unbeaten run going in a tough fixture. With both sides coming into the game without a win last weekend it is difficult to separate the two, though Vancouver need to make sure they can cope without Pedro Morales to get anything from the game.