The MLS weekend concludes on Sunday evening when two of the bigger profile sides in the Western Conference meet as the MLS Cup finalists of 2021 Portland Timbers take on an LA Galaxy who are heavily in rebuild mode after a couple of sloppy campaigns.
Both teams have made slow starts to the season but they will be all too aware that in MLS you can finish seventh in your table and still win the competition so they won’t be panicking just yet, although they will like a confidence booster here.
Where to watch
The match will be shown live and in full on Free Sports in the UK. The programme begins at 9.50pm with the action getting underway shortly after.
The Portland Timbers were in action last week so they haven’t had the luxury of having a break to regather their thoughts and assess where they are. I don’t think we should be too surprised that they have started the season slowly. So often teams who reach the MLS Cup final begin the following year slowly. Having a late draft pick is one reason for that but also because so much effort goes into the playoff run that it often takes longer than teams have to recover.
The Timbers have also lost an influential player in the form of Diego Valeri and while he was only a bit part player on the pitch last season, he was clearly a huge character in the dressing room so he will be missed. Despite the slow beginning to the campaign, the Timbers have only lost one of their five matches so it isn’t a disaster by any means. They just need that little bit of quality to turn draws into wins and they’ll fly up the table in no time.
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It has been a sluggish start for LA Galaxy as well. Unlike their hosts in this match they don’t have the luxury of a run to the MLS Cup final to use as an excuse, although having won two of their first four matches it is open to debate just how ordinary their beginning has been. The issue they might have for those who want to doubt them is that both their wins have form question marks over them, although to be fair Charlotte FC have found form since going down to Galaxy.
The surprising thing with the Galaxy is that they have only scored four goals in their opening four matches. They went into the season with optimism around their attacking unit after the addition of Douglas Costa but they need that spark to fire them into life. On the flip side of that they have only conceded four goals in those four matches and three of those came in defeat to the Seattle Sounders. LA Galaxy did get the international break to take stock of where they are and it will be interesting to see how they go here.
This is a fixture which has a history of a number of goals in it in recent times. You have to go back 11 matches and all the way to 2018 for the last time there wasn’t three goals in a match between these two famous sides and in that time there has been a 4-0, a 3-2, a 6-3, a 5-2 and a 4-1 so it isn’t like these games sneak a third goal. I suspect the reason for that is the history the two franchises have in the competition and so they are eager not to lose to the other.
I think it is fair to say that the Galaxy attack hasn’t clicked into gear just yet but you would imagine with the personnel they have in forward areas that it is only a matter of time before it does. It could well be that it is here. Portland have been looking better in attacking areas and there is no reason why that would change here so I’m going to follow that historical trend and take this one to have more than 2.75 goals at just under evens.
Back Over 2.75 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.93 with Bet365