Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution
Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, April 2 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)
Match Odds: Portland 4/6 – Draw 14/5 – New England 15/4
Portland Timbers will look to keep their 100% home record going when they welcome New England Revolution to Providence Park in Sunday’s lone MLS fixture.
The Timbers suffered their first defeat of the season last weekend, losing 3-2 in Columbus. They were weakened by the loss of Darlington Nagbe and David Guzman, who were away on international duty but will expect to bounce back with another home victory here.
Portland have outscored their opponents 9-3 in their two home victories over Minnesota and Houston so far and will be out to attack a vulnerable New England defence from the outset on Sunday night.
Caleb Porter’s side look like genuine MLS Cup contenders again this season. It is only Week 5 but they have all the tools to enjoy success this term and now need to deliver on their potential.
New England got off the mark for the season in their home opener against Minnesota last weekend, winning 5-2 in what was a much needed result for Jay Heaps and his players.
They have been better than their 1-2-0 record suggests so far, with the 2-1 loss at Dallas in Week 3 particularly harsh after an encouraging performance on the road.Embed from Getty Images
They know they are in for a real test if they are to keep the Portland attack quiet this weekend. The Revs have yet to keep a clean sheet this season and haven’t kept one on the road since August.
This will be the eighth MLS clash between these two sides. Four of the previous seven games have ended in draws, proving there is often very little to choose between the two. New England have still never scored a goal at Providence Park in MLS.
Portland defender Vytas and Liam Ridgewell are both still doubts but are in contention to start here, although Gbenga Arokoyo remains sidelined. Darlington Nagbe and David Guzman should return to the starting lineup after returning from international duty.
New England have no fresh injury concerns ahead of the trip to the Rose City, with Zachary Herivaux the only player still struggling with any kind of knock.
Portland Timbers’ form: W/W/W/L
New England Revolution’ form: L/L/W
Key Stat: Road woes – New England have lost their last four away games in MLS, scoring just two goals in that run. They have never scored away at Portland in Major League Soccer.
Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The big Timbers striker has already bagged four in four this season. He’s looking a threat every time Portland drive forward and he’ll be looking to cause the New England defenders all kinds of problems on Sunday night. He scored twice in the final five minutes last time these sides met in Portland and it’s not difficult to see him getting another brace here.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 30, 2017
Portland Timbers 3-0 New England Revolution – New England showed us all how dangerous they can be on the break in last week’s win over the weak Minnesota defence but Portland will offer a whole different challenge for the Eastern Conference side to overcome. The Timbers are one of the toughest teams to beat on the road and we see them keeping their 100% home record intact on Sunday evening.