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MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

Cascadia rivals Vancouver Whitecaps take on Portland Timbers in huge Western battle on Sunday

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers

BC Place – Sunday, July 23 – 18:30 ET (23:30 GMT)

Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Portland Timbers 14/5

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers: Preview

A huge game in the Western Conference takes place on Sunday as Vancouver Whitecaps take on Portland Timbers. The Cascadia Cup rivals are level on 27 points going into this game.

Vancouver come into this one after winning their second game on the bounce. That 1-0 away win at LA Galaxy on Wednesday has put them in a really strong position after the Gold Cup break. This is a game Vancouver will be expecting to win but know Portland will provide a tough test.

Carl Robinson’s side have played two games less than Portland and could actually be top of the West if they had six extra points on the board. A win here could see them move up to third, depending on the Houston result at DC on Saturday.

The Portland squad is full of injuries and morale will be lower than usual as a result. They have failed to win in six games now, losing three and drawing three.

Key frontman Fanendo Adi and Victor Arboleda were both sent off in their shock 4-1 loss at home to RSL on Wednesday. With the roster already stretched, this certainly has not helped things.

Portland won at home to their Cascadia rivals 2-1 back in April. But the last meeting between the two at BC Place ended with Portland being thumped 4-1. There could easily be a repeat of that scoreline given Portland’s form and their absentees.

Vancouver trail Seattle and Portland by a point in the 2017 Cascadia Cup standings. So a win on Sunday would leave them on course to win the series for the fourth time in five years.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers: Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps will be without four players on international duty and two through injury. Kendall Waston is at the Gold Cup, while Alphonso Davies, Marcel de Jong, Russell Teibert have been with the Canada squad and might not be ready to start on Sunday. Both Brett Levis and David Edgar continue to recovery from long-term injuries.

Portland Timbers are without four on international duty and possibly as many as seven through injury. David Guzman, Darren Mattocks, Alvas Powell and Darlington Nagbe are at the Gold Cup. Gbenga Arokoyo, Liam Ridgewell and Amobi Okugo are all expected to be out. While Diego Chara, Vytas, Jack Barmby and Chance Myers all look doubtful. Fanendo Adi and Victor Arboleda are suspended. The Portland roster is very stretched here with some many key players out of action.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers: Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: D/D/L/W/W

Portland Timbers’ last five: L/D/D/D/L

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have lost their last seven away games.

Key Player: Diego Valeri – If Portland are going to come away with a positive result here they are going to be reliant on their talisman to provide the goods. He has netted ten goals as well as picking up five assists this season. The Timbers’ chances appear slim but Valeri can provide magic at any moment.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers – Diego Valeri will be looking to get on the scoresheet

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 3-1 Portland Timbers – Anything but a Vancouver win will be a huge disappointment for the Canadian side. They have form on their side and fewer problems with their squad. Portland still have the ability to cause Vancouver trouble here, but even a draw looks a step too far.

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About Lewis Addley (607 Articles)
Major League Soccer and Premier League reporter. Sub-editor, writer and Social Media manager for MLSGB. All views are my own.

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