The end of the MLS regular season is heading towards its conclusion but Portland Timbers face off against Los Angeles FC this weekend in a Western Conference duel at Providence Park.
- Portland Timbers drew 2-2 on the road to Seattle Sounders last time out
- Los Angeles FC suffered a 3-1 home defeat to Inter Miami in their last match
- The visitors have won their last three successive clashes with the hosts
Sitting outside the playoff spots, Portland Timbers are just four points behind FC Dallas and could still reach the postseason with seven games left to go. LA FC are sitting comfortably in third but must keep composure to secure their spot in the playoffs.
Portland Timbers Form
It wasn't the best of months for Portland since they won just one of their five games played in August. They were eliminated from the Leagues Cup at the start of the month at the round of 32 stage by Mexican side Monterrey too.
A return to MLS action hasn’t helped much either. They suffered back-to-back defeats to Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps before finally winning their first match since the end of July after beating Real Salt Lake 2-1. A 2-2 draw away to Seattle Sounders in their most recent outing means they are unbeaten in their last two, nevertheless.
Los Angeles FC Form
Despite currently occupying a healthy position in the Western Conference standings, LA FC enter this one on the back of successive defeats. They lost 3-1 at home to Inter Miami last time out after also losing 2-1 away to Charlotte.
Monterrey have been at the centre of both Portland and LA FC’s demise in the Leagues Cup. The Mexican outfit went on to beat the Falcons 3-2 in the quarter-finals. LA FC’s last triumph came in a 4-0 win at home to Colorado Rapids last month and they will be desperate to get back to winning ways here.
Neither side head into the clash on the best of form but the visitors should take some confidence in the fact that they have won their last three consecutive meetings with the Timbers. The last two came in the MLS, whilst the third was during the US Open Cup. LA FC are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Portland and the Timbers haven’t won against them since 2021.
David Ayala, Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Eryk Williamson are all set to miss out for Portland due to knee injuries. The trio have been out of action now for some time. Dario Zuparic will also remain on the sidelines due to suspension. Juan David Mosquera, Miguel Araujo and Bryan Acosta are away on international duty.
Diego Palacios made his return last time out after missing the previous three matches. He should be available once more for this one. Jesus Murillo also returned last time out after being absent for the last two so should be good to go here. Diego Rosales is set to miss out for LA FC and has not made the squad since mid-July. Denis Bouanga, Cristian Olivera, Denil Maldonado and Stipe Buik are away with their national teams.
Evander will be influential for the hosts since he has ten goal contributions for them thus far in MLS. He also scored against the Seattle Sounders last time out so is in good form. The Brazilian is set to start in the midfield.
Bouanga will be a big loss for the visitors since he has 18 goal contributions in the MLS for them so far this term. 34-year-old Carlos Vela will make an impact in the forward line, however, as he looks for his tenth league goal of the campaign.
In spite of LA FC’s poor away form, they are still considered favourites for the match here. Portland will hope their home record is enough to find the win but it should be a close game that could see plenty of goals.