Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. LA Galaxy
Stadium: Providence Park – Saturday, July 23 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)
Match Odds: Portland 13/10 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 21/10
Portland have been in solid form of late, going unbeaten in nine games. They saw off their arch rivals Seattle on Sunday and will be in fine spirits off the back of that result.
The Timbers enter the match in sixth place in the West and will be looking to remain unbeaten to keep their playoff hopes intact, with 12 games left to play after the weekend.
They have won four of their last five at home and will look to put a strong LA Galaxy side to the sword here as they look to continue climbing the table.
However, the Galaxy are a side high in confidence and won’t be expecting to leave Portland empty-handed come the end of play on Saturday.
Bruce Arena’s men have won three in a row and are making a real charge at the title. They are eight points behind league leaders Dallas and know they must win as many games as possible to stand a chance of finishing in front of the Texans.
Winning games away from home has proven tough for LA over the last two seasons, but they did beat Seattle 1-0 on the road two weeks ago and will be hoping for another successful trip to the north-west here.
This will be the second clash between the pair this term. The reverse fixture ended 1-1 at StubHub Center back in April. The Galaxy have not won in Portland in four years.
Portland have just the one injury concern to worry about heading into the weekend as Darren Mattocks is ruled out with a hamstring injury. Caleb Porter has had to put up with a lot of injuries this term but his squad is looking healthy at a key part of the campaign. Alvas Powell is one booking away from suspension and needs to watch his step.
LA Galaxy will remain without Robbie Rogers for this one, while Ashley Cole is also unlikely to be available for selection again after sitting out with a hamstring problem for a couple of weeks. Ariel Lassiter is a doubt and Steven Gerrard may also miss this one after failing to train outside this week.
Portland Timbers’ form: W/D/D/D/W
LA Galaxy’s form: D/D/W/W/W
Key Stat: Form – Portland are unbeaten in their last nine MLS matches (W4 D5).
Key Player: Diego Valeri – Portland will need their star players to be at their best if they are to get past a strong LA side on Saturday. They will look to Valeri for inspiration yet again. He bagged two goals in the win over Seattle last time out and will hope to build on that with another fine performance here.
Portland Timbers 2-2 LA Galaxy – Goals are expected on Saturday in a game between two in-form sides looking to keep momentum building as the playoff edge ever closer. LA have won three on the spin but may find it tough to break down a Portland side that hasn’t lost in two months. A score draw looks likely, though this should be entertaining.