Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake
Venue: CenturyLink Field – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: Seattle 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – RSL 15/4
Seattle have turned their season around since August and have marched into the playoff spots after a fine run of form. They now need to finish the job and guarantee a place in the postseason with a win here.
A 2-1 loss to FC Dallas last week would have been a tough one to take given how late Dallas scored the winner but they now have the chance to end the regular season with three points in front of their own fans.
The Sounders have not lost at home since July and are favourites to seal three points here against an RSL side that is in a terrible run of form.
Real Salt Lake have not won in MLS for six games and are in danger of missing out on the playoffs on the final day if results go against them.
A draw would be enough for RSL to guarantee a top-six finish but the fact they have failed to score in four of their last five outings will be a major worry for their supporters.Embed from Getty Images
If they do secure a playoff berth, the worry will be that they aren’t in the right form heading into the playoffs and so it’s a tough situation.
Seattle secured a 2-1 win at home to RSL back in August, though Real Salt Lake did win at Rio Tinto in Week 2. This will be the 20th MLS regular season clash between the two.
Seattle Sounders will be boosted by the return of Osvaldo Alonso from suspension here, although Clint Dempsey and Andreas Ivanschitz remain out. Brad Evans, Oalex Anderson and Dylan Remick are also unlikely to make the squad, while Chad Marshall is struggling with an ankle problem but might be fit enough to feature here.
Real Salt Lake have four players ruled out through injury with Emery Welshman, Aaron Maund, Jeff Attinella and Yura Movsisyan all ruled out.
Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/W/W/D/L
Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/L/D/L/D
Key Stat: Trouble – RSL have conceded in 30 consecutive away games in MLS, stretching back to April 2015 and have now failed to score in four of their last five matches.
Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – The Sounders playmaker is a joy to watch whenever he takes to the field and he’ll be relishing the chance to take on an RSL team that can’t keep goals out on the road. He is always a threat in and around the box and should prove instrumental again on Sunday.
Seattle Sounders 3-1 Real Salt Lake – The Sounders will be looking to leapfrog RSL on the final day of the regular season and should be able to do so given the away side’s terrible run of form. Seattle are a strong outfit now and will look to end an up-and-down regular season on a major high with victory.