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Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Minnesota United will look to record a third consecutive Major League Soccer victory on Sunday, when they travel to take on Real Salt Lake.

After a poor start to the campaign, the visitors have moved off the foot of the table and up to 12th spot in the Western Conference, while their opponents have fallen to eighth place, having failed to win any of their last three league outings.


Match preview

Real Salt Lake head coach Freddy Juarez, directs his team during the first half against the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium pictured in March 2020© Reuters

Real Salt Lake come into Sunday's game on the back of consecutive draws, most recently drawing 2-2 away against FC Dallas.

Freddy Juarez's side took the lead in the 20th minute through Rubio Rubin, but Franco Jara equalised on the stroke of half time and Ryan Hollingshead's 83rd-minute goal for the Texan side looked to seal all three points until Damir Kreilach found the net three minutes later to earn a point for RSL.

That followed a goalless draw at home to Nashville SC and a 2-1 defeat at home to San Jose Earthquakes, as Chris Wondolowski netted a brace in the final 10 minutes after Rubin had put Juarez's side ahead.

After a strong start to the campaign, with consecutive wins from their opening two games, The Claret and Cobalt have since dropped down the table having collected just two points from their last three outings.

However, they do remain just one point behind sixth-placed Portland Timbers and seventh-placed San Jose Earthquakes, having played a game fewer than those two, meaning they could quickly rise back into the playoff places if they can return to winning ways.

In their attempt to do that, they take on a Minnesota United side who recently recorded their first two victories of the season.

Last time out, the visitors looked set to play out a goalless draw at home to FC Dallas, until Robin Lod broke the deadlock in the 94th minute to seal all three points for Adrian Heath's side.

That followed another 1-0 win, as a Ramon Abila goal made the difference when they played host to Toronto.

That was an impressive reversal of fortune for the Minnesota outfit, considering they lost their first four matches of the season to immediately go bottom of the Western Conference.

In those four games, Heath's men shipped 10 goals, while only scoring three at the other end, but they will come into Sunday's game with plenty more positivity.

With two consecutive clean sheets, the Loons will fancy themselves to extend their winning run to three games as they aim to continue their rise up the Conference.

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

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



Team News

Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath yells to his team during the second half between FC Dallas and the Minnesota United at Toyota Stadium in August 2020© Reuters

Real Salt Lake will remain without forward Bobby Wood, who is yet to feature since his arrival at the beginning of the season due to injury.

They will also continue without experienced midfielder Everton Luiz, who has been absent since he picked up an injury on the opening day of the season.

Their line will be led by Rubio Rubin, who has netted four of Real Salt Lake's eight goals in the MLS so far this season, while assisting a further two.

Minnesota have several injury concerns in defence, as Ike Opara remains out of action alongside Nabi Kibunguchy.

They are joined on the sidelines by midfielder Aziel Jackson, who is yet to feature this season due to injury.

Given the impressive clean sheet last time out, Heath should stick with the back four of Romaine Metanire, Michael Boxall, Brent Kallman and Chase Gasper, shielding goalkeeper Tyler Miller.

Meanwhile, Robin Lod should lead the line having netted the winning goal last time out.

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
Ochoa; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Brody; Besler, Ruiz; Rusnak, Kreilach, Julio; Rubin

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Metanire, Boxall, Kallman, Gasper; Gregus, Trapp; FInlay, Reynoso, Dotson; Lod


SM words green background

We say: Real Salt Lake 1-2 Minnesota United

Despite looking to be at different ends of the table at the start of the season, the two sides now come into this game in opposite runs of form, and we give the edge to the visitors who come in with plenty of momentum.

After a poor start to the campaign, Minnesota have quickly built confidence, and we see them securing their third straight victory on Sunday as they take on a Real Salt Lake side who have struggled in recent weeks.



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: Salt Lake vs Minnesota Utd

Real Salt Lake
26.7%
Draw
20.0%
Minnesota United
53.3%
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England9621149520
2Orlando City95311661018
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia9432117415
4Columbus Crew842296314
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls84041210212
6DC United9405911-212
7New York City FCNY City83231510511
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta8251119211
9CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
10Nashville SCNashville825198111
11Inter MiamiInter Miami9225814-68
12Toronto81251015-55
13Chicago Fire8116413-94
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati7115617-114

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England9621149520
2Orlando City95311661018
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia9432117415
4Columbus Crew842296314
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls84041210212
6DC United9405911-212
7New York City FCNY City83231510511
8Atlanta UnitedAtlanta8251119211
9CF MontrealMontreal8323109111
10Nashville SCNashville825198111
11Inter MiamiInter Miami9225814-68
12Toronto81251015-55
13Chicago Fire8116413-94
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati7115617-114

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