MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: Orlando Citrus Bowl – Sunday, April 3 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Orlando 11/8 – Draw 23/10 – Portland 2/1

Match Preview

Orlando City welcome MLS Cup Winners Portland Timbers to the Orlando Citrus Bowl this weekend in a tie which should be packed with action.

Orlando have had a great start to their second season in MLS and remain unbeaten in three. Their performances see them sitting third in the Eastern Conference heading into the weekend.

Adrian Heath’s side come into this one off the back of their first win of the campaign, a 2-0 victory over New York City. They had drawn their first two of the season but will now look to make it two wins in a row against the reigning champions.

These sides met once in Orlando’s inaugural season, with Heath’s side coming out as 2-0 winners away at Providence Park and they will be hoping they can repeat that result as they welcome Portland to the Citrus Bowl for the first time.

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Portland Timbers have proven to be a bit of a mixed bag so far this season. They started 2016 with a win but have since lost and drawn in their last two fixtures.

Caleb Porter’s side come into this one off the back of their 2-2 draw against Real Salt Lake, a game they looked likely to lose at 2-0 down but a late brace from Fanendo Adi was enough to take a share of the points against an RSL side who ended the game with nine men.

The good news for the Timbers is their sole loss this season is the only time they have tasted defeat in their last 12 matches so they will be expecting to get on a strong run of form and push their way up the Western Conference, starting in Florida on Sunday.

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Team News

Orlando could be without up to four for this tie. Conor Donovan, David Mateos and Bryan Rochez are expected to miss out. There had been doubts about Kaka but the Brazilian insists he is fit to play and should make his first start of the campaign here.

Portland have just the two injury concerns as Liam Ridgewell and Andy Thoma are both expected to miss out here.

Key Points

Orlando City’s form: D/D/W

Portland’s form: W/L/D

Key Stat: Fortress – Orlando are unbeaten in their last eight home outings.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The Orlando striker has netted in every game so far this season and has scored in the opening ten minutes in his last two appearances.
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Score Prediction

Orlando City 1-1 Portland Timbers – Both these sides will cause one another trouble throughout this tie. Orlando are already proving difficult to beat this season, while Portland are struggling for consistency. A draw wouldn’t be a bad result for either side.


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