Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, August 22 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Seattle Sounders 9/4
And seeing as Real Salt Lake have won their last three matches against Seattle in all competitions, there is an added incentive for both sides to go for all three points in what could be a pivotal fixture. Seattle will want to end that run, while Real Salt Lake will look to extend it to four games.
However, at the moment, Real Salt Lake remain six points off the Sounders in the final playoff slot with only nine games remaining and their chances of making the postseason look slim after a tough season.
Real Salt Lake’s record in MLS: P25 – W7 – D8 – L10Embed from Getty Images
Seattle haven’t had the best of years either and they’ve been dreadful recently. But they did pick up a valuable three points last weekend when they dispatched Orlando City 4-0 at home, with new signings Roman Torres and Nelson Valdez impressing.
They have however, lost eight of their last ten in Major League Soccer and their playoff place is in jeopardy because of this form.
The main reason they have been struggling is down to the absence of star strikers Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins. But with Obafemi Martins returning with a brace last weekend, their form may be about to pick up going into the final stretch of the season.
Seattle Sounders’ record in MLS: P25 – W11 – D2 – L12
This will be the first meeting between the two this season, with a return fixture at CenturyLink Field coming on the final day of the 2015 regular season.
Real Salt Lake have won each of the last three games at home, but did lose the most recent meeting 3-2 in Seattle last September.
Real Salt Lake have three players doubtful for the clash with Jordan Allen, Chris Schuler and Joao Plata all carrying injuries.
Seattle Sounders are still without Marco Pappa through the MLS SABH Program. Andres Correa, Andy Craven and Damion Lowe are all out injured. Osvaldo Alonso, Chad Barrett, Leonardo Gonzalez and Clint Dempsey are all doubts. Obafemi Martins should continue in attack with new partner Nelson Valdez.
Real Salt Lake’s last five in MLS: W/W/L/L/L
Seattle Sounders’ last five in MLS: L/L/L/L/W
Key Stat: Seattle have lost their last six away matches in MLS. Homesick.
Key Player: Obafemi Martins – The Nigerian striker returned in Seattle’s 4-0 win over Orlando City and provides some much needed firepower to the Seattle attack. Expect him to be dangerous throughout.
Real Salt Lake 1-2 Seattle Sounders – Following the return of Obafemi Martins and Real Salt Lake’s recent poor form, we see Seattle just shaving the win in what will be a tight game due to its importance for both sides.