MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 12:38:24| >> :600:86996:86996:
Jul 25, 2021 at 1am UK at National Sports Center
Minnesota UtdMinnesota United
2-1
PortlandPortland Timbers
Gasper (74'), Lod (85')
Lod (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Mora (10')

Preview: Minnesota United vs. Portland Timbers - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Minnesota United and Portland Timbers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Seeking to build on victory over the formerly unbeaten MLS Western Conference leaders last weekend, Minnesota United welcome close rivals Portland Timbers to Allianz Field on Saturday.

While the Loons deservedly ended Seattle's league record 13-game streak last time out, Portland posted a second successive win to stay one point clear of this week's opponents in the standings.


Match preview

Minnesota United midfielder Adrien Hunou celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Sitting just inside the playoff places, amid a Western Conference mid-table logjam, Minnesota United bounced back from a disappointing defeat at Colorado to turn over the dominant table-toppers in front of a vocal home support on Sunday.

The club's first-ever win over the Sounders after seven previous attempts - a 1-0 victory courtesy of Robin Lod's winner nine minutes from time - was just reward for their intensity and suffocation of an absence-hit visiting side. Incidentally, it marked English coach Adrian Heath's 50th regular-season win since taking charge in 2016.

That blip in Denver aside, Heath's side have not lost or failed to score since a 1-0 reverse against Austin at the start of May, having previously put together a seven-match undefeated run.

Part of that streak was a one-goal win over Portland at the end of last month, when striker Adrien Hunou netted in the second minute and United held out for the next 90 to record their second successive victory over the Timbers.

In fact, Minnesota have won six of their ten MLS meetings with this weekend's visitors and lost only twice, so - allied to strong form - they can also take the power of precedent into Saturday's finely-balanced game.

Portland Timbers forward Jeremy Ebobisse celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during stoppage time on June 24, 2021© Reuters

Sixth-placed Portland have enjoyed a welcome revival during the past week, after their grasp on a cherished playoff spot had started to loosen following a run of three defeats and just one win from their previous five games.

Last weekend, the Timbers secured a 1-0 victory over bottom club FC Dallas - leaving it late to snatch the points, as Jeremy Ebobisse notched an 84th-minute winner - before repeating the trick with a stoppage-time goal from substitute striker Felipe Mora to steal a 2-1 win at LAFC on Wednesday.

Argentinian veteran Diego Valeri's early opener was a milestone moment for an established club legend, as it marked his 100th career goal for the Timbers in all competitions, while Mora's late header proved the decisive act of an eventful second half - setting off joyous scenes of celebration at Providence Park.

Now, Giovanni Savarese's side, who reached the first round of the playoffs last season, must bring their renewed momentum to bear in a pair of challenging fixtures - first at Minnesota and then versus LA Galaxy, who currently sit third in the Western Conference.

Savarese will be acutely aware that while this weekend's hosts are hardly prolific in front of goal they also give very little away defensively, so his attacking stars such as Mora, Valeri and Ebobisse will necessarily need to be pin-sharp in Saint Paul.

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

Minnesota United FC head coach Adrian Heath on May 30, 2021© Reuters

Minnesota come into Saturday's match with a pair of players absent due to international duty: Dayne St. Clair is still at the Gold Cup with Canada and defender Michael Boxall - previously ever-present before a recent injury - plans to join up with New Zealand at the Olympic Games.

Boxall remains in Minnesota as he attempts to overcome a thigh strain suffered earlier this month but is expected to travel to Japan in the coming days.

On-loan Boca Juniors striker Ramon Abila returns from suspension after picking up a red card as a substitute against Colorado, but Adrien Hunou is likely to retain his place - linking up with Abila's former Boca colleague Emanuel Reynoso up front.

Meanwhile, Portland continue to manage a busy treatment room, with Andy Polo, Jeff Attinella and Ismaila Jome all recovering from serious injuries. However, Paraguayan midfielder Cristhian Paredes overcame a thigh problem to feature from the bench in midweek and could be involved again.

The Timbers share around their goalscoring burden, with Jeremy Ebobisse, Felipe Mora and Colombian winger Dairon Asprilla all leading the way on three goals apiece. The trio are expected to start at Allianz Field, but Asprilla may have to be content with a place on the bench if coach Giovanni Savarese again opts for a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Taylor; Kallman, Dibassy, Gasper; Trapp, Alonso; Fragapane, Reynoso, Lod; Hunou

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Clark; Bonilla, Mabiala, Tuiloma, Van Rankin; Ebobisse, Zambrano, Chara, Asprilla; Mora, Chara


SM words green background

We say: Minnesota United 1-1 Portland Timbers

As indicated by their one-goal encounter last month, these sides do not tend to give much away and are evenly-matched in many aspects.

Therefore, a low-scoring draw is on the cards - with only a few moments of magic breaking the deadlock - as both teams stay in the hunt for the playoff places.



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


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How you voted: Minnesota Utd vs Portlvs

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Draw
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Portland Timbers
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina21121245
JapanJapan175830
United StatesUnited States16171245
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10151136
AustraliaAustralia1031427
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events


TRIATHLON
· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

SWIMMING
· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

ATHLETICS
· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

SAILING
· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

TENNIS
· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
EFL Cup
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
2.Bundesliga
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Brasileiro
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England16103330191133
2Orlando City168442621528
3New York City FCNY City1582530161426
4Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
5Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia166642016424
6Columbus Crew166641716124
7CF MontrealMontreal156452018222
8DC United156272118320
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls145361817118
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta162861621-514
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami132381023-139

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England16103330191133
2Orlando City168442621528
3New York City FCNY City1582530161426
4Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
5Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia166642016424
6Columbus Crew166641716124
7CF MontrealMontreal156452018222
8DC United156272118320
9New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls145361817118
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta162861621-514
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami132381023-139

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