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Major League Soccer
May 5, 2024 at 2.30am UK
Rio Tinto Stadium

Salt Lake
1 - 0

Arango (81')
Eneli (14'), Vera (47'), Arango (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Rodriguez (90+4')

Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Sporting Kansas City - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Real Salt Lake will host Sporting Kansas City this weekend, looking to remain top of the Major League Soccer Western Conference.

The visitors are going through a difficult patch of form and shall be focused on returning to winning ways after four matches without a win.

Match preview

It has been a solid start to the campaign for Real Salt Lake, who currently sit top of the Western Conference, but with only goal difference separating them and Los Angeles Galaxy there is plenty of work to be done.

Pablo Mastroeni's men head into this fixture having gone six games without a loss, which has catapulted them up the league table and injected a lot of belief into the team.

That was evident last weekend when they battled until the end against Philadelphia Union, with Alexandros Katranis scoring in the 89th minute to secure a 2-1 victory.

The result ensured they stayed above LA Galaxy in the table, and a lot of that is down to how defensively sound they have been throughout their opening 10 matches.

Real Salt Lake have only conceded nine goals this season, which is the joint-lowest across the entire MLS, showcasing how difficult they have been to break down.

Kansas City will attempt to change that, although they will need to improve their attacking performances away from home so far in this campaign.

The Wizards have only scored five times on the road, which is a stark contrast to the 13 goals they have netted at home, proving that away games are providing some difficulties for them.

That was evident last weekend when they were defeated 2-1 by Minnesota United, with their opponents taking the lead just two minutes into the game.

Staying defensively resolute in the early stages will be crucial for Kansas City this time if they want to change their recent form, which has seen them fail to win any of their previous four matches.

Considering the Wizards could slump to 12th in the league table with a defeat this weekend, the pressure is certainly mounting on Peter Vermes to begin turning things around before the season runs away from his team.

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:

Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Katranis will likely retain his position in the Salt Lake starting lineup after registering two goals and two assists already in this campaign.

The hosts will be without Kevin Bonilla again due to injury, while Erik Holt is also on the sidelines due to a hamstring issue.

Anderson Julio did return for the Claret and Cobalt last weekend as a substitute, meaning he could now be in contention to start the game, although Cristian Arango might keep his place leading the attack.

The visitors are also dealing with a plethora of injury problems at the moment, with Logan Ndenbe suffering from a knee issue and Khiry Shelton dealing with an ankle issue.

There was positive news in that department for the Wizards last weekend, though, as Johnny Russell and Memo Rodriguez returned from their respective fitness problems to feature on the bench.

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
MacMath; Brody, Glad, Vera, Katranis; Ojeda, Eneli; Gomez, Crooks, Luna; Arango

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Davis, Rosero, Fontas, Leibold; Walter, Radoja; Thommy, Pulido, Salloi, Agada

We say: Real Salt Lake 2-0 Sporting Kansas City

Both teams head into this game with opposing form and that is something which favour Real Salt Lake considering their recent performances.

With the visitors struggling in front of goal when playing away from home, this fixture could end up being a tough one for them.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Premier League Table

Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami18105342271535
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1610332316733
3New York City FCNY City169252417729
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls178542923629
5Charlotte FCCharlotte FC177461818025
6Columbus Crew146622113824
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia164842723420
9Nashville SCNashville164752022-219
10DC United174762531-619
11Orlando City164571624-817
12CF MontrealMontreal164572335-1217
13Atlanta UnitedAtlanta164482221116
14Chicago Fire173681729-1215
15New England RevolutionNew England1541101227-1513

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1796236191733
2Los Angeles FCLos Angeles169342819930
3Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd168532821729
4Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy177733125628
5Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver167452419525
6Austin FCAustin176562125-423
7Houston DynamoHouston166461818022
8Colorado RapidsColorado176472931-222
9Portland TimbersPortland185673232021
10Seattle SoundersSeattle174672021-118
11St Louis City163942325-218
12Sporting Kansas CityKansas173592632-614
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1632112439-1511
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