Sports Mole previews Sunday’s Major League Soccer clash between Colorado Rapids and Portland Timbers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
The home side, who occupy 10th place in the Western Conference, can leapfrog the visitors with a win, while the Timbers can extend their current unbeaten run to four matches.
After winning two of their first three matches of the season, Colorado’s form has dropped off, with their last five games yielding just three points.
They did, however, avoid a third consecutive defeat last weekend, when they played out a goalless draw against Charlotte FC.
That result left the Rapids in 10th position in the Western Conference, with three points separating Colorado from the MLS playoffs
Although they are winless in their last five matches, the draw with Charlotte ensured that Colorado are unbeaten in their opening four matches this term.
Saturday’s hosts will be motivated to avenge the 1-0 defeat they suffered against Portland in the Western Conference semi-finals last season.
Portland are currently two points better off than their hosts, and as a result, they sit in ninth position after accumulating 11 points from their nine games.
Although they have lost just two matches so far this term, the Timbers have been plagued by a number of draws, with five of their opening nine contests ending all square.
They also enter Saturday’s contest off the back of two consecutive goalless draws, with the latest of those occurring last weekend against Real Salt Lake.
Giovanni Savarese‘s side are aiming to go one better than last season after losing out to New York City in the MLS cup final 2021, but to do that Portland must begin to convert draws into victories.
If they are to pick up the three points on Saturday then the Timbers must remain defensively solid for the full duration of the match, with four of their away seven goals conceded this season occurring in the final 15 minutes of matches.
Colorado Rapids Major League Soccer form:
Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:
Danny Wilson has been absent for the last two matches due to a hamstring issue and the 30-year-old remains a doubt for Saturday’s contest.
Meanwhile, Jack Price could also miss out after being forced off in the first half against Charlotte, while Gyasi Zardes – who made his debut last weekend – could be given his first start for the Rapids.
Savarese may be tempted to make a change to the forward line, which could result in Jaroslaw Niezgoda being recalled to the starting lineup.
Colorado Rapids possible starting lineup:
Yarbrough; Vallecilla, Abubakar, Trusty; Rosenberry, Kaye, Warner, Esteves; Rubio, Lewis, Zardes
Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Ivacic; Van Rankin, Tuiloma, Mabiala, Bravo; Paredes, Williamson, Blanco; Y. Chara, Moreno, Niezgoda
We say: Colorado Rapids 1-1 Portland Timbers
Colorado have drawn three of their last five matches, while Portland have accumulated more MLS draws than any other side this season, and we think that pattern will continue on Friday with the two teams cancelling each other out.