Colorado Rapids finished second from bottom of last seasons Western Conference and will go one worse this time around if their form doesn’t start to improve. Sunday’s hosts currently occupy last place in their respective Conference having played ten games and picked up just eight points. Portland Timbers, who finished top of the Western Conference in 2017, could move into second place on Sunday with victory over their struggling hosts. Nine points separate the two clubs ahead of kick-off and the signs suggest that that gap will only increase on Sunday as the visitors are in the midst of a winning streak.
When the two sides last met back in August, hosts Portland Timbers picked up all three points via a 2-1 win in which all of the talking points arrived in the first forty-five minutes. The deadlock was broken in the twenty-first minute by Portland’s Váleri and just two minutes later Nagbe made it 2-0, with Andriuškevičius claiming both assists. The visitors needed a rapid response and got it through Saeid’s twenty-eighth minute goal that halved the deficit. Shortly after the half hour mark the hosts were awarded a penalty and the chance to restore their two goal advantage, but Guzmán misfired from 12-yards and the scoreline remained 2-1. Both teams made changes during the second half, but no more goals were scored as Portland held on to secure another three points on their way to claiming top spot in the Western Conference.
The form of both clubs heading into Sunday’s game are polar opposite, with Colorado Rapids winning one and losing five of their last six, and Portland Timbers losing just one and winning five of their last six matches. Colorado have lost their last five games and will need to put in their very best performance to end that horrid run this weekend, especially as Portland have won each of their last five games and appear to be brimming with confidence. Two of the last three encounters between these two clubs have gone the way of Portland Timbers, and its hard to envisage Sunday’s game ending any other way. The visitors have kept three clean sheets in five of those victories, while Colorado Rapids have obviously failed to keep out their opposition in any of their last five matches as all have ended in defeat.
Badji top scores for the hosts with five goals so far in this seasons MLS, and Colorado are going to need the Senegal striker to be in good form on Sunday to stand any chance of success. Argentine midfielder Blanco is enjoying his second season at Portland Timbers having scored five goals already, you three away from his grand total in 2017. Fellow countryman Váleri has scored four time in the league for Portland this season and between them they have the potential to cause so much trouble for a defensively weak side like Colorado Rapids.
We’re confident that Portland Timbers will win tomorrow and increase their run of victories to six. Colorado Rapids have given no suggestion that they have improved with season, if anything they already look worse. As for a final score, we believe this game will be close but Portland will just edge the game via a 1-0 win.
Colorado Rapids Predicted Lineup: Howard, Castillo, Smith, Wilson, Wynne, Martínez, Azira, Adjei-Boateng, Nicholson Substituted, Mason, Badji.
Portland Timbers Predicted Lineup: Attinella, Cascante, Mabiala, Powell, Valentin, Váleri, Blanco, Chará, Paredes, Adi, Polo.
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These two sides have met eighteen times before, and with 8 wins, 3 draws, and 7 defeats its Portland Timbers who just edge the head to head record. Portland Timbers have only won once away at Colorado Rapids (2-1 in 2015).
Kortne Ford and Marlon Hairston have both been ruled out of this weekend MLS game against Portland.
Miller, Ebobisse, and McIntosh are set to miss the trip to Colorado due to injury, while there is also doubts over Vytas and Ridgewell.