MX23RW : Tuesday, September 21 08:16:32| >> :600:423121:423121:
Aug 1, 2021 at 1.30am UK at Robertson Stadium
HoustonHouston Dynamo
0-0
Salt LakeReal Salt Lake
FT

Glad (40'), Holt (90+3')
Glad (87')

Preview: Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Houston Dynamo will look to put an end to an eight-game winless run on Sunday, when they play host to Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer action.

A poor run of form has seen Tab Ramos's side drop to ninth spot in the Western Conference, allowing Real Salt Lake to leapfrog them and move into the playoff places.


Match preview

Houston Dynamo FC head coach Tab Ramos reacts on June 24, 2021© Reuters

Houston Dynamo enjoyed a fairly strong start to the MLS season, winning three of their opening eight games and collecting 11 points to establish themselves in the top half of the Western Conference table.

However, their form has taken a major dip since, with Tab Ramos's side having failed to win any of their eight games since.

While they have only lost two of those games, a tally of six points from eight outings has seen El Naranja drop out of the playoff spots, now occupying ninth place in their Conference.

They come into Sunday's game on the back of consecutive draws, as their match with Vancouver Whitecaps finished goalless after previously losing 2-0 to a high-flying Seattle Sounders side.

Most recently, Ramos's side drew 1-1 with San Jose Earthquakes, as Matias Vera's 40th-minute opener for Houston was cancelled out by a Zarek Valentin own goal on the stroke of half time.

While they have dropped out of the top seven, El Naranja would go level on points with their opponents if they manage to secure an elusive win on Sunday, and Ramos will be desperate for his side to put that poor run behind them in order to kickstart a rise back up the league.

Meanwhile, their visitors will come with the intention of keeping hold of their playoff place, having recently moved into seventh spot.

Real Salt Lake celebrate a goal from penalty kick on June 24, 2021© Reuters

After winning both of their first two games of the season, Real Salt Lake went four games without a victory to drop down the Conference table, and have been largely inconsistent since.

However, Freddy Juarez's side have shown signs of a positive run in recent weeks, collecting seven points from their last four games, with the only defeat coming to a strong Los Angeles FC side.

The recent run started with a 4-0 thrashing of Vancouver Whitecaps thanks to a Damir Kreilach brace and goals from Albert Rusnak and Anderson Julio, before they followed up the narrow defeat to LAFC with a 2-2 draw against LA Galaxy.

Although that is certainly a commendable result, Juearez's men may have felt slightly disappointed to have thrown away a two-goal lead, as goals from Victor Vazquez and Rayan Raveloson levelled the game after Albert Rusnak and Maikel Chang put Real Salt Lake two goals ahead.

They would channel that disappointment into the following game though, thrashing Colorado Rapids 3-0 thanks to goals from Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin alongside a William Yarbrough own goal.

That victory saw them move ahead of Portland Timbers and back into the top seven of the Western Conference after their previous drop to the bottom end of the division.

With just a three-point lead over Sunday's opponents in ninth place, it is crucial that RSL continue their upturn in form to earn a positive result, as they aim to cement themselves in the playoff spots.

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • D

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W



Team News

Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach reacts after his first half goal May 30, 2021© Reuters

Houston Dynamo come into Sunday's game with far from a full-strength side, as Maynor Figueroa, Tyler Pasher, Darwin Ceren, Ariel Lassiter and Boniek Garcia are all away on international duty at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

They will also be without attacker Fafa Picault, who will serve a one-game suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

Maximiliano Urruti should again lead the line, having recorded six goals and an assist in 15 MLS appearances so far this season.

Freddy Juarez has fewer selection concerns to deal with, although important defender Andrew Brody is out of action alongside centre-back Toni Datkovic and 19-year-old Zackery Farnsworth.

Summer signing Bobby Wood should again lead the line, having hit his first goal for his new club in the 3-0 victory last time out.

Anderson Julio and Albert Rusnak should also join Wood in the attacking line, posing a major threat to Houston.

Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Maric; Valentin, Junqua, Parker, Lundqvist; Vera, Corona, Jones; Quintero, Urruti, Rodriguez

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Toia; Kreilach, Besler; Julio, Rusnak, Meram; Wood


SM words green background

We say: Houston Dynamo 0-2 Real Salt Lake

Given Houston Dynamo's long list of absentees and their poor run of form, we would not be surprised to see them fall to another defeat on Sunday.

On the contrary to their opponents, Real Salt Lake find themselves in a positive run of form, and they should have enough to see off a depleted Houston squad.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data


ID:457376:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11554:

How you voted: Houston vs Salt Lake

Houston Dynamo
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Draw
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Real Salt Lake
35.0%
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Minnesota United midfielder Adrien Hunou celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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