Portland Timbers host Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Western Conference on Tuesday night, as they look to rectify their awful defensive form, which has seen them concede seven goals in their last two games.
After picking up only two points in their first five MLS games, LA Galaxy have bounced back in their last two games, with two wins on the bounce, and will look to take advantage of Portland's defensive misery at Providence Park.
A win for LA Galaxy will see them go level on points with Portland after eight regular-season matches, and well in the hunt for a playoff spot, which wasn't looking likely after a horrendous start to their season.
Even during the MLS is Back Tournament, LA Galaxy were going through a wretched run as they lost two and drew one of their games in that tournament.
Portland, though, will hope that their last two games, a 3-0 loss to Seattle Sounders and a 4-4 draw against Real Salt Lake were temporary blips, and will look to get back up and running when they host the Galaxy.
Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy Head-to-Head
Both teams have won 10 games against each other in their history with six matches ending in a draw between the two sides.
LA Galaxy are definitely the team in better form coming into this game, though, as they beat LAFC 2-0 and San Jose Earthquakes 3-2 in their last two games, which has helped them build some sort of momentum heading into a tough run of fixtures, that also sees them face city rivals Los Angeles FC again, in quick succession.
For Portland, the defensive issues must be giving head coach Giovanni Savarese a headache. Seven goals conceded in two games isn't a good look for any team, but even more so one that is gunning to finish near the top of the conference table.
In the last game between the two sides, which took place in the group stages of the MLS is Back tournament, Portland won 2-1, despite being reduced to 10 men.
Portland Timbers MLS Form Guide - D-L-W-L-W
Los Angeles Galaxy MLS Form Guide - W-W-L-L-L
Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy Team News
Portland Timbers will miss the services of their Colombian striker Dairon Asprilla who is ruled out with a knee problem. Young midfielder Blake Bodily is also out with injury.
Injured: Dairon Asprilla, Blake Bodily
Doubtful: Yimmy Chara
Los Angeles Galaxy
Mexican superstar Javier Hernandez is still injured and not expected to play any part in this game.
Injured: Javier Hernandez, Danilo Acosta
Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy Predicted XIs
Portland Timbers (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark; Jorge Vilafana, Larris Mabiala, Dario Zuparic, Chris Duvall; Eryk Williamson, Diego Chara; Sebastian Blanco, Diego Valeri, Marvin Loria; Jeremy Ebobisse
Los Angeles Galaxy (4-2-3-1): David Bingham; Rolf Feltscher, Daniel Steres, Nick DePuy, Emiliano Insua; Perry Kitchen, Joe Corona; Julian Araujo, Sebastian Lletget, Cristian Pavon; Ethan Zubak
Portland Timbers vs Los Angeles Galaxy Prediction
The Galaxy have improved defensively, while Portland have suddenly fallen south. That promises to be a fascinating sub-plot in this game.
The blip against Seattle Sounders aside, the Portland Timbers have been scoring enough goals to win games, and that is something that will give them hope for this match against LA Galaxy.
For the Galaxy, Sebastian Lletget has stepped up with the goods in the last two games, in Hernandez's absence, and he will look to make the most of a Portland defence that is low on confidence.
Prediction: Portland Timbers 2-3 Los Angeles GalaxyPublished 02 Sep 2020, 23:09 IST