MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: MLS Playoffs Knockout Round – Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City 

Venue: Providence Park – Thursday, October 29 – 22:00 ET (02:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 5/6 – Draw  5/2 – Sporting Kansas City 100/30

Match Preview

Portland Timbers face Sporting Kansas City in the Western Conference knockout round on Thursday night in the final game from the opening round of MLS Cup Playoff games.

Separated by just two points in the regular season, Portland come into the game with the worrying stat that they haven’t scored in all three matches with SKC this season hanging over them.

Remarkably, Portland’s home form has been worse than their away form this year. So an away win for SKC is definitely not out of the question.

Portland Timbers’ 2015 MLS Record: P34 – W15 – D8 – L11

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

This will be just Portland’s second MLS Playoff campaign. They made it to the Western Conference finals in 2013 as Sporting Kansas City went on to lift the MLS Cup.

Sporting Kansas City managed to win the last meeting between the sides on October 4 so they have the advantage in that respect.

They come into this game off the back of a 2-1 win over LA Galaxy on Sunday and will hope that a poor second half of the season can be put behind them now they’ve made the playoffs.

Sporting Kansas City’s 2015 MLS Record in MLS: P34 – W14 – D9 – L11

Embed from Getty Images

With just three wins from their last twelve, they are fortunate to have made the postseason and can be thankful for their very good start to the season.

These sides met three times during the regular season, with just one goal being scored over the 270 minutes as two 0-0 draws were followed by a 1-0 SKC win in Portland at the start of October.

Team News

Portland Timbers are without Ben Zemanski who is still recovering from an ACL injury, while Will Johnson is still a doubt with a leg injury.

Sporting Kansas City have four injury concerns. Ike Opara, Roger Espinoza, Seth Sinovic and Amadou Dia are all set to miss out as Peter Vermes may go with an unchanged team to the one that won on Sunday.

Key Points

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

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/W/L/L/W

Key Stat: Portland Timbers haven’t beaten Sporting KC in any of the last four games between the two sides. There has only been a total two goals in those matches.

Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – The USMNT midfielder has been the outstanding player in this SKC squad this season and if they are to progress he will need to play a huge part.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – With the better form, Portland are favourites for this one. Although in a one-off playoff game, anything can happen. Sporting Kansas City will be in good spirits after Sunday’s win over the Galaxy but we’re edging more towards Portland than Kansas City here.

Advertisements

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs Sporting Kansas City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City

Venue: Providence Park – Saturday, October 3 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) 

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting KC 11/4

Match Preview

Portland Timbers face Sporting Kansas City in a huge Western Conference clash on Saturday night with both sides hanging on to the last two playoff places coming into the match.

Both sides have almost identical records with just four matches to play and both teams will be fully focused on trying to make the playoffs from here.

Portland have only won one of their last five, though that did come in their last outing, winning 2-1 away at Columbus in what was a big result for Caleb Porter’s men.

Portland Timbers’ MLS record: P30 – W12 – D8 – L10

Photo: Denise McCooey

Photo: Denise McCooey

The Timbers only have one more home game after this one – on the final day of the regular season, so need to ensure they take maximum points to keep their hopes alive.

That will be a real tough task against a Sporting Kansas City side that will be buzzing after lifting the US Open Cup on Wednesday night, following a dramatic penalty shootout win over the Philadelphia Union.

Sporting KC have only tasted league victory once in their last eight games though and will have to hope going the distance against the Union on Wednesday doesn’t leave them too tired to compete in this one.

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS record: P30 – W12 – D9 – L9

Embed from Getty Images

SKC have failed to win any of their last five away games and are certainly underdogs as a result. Portland will leapfrog Kansas City with a win and so it’s a huge one for both clubs

The last two meetings between the two have ended 0-0. The first came at Sporting Park in March with the second meeting taking place just over three weeks ago at Providence Park.

Team News

Portland will be without Ben Zemanski once again, while Will Johnson is struggling with a leg injury. They are the only two concerns for Caleb Porter and he will be pleased with the amount of options available at this late stage of the regular season.

Sporting Kansas City will have to hope fatigue doesn’t affect their performance too much here. Ike Opara and Roger Espinoza are both still out. Krisztian Nemeth and Tim Melia are doubtful, while Paulo Nagamura is suspended.

Key Points

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

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: D/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: There have only been five goals in the four games between the two at Providence Park in MLS history. Cagey.

Key Player: Fanendo Adi – The Portland striker netted both his side’s goals in the win at Columbus last week, taking his season tally to 12. He will look to hurt a tired Kansas City defence here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 2-0 Sporting Kansas City – Portland will look to take advantage from Sporting Kansas City’s midweek US Open Cup win by attacking from the off here. They should succeed in doing so and are being tipped by us to seal three huge points on Saturday night.