Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City
Venue: Providence Park – Saturday, October 3 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: Portland Timbers 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting KC 11/4
Both sides have almost identical records with just four matches to play and both teams will be fully focused on trying to make the playoffs from here.
Portland have only won one of their last five, though that did come in their last outing, winning 2-1 away at Columbus in what was a big result for Caleb Porter’s men.
Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P30 – W12 – D8 – L10
The Timbers only have one more home game after this one – on the final day of the regular season, so need to ensure they take maximum points to keep their hopes alive.
That will be a real tough task against a Sporting Kansas City side that will be buzzing after lifting the US Open Cup on Wednesday night, following a dramatic penalty shootout win over the Philadelphia Union.
Sporting KC have only tasted league victory once in their last eight games though and will have to hope going the distance against the Union on Wednesday doesn’t leave them too tired to compete in this one.
Sporting Kansas City’s MLS record: P30 – W12 – D9 – L9Embed from Getty Images
SKC have failed to win any of their last five away games and are certainly underdogs as a result. Portland will leapfrog Kansas City with a win and so it’s a huge one for both clubs
The last two meetings between the two have ended 0-0. The first came at Sporting Park in March with the second meeting taking place just over three weeks ago at Providence Park.
Portland will be without Ben Zemanski once again, while Will Johnson is struggling with a leg injury. They are the only two concerns for Caleb Porter and he will be pleased with the amount of options available at this late stage of the regular season.
Sporting Kansas City will have to hope fatigue doesn’t affect their performance too much here. Ike Opara and Roger Espinoza are both still out. Krisztian Nemeth and Tim Melia are doubtful, while Paulo Nagamura is suspended.
Portland Timbers’ last five: D/L/D/L/W
Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/L/W/L/D
Key Stat: There have only been five goals in the four games between the two at Providence Park in MLS history. Cagey.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Portland striker netted both his side’s goals in the win at Columbus last week, taking his season tally to 12. He will look to hurt a tired Kansas City defence here.Embed from Getty Images
Portland Timbers 2-0 Sporting Kansas City – Portland will look to take advantage from Sporting Kansas City’s midweek US Open Cup win by attacking from the off here. They should succeed in doing so and are being tipped by us to seal three huge points on Saturday night.