Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers
Venue: PPL Park – Saturday, July 11 19:00 ET (Sunday, July 12 00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Philadelphia Union 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – Portland Timbers 7/4
Philadelphia Union sit eighth in the Eastern Conference and come into this one off the back of a 2-2 draw at home to Montreal Impact. Captain Maurice Edu bagged his first goal of the season but had to settle for just a point.
PPL Park isn’t quite the fortress it should be, as Union have only won four times at home. The Union have been inconsistent, causing upsets with victories over highflying teams in MLS but then going on to lose or draw to the teams around them and it fails to give them the momentum to put together a decent run.
They play back-to-back away games after this tie, with visits to Toronto FC and DC United, two very tough fixtures, so a win against the highflying Timbers would be three very valuable points.
Eric Ayuk Mbu also got on the scoresheet last time out and he will be feeling ready to fire for the Union and help his side seek out a win.Embed from Getty Images
Portland Timbers sit just one place off top spot in the Western Conference, after what was a slow start failing to win in their opening four matches.
Portland Timbers lead the form table ahead of Western Conference side Sporting Kansas City. Their only defeat in their last seven was the 5-0 demolition by LA Galaxy but their heads have not dropped since that crushing loss, conceeding one goal in their last two.
Jack Jewsbury is becoming a late goal specialist with his second 90th minute winner against San Jose Earthquakes, this follows his previous winner against Colorado Rapids.
Five defeats on the road for Timbers is what is halting them for taking complete dominance in the Supporters’ Shield standings, where they currently sit fifth.
Last season, the two teams played out a 1-1 draw.
Can Portland Timbers do what Supporters’ Shield leaders DC United did and win at PPL Park?
Injuries decimate both teams as Philadelphia Union will miss Sebastien Le Toux (knee), Michael Lahoud (quad), Fernando Aristeguieta (fibula), Conor Casey (quad), Steven Vitoria (hamstring DNP). Andre Blake is playing at the Gold Cup with Jamaica.
Portland Timbers will be without Ben Zemanski (ACL), Diego Chara (ankle), Darlington Nagbe (shoulder), Norberto Paparatto (calf). Alvas Powell is away on Gold Cup duty with Jamaica.
Philadelphia Union last five in MLS: W/L/L/W/D
Portland Timbers last five in MLS: W/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have never beaten Portland Timbers in the five meetings between the two.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Nigerian is Portland’s top scorer on eight. the Union will need to stop his attacking threats.
Philadelphia Union 1-2 Portland Timbers – History suggests Portland Timbers will come out on top, they haven’t lost to the Union and with their rich vein of form you can’t bet against them. A close encounter but it looks like it could be a win for the away side.