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Jun 20, 2021 at 3.30am UK
PortlandPortland Timbers
2-1
KansasSporting Kansas City
Asprilla (36'), Loria (45+1')
Zuparic (38'), Zambrano (87')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Lindsey (28')
Fontas (69'), Espinoza (74'), Sanchez (83')

Preview: Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Portland Timbers vs. Sporting Kansas City - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Sporting Kansas City travel to Providence Park for a showdown with the Portland Timbers on Saturday night.

The Timbers fell 3-0 to the Philadelphia Union in their last match before the international break, while KC extended their unbeaten run to four games with a 1-1 draw versus Austin FC.


Match preview

It seemed like the Portland Timbers were turning the corner last month, shutting out two offensively talented squads in the San Jose Earthquakes (2-0) and the LA Galaxy (3-0) before they hit a wall in their last match, losing 3-0 to the Union.

The recipe for success for Giovanni Savarese and his team in the early stages of 2021 has been to score first, going 3-0 when they do, but going 0-4 when they concede first.

More often than not, however, they have found themselves chasing a match and trailing heading into the second half, as they have been outscored 6-2 in the first half of matches this season.

They may not have a winning record after seven games (three wins and four losses), but they are still a dangerous and well-balanced team with their nine goals coming courtesy of eight different players, which is tied for the most in MLS.

Portland are fifth in the league in terms of chances created with an average of 11.3 per game, while they are also fifth when it comes to big chances created, averaging 2.6 per game.

In their last four MLS encounters, Peter Vermes will have very little to complain about as his Sporting KC side have looked fantastic, winning three games, drawing one and scoring 10 goals in that span.

Last week, they looked solid despite the time off, but perhaps they were still a little rusty in front of goal, as they fired 32 shots but could only muster one goal in a draw against Austin.

While the Timbers struggle when they fall behind, the Wizards seem to thrive when trailing, winning four games this season from a losing position, the most among MLS clubs.

The KC style of play is built to score, so it should come as no surprise to see them leading the league in both goals (16) and big chances (27).

A victory this weekend would move them into a tie with Dallas and the New York Red Bulls for the second-most regular-season wins in MLS history, with the Wizards currently sitting at 327 all time.

Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Portland Timbers form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D



Team News

Portland are unlikely to have Andy Polo back anytime soon as he still has a torn muscle, while Diego Chara and Larrys Mabiala have hamstring injuries.

Goalkeeper Steve Clark and midfielder Cristhian Paredes could still be a couple of weeks away with thigh muscle strains.

Their top goalscorer Felipe Mora is representing Chile at the Copa America, while his teammate Yimmi Chara, the brother of Diego, is with the Colombian national team for that same competition.

Sporting KC are the only team in MLS with three players who have scored least three goals this season, as Alan Pulido leads the way with five, Daniel Salloi has four and Gadi Kinda is on the board with three.

Striker Khiry Shelton will hope to see the field this weekend, as he needs just one more appearance to reach 50 all-time in the regular season for the Wizards.

Johnny Russell has shown his versatility throughout his career at Sporting KC, becoming the eighth player in club history to record 25 goals and 25 assists in the regular season in his career, and he currently ranks second in this MLS campaign for big chances with six.

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Sulte; Bravo, Zuparic, Tuiloma, Van Rankin; Williamson, Zambrano; Loria, Valeri, Ebobisse; Asprilla

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Zusi, llie, Fontas, Martins; Espinoza, Busio, Walter; Russell, Pulido, Salloi


We say: Portland Timbers 1-2 Sporting Kansas City

Kansas City are starting to gel as a unit, creating plenty of scoring opportunities, plus they have the players who can finish off those chances, including Daniel Salloi, who has three goals and two assists in seven regular-season games against the Timbers (including the playoffs).

Goalkeeper Tim Melia enjoys playing at Providence Park, keeping four clean sheets in five appearances there.

Combine that with the fact that the Timbers are missing their top goalscorer in Felipe Mora, and it could a tough evening for Portland in attack.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England18114333211237
2Orlando City178542722529
3Nashville SCNashville17610125151028
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia187742417728
5New York City FCNY City1683530161427
6DC United177372520524
7Columbus Crew176651920-124
8CF MontrealMontreal176562322123
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls165472020019
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta172961823-515
11FC CincinnatiCincinnati163671729-1215
12Chicago Fire173591828-1014
13Toronto173592136-1514
14Inter MiamiInter Miami153481325-1213

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England18114333211237
2Orlando City178542722529
3Nashville SCNashville17610125151028
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia187742417728
5New York City FCNY City1683530161427
6DC United177372520524
7Columbus Crew176651920-124
8CF MontrealMontreal176562322123
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls165472020019
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta172961823-515
11FC CincinnatiCincinnati163671729-1215
12Chicago Fire173591828-1014
13Toronto173592136-1514
14Inter MiamiInter Miami153481325-1213
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