Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST – Sunday, May 17th)
Match Odds: Houston Dynamo 6/4 – Draw 9/4 – Portland Timbers 9/5
The Dynamo have looked like a team that is struggling to adapt to the philosophies of a new manager as Owen Coyle has persisted with a 4-4-2 system.
However, the victory at BMO field was more than impressive as defensively, the Dynamo were superb, while offensively, Giles Barnes was wreaking havoc when they had the chance to counter.Embed from Getty Images
Their home form has been somewhat poor however, losing their last two and conceding ten in total at home, compared to just four away.
Houston Dynamo’s 2015 MLS record: P11 – W3 – D4 – L4
Portland have yet to set MLS alight this season and some may argue they are underperforming because on paper they have one of the strongest squads in the league.
Much of their form is down to the limited attacking options head coach Caleb Porter has available. Diego Valeri has only just returned after an ACL injury and Fanendo Adi hasn’t scored a goal in his last six matches.
With the Timbers yet to register back-to-back wins, they will be hoping that Saturday night will see that trend change.
Portland Timbers’ 2015 MLS record: P10 – W3 – D4 – L3
Houston Dynamo’s Nathan Sturgis is out, while Brad Davis is a slight doubt and will fight to be fit enough to start. Giles Barnes and Will Bruin should continue their strike partnership as Owen Coyle continues to play the 4-4-2 system.
Portland Timbers’ Will Johnson, Ben Zemanski and Michael Nanchoff are all out. Gaston Fernandez is also a doubt, while Diego Valeri is expected to start in midfield.
Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/L/W
Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/L/D/W
Key Stat: Portland Timbers are yet to win away at Houston Dynamo in three attempts.
Key Player: Diego Valeri – Arguably one of the best players in MLS is back and expect him to be a major threat that the Dynamo will find difficult to contain.
Houston Dynamo 0-2 Portland Timbers – The Timbers to win comfortably and record their first ever victory away to the Dynamo.