MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

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

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host Colorado Rapids in a crunch Western Conference clash on the penultimate weekend of the 2016 regular season on Sunday evening.

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.

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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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Colorado Rapids

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Colorado Rapids

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, October 25 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – Colorado Rapids 6/1

Match Preview

Portland Timbers take on Colorado Rapids at Providence Park on Sunday evening as the home side look to secure a playoff spot on MLS Decision Day.

The Timbers are currently fourth in the Western Conference with 50 points, two ahead of fifth and sixth placed Seattle and SKC who both have 48, so a draw would do the job for Caleb Porter’s men.

Although, a victory for Portland would not only guarantee a top six finish but they could also sneak in through the back door to clinch an automatic semi-final spot should LA Galaxy and Vancouver Whitecaps both fail to win.

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Portland should come into this game full of confidence after an incredible performance last weekend saw them thrash LA Galaxy 5-2 away from home, sealing their third win in four games.

Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P33 – W14 – D8 – L11

Colorado Rapids cannot qualify for the playoffs and haven’t been able to for a while now – they will also certainly finish bottom of the Western Conference, irrelevant of their result here.

However, they did put an end to a run of four straight defeats with a remarkable 2-0 victory away at Sporting Kansas City in midweek to record their first win in seven games.

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Pablo Mastroeni’s side can play with freedom on Sunday in the knowledge that this is no more than a formality for them and there is no pressure other than to end on a high.

Colorado Rapids’ MLS record: P33 – W9 – D10 – L14

The Timbers won the last meeting between these two sides 2-1 back in May. They also beat the Rapids 2-1 the last time they met at Providence Park in July 2014. Colorado have beaten Portland just once in their last seven meetings (D2, L4).

Team News

Diego Valeri will miss the game for Portland Timbers through suspension after picking up too many yellow cards. Ben Zemanski (knee) remains a long-term absentee, while Will Johnson (leg) is a major doubt.

Colorado’s Michael Harrington (foot) is unavailable, while there are also doubts over the fitness of Drew Moor (foot), Dillon Serna (hamstring) and Jared Watts (toe). Sam Cronin is suspended after being sent off against SKC.

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Key Points

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

Colorado Rapids’ last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers have recorded just one victory in their last six home games.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The big Nigerian forward is on fire. He’s bagged five goals in his last four games, including a brace at LA Galaxy last weekend. He’s a real handful and the Rapids will struggle to stop him.

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Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 3-1 Colorado Rapids – The Timbers should comfortably seal their playoff spot and if results go their way, they may even pinch an automatic semi-final place.