Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Colorado Rapids
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Sunday, June 7 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 1/1 – Draw 12/5 – Colorado Rapids 13/5
This Sunday night will see two of the biggest rivals in MLS square up against one another as Real Salt Lake welcome Colorado Rapids to Rio Tinto Stadium for the first Rocky Mountain Cup clash of the year.
Real Salt Lake sit in ninth in the Western Conference with 17 points and despite their low position, they are just two points off the playoff places.
RSL have lost their last two on the bounce coming into this game after suffering a 2-1 defeat against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week and falling 1-0 at the hands of LA Galaxy before that.Embed from Getty Images
Although their performances haven’t been great in those games, the performances of Javier Morales have been encouraging as he added his third of the season last weekend.
A win against their close rivals with results going their way will elevate them into the playoff places in a very congested Western Conference.
Colorado Rapids, like Real Salt Lake, have lost back-to-back games coming into this. A 1-0 defeat away at Seattle Sounders and a 2-1 home defeat to the Portland Timbers last weekend have left them at the bottom of the Western Conference.
Goals are still a problem for the Rapids as they have netted just 11 times in 13 games so far. The additions of Luc Solignac and Kevin Doyle should see more but neither has got off the mark yet.
Colorado have only won once away from home this season with that 4-0 victory over FC Dallas surprising many, but they’ll have their work cut out if they are to seal all three points on Sunday.Embed from Getty Images
RSL won the Rocky Mountain Cup after three wins last season, including a 5-1 victory in the most recent meeting back in September.
Real Salt Lake look set to be without Chris Schuler and Tony Beltran through injury, while Kyle Beckerman is on international duty with the USMNT along with Nick Rimando. Jordan Allen is also absent as he is with the US U20 squad in New Zealand.
Colorado Rapids look set to be without Marlon Hairston through injury, while Dillon Serna and Shane O’Neill are away on international duty.
Real Salt Lake last five: W/L/W/L/L
Colorado Rapids last five: D/D/W/L/L
Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last 11 home games against the Colorado Rapids.
Key Player: Joao Plata – The Ecuadorian striker has recently come back from injury and Real Salt Lake need to focus on giving him the ball, as he knows how to find the back of the net.Embed from Getty Images
Real Salt Lake 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Rocky Mountain Cup holders will prevail comfortably as the hosts will pull away from the Western Conference’s basement side in what should be an open and entertaining affair.