The defending two-time Western Conference champions will be seeking a third consecutive Cascadia Cup, an annual trophy handed out to whoever finishes with the best record in the season series between the Sounders, Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps.
For the Timbers it has been a less than ideal start to the season, losing their opener to the Whitecaps, edging the Dynamo and getting dominated last Saturday in a 4-1 loss to FC Dallas.
Now coaching in his fourth season, Giovanni Savarese and his team are off to their worst start to a campaign since 2019 when they had just one point in their first three games.
Portland have used three different goalkeepers since the season began and homegrown player Hunter Sulte had a forgettable MLS debut last weekend, facing six shots and conceding four goals.
In previous seasons the Timbers have been at their best when playing the top teams, going unbeaten in their three meetings with the Sounders in the 2020 regular season.
Being eliminated this week in the CONCACAF Champions League should give them the motivation to try to turn things around in MLS.
The Sounders began this season on a mission eager to erase the painful memory of the 2020 MLS Cup final, when they were beaten 3-0 by the Columbus Crew.
So far in 2021, Seattle have shown they are still among the elite sides in MLS, clobbering Minnesota 4-0, drawing with LAFC 1-1, and easing past the much-improved LA Galaxy last weekend 3-0.
Since Brian Schmetzer became manager in 2016 this team has soared to new heights and been one of the most consistent MLS sides in both the regular season and playoffs.
Since 2017 they have never finished worse than second in the West and they have made the MLS Cup final in four of Schmetzer's five seasons in charge, winning the title in 2016 and 2019.
The Sounders were among the best teams statistically in 2020 and that has not changed in the early stages of this campaign as they currently lead the league in assists (nine), are tied with San Jose for most goals (eight), and goalkeeper Stefan Frei is tied for most clean sheets (two).
Portland goalkeeper Steve Clark could miss the game because of a thigh muscle strain, while his backup Aljaz Ivacic is out with a groin strain, and winger Sebastian Blanco along with striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda have cruciate ligament ruptures and are out long term.
Diego Valeri, who led the team in goals and assists in 2020, is yet to find the back of the net in his first three appearances this season, while Eryck Williamson will be pushing to start after scoring the lone goal in a loss to the Toros.
Raul Ruidiaz is well on his way to another double-digit season in goals, notching four already in this campaign.
Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Attinella; Van Rankin, Zuparic, McGraw, Bonilla; Polo, Zambrano, Loria, Valeri, Williamson; Mora
Seattle Sounders possible starting lineup:
Frei; Gomez, O'Neil, Tolo; Roldan, Rowe, Paulo, Lodeiro; Roldan, Bruin; Ruidiaz
We say: Portland Timbers 1-3 Seattle Sounders
The Timbers are unbeaten in their last three regular season games against their arch-rivals Seattle but this Sounders team, at the moment, are firing on all cylinders, and they have a variety of different players who can contribute.