MLS Preview and Prediction: Real Salt Lake vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, April 18th – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Vancouver Whitecaps 5/2

Match Preview

Real Salt Lake welcome high flying Vancouver Whitecaps to Rio Tinto Stadium this Saturday evening in what is one of the standout fixtures of the weekend.

RSL are still unbeaten so far this campaign, winning two and drawing three, but they will have to be at their best to keep that run going against the Whitecaps this weekend.

Vancouver’s start to the season has been brilliant but they have already lost twice, including in their outing, and that will encourage Jeff Cassar and his side.

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The ‘Caps lost at San Jose last weekend while Salt Lake drew at Sporting Kansas City, so both sides will be looking to get back to winning ways on Saturday night.

Real Salt Lake will be hoping key man Javier Morales can influence a win this weekend, as he has scored two so far this campaign and been the standout player in the squad after six weeks.

RSL are certainly missing striker Joao Plata in his absence through injury as they have registered just one goal from their forwards, but are coping well and the team will only get stronger when he returns.

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Alvaro Saborio needs to start getting amongst the goals on a more regular basis but things are certainly looking promising for the team.

The Whitecaps will be looking to provide Octavio Rivero with as many chances as possible. The Uruguayan forward has five goals in seven games and is largely to thank for their position at the top of the Western Conference.

Team News

Real Salt Lake have five injury concerns. Joao Plata will continue to be unavailable for some time, while Sebastian Jaime, Demar Phillips, Justen Glad and Pecka could all be set to sit this one out.

Vancouver Whitecaps also have five concerns as Andre Lewis, Marco Bustos, Mauro Rosales, Gershon Koffie and Diego Rodriguez are all struggling with injuries. They will also be without playmaker Pedro Morales who is suspended.

Key Points

Real Salt Lake’s form: D/D/W/W/D

Vancouver Whitecaps form: W/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: Unbeaten – RSL are one of only two unbeaten sides in MLS this season but this will be their toughest challenge yet.

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Key Player: Octavio Rivero – Rivero has arguably been the league’s most impressive player so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how RSL set up to stop him.

Score Prediction

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Real Salt Lake to keep their unbeaten run going in a tough fixture. With both sides coming into the game without a win last weekend it is difficult to separate the two, though Vancouver need to make sure they can cope without Pedro Morales to get anything from the game.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, April 4th – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 19/10 – Draw 9/4 – LA Galaxy 7/5

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps take on LA Galaxy on Saturday evening as they look to continue their three-game winning streak against last season’s MLS Cup winners.

Vancouver, who lost their first game of the season, have found good form and beaten some tough opponents, including the likes of Orlando City and Chicago Fire away from home.

They come into this game of an important victory against Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers, and will hope the home support can help them edge this one too.

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By contrast, the Galaxy haven’t won since their season opener, drawing twice and losing last time out at DC United and Bruce Arena needs to turn these results around and get back to winning ways quickly.

The Whitecaps haven’t beaten Galaxy in their last five attempts, losing four, but will hope they can catch their opponents out based on both sides’ form.

This will tie will see Octavio Rivero compared to Robbie Keane as the two forwards have started the season well, scoring five goals between them.

Rivero earned the MLS Player of the Month award for March after hitting the ground running and he will cause problems for the Galaxy backline on Saturday night.

Four of Galaxy’s forwards have already netted this season, showing the versatility in the squad to find important goals like Alan Gordon’s late equaliser against the Timbers.

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The Whitecaps will have to be aware of this and ensure they aren’t tiring late on in the game as Arena has depth in his squad to change a game from the bench.

Vancouver have only beaten their Western Conference rivals once in 12 matches in all competitions since entering the league, but the Galaxy haven’t won away from home in their last eight games, including the playoffs, so things look to be in the Whitecaps’ favour.

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps are set to be without Andre Lewis (knee) and Mauro Rosales (ankle) for this tie. Defender, Diego Rodriguez will serve the second of his two-match ban for violent conduct and is also out. Carl Robinson will be urging his side to feed Rivero once again and will hope they can take advantage of a slightly unsteady Galaxy side at this early stage of the season.

La Galaxy have three injury concerns to Brian Perk (ankle), Kenney Walker (groin) and Leonardo (thigh) to deal with. The Galaxy are looking strong and will welcome the returns of Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane from international duty. Once they click into gear they look like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with and will hope to get back to winning ways in Vancouver.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/W/W/W

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/L

Key Stat: The Vancouver Whitecaps have never won their fifth game of the season in MLS (P4 W0 D1 L3). They lost 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids in last year’s fifth game after starting the season unbeaten.

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Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Whitecaps forward has been in impressive form and has the chance to continue to show what he is made of against one of the league’s top sides. He could really shine in a huge game for both sides.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy’s winless run could well continue here as they face some really tough opposition who are in great form and full of confidence. An away draw would be a good result and this should be an entertaining one.