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New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Giovanni Savarese looking to guide the Timbers to victory at Red Bull Arena on New York return

NY Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers

Red Bull Arena – Saturday, March 10 2018 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Preview

New York Red Bulls begin their 2018 MLS season at home to Portland Timbers on Saturday evening and should be in high spirits following their historic midweek win away at Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League.

The Red Bulls didn’t play on MLS opening weekend but they begin at home here and will be looking to get off to the best possible start. The squad will be high in confidence following that 2-0 CCL win on the road in Mexico on Tuesday but all focus now needs to be on the upcoming game.

Jesse Marsch will no doubt have one eye on the second-leg clash with Tijuana at Red Bull Arena on Tuesday and so some changes are expected to be made to the squad. Major offseason signing Alejandro “Kaku” Romero Gamarra could make his first start although the likes of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Daniel Royer could be rested.

Portland will be looking to capitalise on a weakened Red Bulls side as they look to bounce back following their opening weekend loss at LA Galaxy. The Timbers fell 2-1 and will be disappointed with the way they defended over the course of that match.

New Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese’s will be in familiar territory for his second MLS game, having joined Portland from New York Cosmos, where he won three NASL league titles in five years. Savarese is expecting to have plenty of friends and family inside Red Bull Arena, so he’ll be desperate to get a result.

This will be the second of five-straight away games for Portland as a result of ongoing construction work to Providence Park. The Timbers will be boosted by the fact they’ve not lost either of their last two trips to Red Bull Arena (1W 1D). They also won the only meeting last season, picking up a 2-0 home win back in August.

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Team News

New York Red Bulls

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: None.

[Check out all of the Red Bulls’ key transfer business ahead of their 2018 season opener by clicking the image above]

Portland Timbers

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Diego Chara (foot).

🚑 Out: Vytas (thigh), Jeff Attinella (thigh), Roy Miller (achilles).

New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Key Stats

New York Red Bulls’ MLS form: N/A

Portland Timbers’ MLS form: L

Key stat: The New York Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last eight regular season home games, last losing to NYCFC in June. Since then, they have won four and drawn four at Red Bull Arena, keeping a clean sheet in half those games.

 New York Red Bulls vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

New York Red Bulls 1-1 Portland Timbers: A full strength Red Bulls side would probably run out winners here for their opening game of the season. But with changes expected to be made ahead of their Champions League second-leg, Portland will expect to get a result themselves. The Timbers struggled defensively at LA Galaxy last weekend and must improve here, but they have goals in them and will be expecting to cause the Red Bulls trouble. New York still have enough depth to cope with a busy early season schedule but they might have to settle for a point on Saturday.

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About Louis East (1285 Articles)
Editor of MLSGB.com. Premier League and MLS reporter.

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