MX23RW : Wednesday, October 27 02:20:12| >> :600:106342:106342:
Oct 3, 2021 at 10.30pm UK at Jeld-Wen Field
PortlandPortland Timbers
1-0
Inter MiamiInter Miami
Niezgoda (83')
Chara (67')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Figal (6')

Preview: Portland Timbers vs. Inter Miami - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Inter Miami make the long trip to Providence Park on Sunday to face Western Conference outfit Portland Timbers in Major League Soccer, with the away side having just eight more matches to break into the Eastern Conference top seven.

Portland are quite secure in fourth place, nine points clear of the playoff-chasing pack, and they will want to end the regular season strongly to build momentum heading into the national playoffs.


Match preview

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese directs his team against Real Salt Lake during the first half at Providence Park on August 7, 2021© Reuters

Giovanni Savarese's side enter this game in fine form, having won their last three consecutive matches and they remain unbeaten in their last seven outings.

That set of results is the best run the Timbers have been on this campaign, and they extended their good form with another three points thanks to a 2-1 win last time out against Los Angeles FC.

Danny Musovski equalised for LAFC after Yimmi Chara had given Portland a first-half lead, but the visitors responded just four minutes later and found the winner through Dairon Asprilla, who netted his eighth goal of the MLS season for the Timbers.

Savarese's team have conceded 44 goals this season, but in recent matches goalkeeper Steve Clark has only seen one goal per game fly past him, and Portland's attacking form has cancelled out any response from their opposition.

However, with playoffs now seriously on the cards for Portland, they will want to secure a few more clean sheets before the end of the regular season to have some defensive stability entering the playoffs.

Inter Miami CF teammates celebrate on June 26, 2021© Reuters

Inter Miami are not in such good form in comparison to their hosts, losing their last three back-to-back fixtures, and conceding 10 goals in that period.

Phil Neville's side did tighten up defensively last time out against Atlanta United, but the home side on that day still managed to collect three points courtesy of a 78th-minute penalty kick which was converted by Josef Martinez.

That defeat was a crucial one in Miami's quest to climb into the Eastern Conference playoff positions, as Atlanta sit just inside the top seven and a win against Gonzalo Pineda's side would have seen Inter Miami go within one point of their opponents.

They are now six points away from Orlando City and Atlanta in seventh and sixth place, but Neville's team do have a game in hand on both of those sides, meaning the playoffs remain a realistic target for Miami.

A factor which may prevent Inter Miami from climbing the table is the fact that they have only scored 25 goals this season - the lowest total across both the Eastern and Western Conferences - meaning that they are likely to have to rely on their defence to keep clean sheets as the side are unlikely to score more than one goal in a game.

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

Inter Miami Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L



Team News

Inter Miami head coach Phil Neville helps D.C. United midfielder Kevin Paredes (30) to get up on June 9, 2021© Reuters

Portland attacking midfielder Diego Valeri will be unavailable for selection on Sunday, after he picked up his sixth yellow card of the season once he had entered the field from the bench last time out against Los Angeles FC.

The Timbers have three players currently suffering from long-term injuries, including Andy Polo, Ismaila Jome and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella, who are all going to remain sidelined for the rest of the season.

Eryk Williamson will also continue to be absent from the squad after damaging his cruciate ligament last month, but Diego Chara and Cristhian Paredes are expected to continue in their central midfield roles.

Wingers Asprilla and Chara are in fine form, both finding the back of the net in the last two games - Chara in Timbers' last three matches - and they will be looking to continue their good form in front of goal against an Inter Miami defence which has shown weaknesses.

Miami also have a whole host of players unavailable and in the physio room, including Ian Fray, Joevin Jones, Ryan Shawcross, Ventura Alvarado and Victor Ulloa, but they could all return to action later this month for the final push of the regular season.

Centre-back Gregore received two yellow cards against Nashville SC and served his suspension last time out against Atlanta, so he is likely to come back into the defensive three for the away side.

Gonzalo Higuain has been Inter Miami's biggest goal threat this season, but he needs his teammates to help create more chances in the attacking third, considering that the team did not register a single shot on target last time out.

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Clark; Bravo, Zuparic, Mabiala, Van Rankin; Diego Chara, Paredes; Yimmi Chara, Blanco, Asprilla; Mora

Inter Miami possible starting lineup:
Marsman; Makoun, Leerdam, Gregore; Chapman; Gibbs, Matuidi, Pizarro, Morgan; Higuain, Robinson


SM words green background

We say: Portland Timbers 3-1 Inter Miami

This is a long journey for Inter Miami and they will not want to leave with nothing to show for it, but Portland's recent form and Miami's recent run of defeats suggests that the home side should claim three points on Sunday.

Portland also tend to be even better at home, scoring 10 more goals at Providence Park than they have managed on their travels, suggesting that the Western Conference outfit may possess too much attacking threat for Miami to handle.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Portlvs vs Inter Miami

Portland Timbers
70.8%
Draw
12.5%
Inter Miami
16.7%
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Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against DC United at Audi Field on August 24, 2021
Read Next:
Wednesday's MLS predictions including Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

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