Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, June 26 – 23:00 BST (18:00 EDT)
Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – Houston Dynamo 7/2
Portland Timbers host Houston Dynamo on Sunday night, live on Sky Sports 2 for UK fans. Both sides are searching for some form as they both hunt a playoff place in the Western Conference but both need to recover from a poor first-half of the campaign to do so.
Portland have been a shadow of the side that won the MLS Cup last year. Injuries have affected the side that lost depth in the offseason, but their results have not been good enough regardless.
Portland will be hoping to regain some form with Darlington Nagbe coming back into the side and Caleb Porter knows they still have a great chance of making the playoffs, as they sit just a point outside the top six heading into the weekend.
Houston were meant to progress this year, but that hasn’t happened and Owen Coyle’s exit has done little to help their position at the bottom of the West.
The Dynamo are without a win in four and have now drawn three on the bounce. They are stuttering through the season and will need a miraculous turnaround if they are to enjoy success from this point.
Both sides need to start winning matches. This is a great chance for the Dynamo to end their barren away run, although Portland will fancy their chances of closing the gap in the Western Conference playoff race in front of their own fans.
Portland Timbers will be without goalkeeper Adam Kwarasey, who remains out until early July. Alvas Powell and Darren Mattocks are both doubts.
Houston Dynamo are only missing Rob Lovejoy, who has an ankle problem.
Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/D/W/D
Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/L/D/D/D
Key Stat: Houston Dynamo haven’t won away in their last 16 matches in MLS.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Nigerian international will lead the line for Portland once again on Sunday and we are expecting him to play a huge part in this one. He is the second-highest goalscorer in the league with nine and will hope to add to that tally here.
Portland Timbers 2-0 Houston Dynamo – Given Houston’s poor away form and the fact that Portland have won four of their last five at home, all signs point towards a Portland win here. The Dynamo have had a tough season and their road troubles don’t look set to improve on Sunday night.