Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, October 16 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
Match Odds: Portland 5/6 – Draw 12/5 – Colorado 3/1
Portland come into the game outside of the top six and need a win to keep hopes of retaining their MLS Cup title alive.
The Timbers have lost their last two on the spin – the most recent coming away at Colorado – and are now two points behind Sporting KC in the race for the postseason.
They need a win here, and need SKC to pick up no more than a point at RSL if they are to move into the top six ahead of the final week.
Caleb Porter’s side are struggling for form but they are still a force at home, having won their last five in front of their own fans. They need to keep that run going here.
Colorado come into the game top of the Supporters’ Shield standings after beating San Jose on Thursday night. It’s an incredible turnaround and they will now have their sights on securing the title over the last two weeks.
The Rapids have won their last three on the spin and are set to enter the playoffs in great form. They have the best defensive record in the league and are very tough to break down.
However, they have conceded five goals in their last two away games and that will give Portland confidence ahead of what is a crucial fixture for both sides.
Their previous meetings this season both came in Colorado, with a 0-0 draw in July followed by a 1-0 home win just two weeks ago.
Portland are still without centre-back Nat Borchers, while Darren Mattocks is listed as ‘questionable’. Gbenga Arokoyo is a doubt.
Colorado will be without Jermaine Jones once again, who is ruled out along with Bobby Burling and Dillon Serna. Marlon Hairston is a doubt with a leg injury but could be passed fit in time to play.
Portland Timbers’ last five: L/W/W/L/L
Colorado Rapids’ last five: D/D/W/W/W
Key Stat: Portland have won their last five home games against Colorado, outscoring their Western Conference rivals 11-2.
Key Player: Kevin Doyle – The Rapids’ Irish striker scored twice in midweek to earn three points for his side. He has six goals in 22 appearances but remains a clinical finisher if given the right service.
Portland Timbers 2-1 Colorado Rapids – It’s a massive game for both sides but a loss for Portland could see them eliminated from postseason contention. With that in mind, plus the fact that Colorado have already played twice over the last week, the Timbers could just edge this one to keep playoff hopes alive.