Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, September 27 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 5)
Match Odds: San Jose 10/11 – Draw 13/5 – Real Salt Lake 14/5
San Jose Earthquakes face Real Salt Lake in a huge Western Conference clash on Sunday evening. Both clubs sit outside the playoffs with just four weeks of the regular season left to play, but have outside chances of making the postseason.
San Jose sit in seventh place, just one point behind Portland in the last remaining playoff slot with four games to play. Sunday’s clash with RSL is the first of three-straight home matches for the Quakes though and so they will be confident of making a late surge for the top six.
That said, they will need to snap their four-game winless run immediately. A 3-2 away loss at NYCFC last weekend followed back-to-back home draws and wins are vital now.
San Jose Earthquakes’ MLS record: P30 – W11 – D7 – L12
Real Salt Lake sit two points and two places behind the Earthquakes going into the game. Though they have won back-to-back games ahead of Sunday’s clash and now seem to be on the right track.
It might be too late for Jeff Cassar’s side but they certainly have a chance of making the postseason. That glimmer of hope should be enough to ensure the players remain fully focused on the task at hand.
A 3-0 home win against LA Galaxy last time out impressed many, and now they travel to San Jose looking for a second away win there this season.
Real Salt Lake’s MLS record: P29 – W10 – D8 – L11
They beat the Quakes 1-0 in April before playing out a 1-1 draw at home in May. This should be another tight affair but both sides need to go for the win as a draw won’t help their causes.
San Jose Earthquakes will be without Clarence Goodson as he will serve a one-game suspension. Innocent Emeghara, Steven Lenhart and Jordan Stewart remain out injured, while Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi, Victor Bernardez, Paulo Renato and Khari Stephenson are all doubts.
Real Salt Lake have just two injury worries going into the game. Chris Schuler is out with a foot injury, while Luis Silva is struggling with a calf problem and is doubtful.
San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: W/L/D/D/L
Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/L/W/W
Key Stat: Real Salt Lake have not lost to San Jose in any of their last five MLS meetings, winning two of those.
Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes forward has six goals in his last seven outings and always enjoys playing at home. With the season now at it’s most intense stage, ‘Wondo’ will look to shine.
San Jose Earthquakes 1-2 Real Salt Lake – San Jose have really struggled against RSL in recent times. The home side’s form is not in the shape in needs to be at this stage of the season and so Real Salt Lake will be confident of picking up three huge points here.