Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: Stade Saputo – Saturday, May 9 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – Portland Timbers 9/5
The Impact have played just four MLS games so far this season and as a result are at the foot of the Eastern Conference after drawing two and losing two.
They have however had a great run in the CONCACAF Champions League, which ended with a bitterly disappointing final loss, but has given them plenty of positives ahead of their return to domestic action.
Montreal must start to pick up points now and have a chance against a Portland Timbers side who are sitting eighth in the Western Conference without a win in two.
The Timbers come into the game off the back of a 0-0 draw against Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps last week, which isn’t a bad result considering the Whitecaps’ start to the season, and they will know this won’t be an easy tie.
Caleb Porter’s side may have the psychological advantage as they beat the Impact in last season’s fixture.
With a lot riding on a positive result for either side this could be a surprisingly entertaining clash in this weekend’s fixtures.
Montreal Impact have five injury concerns as Adrian Lopez, Justin Mapp, Maxime Crepeau, Cameron Porter and Donny Toia are all set to miss out. Frank Klopas will be hoping Nigel Reo-Coker can show his value to the side and anchor the midfield as the Impact look to start making up the four point gap Philadelphia Union currently have after playing six games more.
Portland Timbers are expected to have four players sidelined as Ben Zemanski, Dairon Asprilla, Will Johnson and Michael Nanchoff are all struggling with injuries. Alvas Powell is one caution away from a suspension. Fanendo Adi is the Timbers leading goalscorer but he hasn’t scored in his last five, thought Portland are boosted by the return of Diego Valeri, who came on last week.
Montreal Impact’s form: L/D/D/L
Portland Timbers form: W/L/W/L/D
Key Stat: Montreal Impact haven’t played an MLS game since April 12 and need to get back into the swing of things quickly.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – This is a good chance for the Timbers forward to find his form in front of goal once again.
Montreal Impact 1-1 Portland Timbers – A tight affair expected with little to separate the sides. The Impact need to pick up points but may have to settle for a draw against a Timbers side searching for improvement themselves.