The knockout stages of the MLS tournament have seen some intriguing fixtures so far and a fixture between Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps at this stage of the tournament is unlikely to disappoint fans of the MLS. Both sides have blown hot and cold so far in the tournament and will look to find some consistency going into this fixture.
Sporting Kansas City topped Group C by the skin of its teeth in the preliminary stages of the competition and has largely flattered to deceive in the MLS so far. The home side is prone to shockingly regular defensive lapses and will have to solve a few of its problems to get past an inconsistent Vancouver side.
The Whitecaps will have gained confidence from their victory over Chicago in a lightning-affected fixture last week. The Canadian outfit had conceded seven goals in the two games before its must-win game against Chicago but a clean sheet and a promising defensive performance will have done wonders for the morale of the team.
Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps Head-to-Head
Sporting Kansas City has a massive head-to-head advantage in recent meetings between the two sides. In the last 17 official fixtures played between Sporting Kansas City and the Vancouver Whitecaps, the former has managed 10 victories and has lost only four games.
The Kansas-based outfit pulled off a comprehensive 3-1 victory in Vancouver's own backyard earlier this year with Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda, and Erik Hurtado getting on to the scoresheet. Much has changed for the Whitecaps in recent months and the Canadian side will be relishing the prospect of revenge ahead of this fixture.
Sporting Kansas City form guide in the MLS: W-W-L-W-W
Vancouver Whitecaps form guide in the MLS: L-W-L-L-W
Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps Team News
Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City has most of its squad available for this fixture. Star midfielder Felipe Gutierrez scored for his side in last year's edition of this game but is sidelined for this round-of-16 clash and is recuperating from knee surgery.
The home side will also be without former Barcelona defender Andreu Fontas its commendable squad depth holds the team in good stead ahead of the clash against the Whitecaps. Sporting Kansas City has always been an ambitious side and will look to replicate its previous successes against Vancouver.
Injured: Felipe Gutierrez, Andreu Fontas
Not Available: None
The Vancouver Whitecaps have one of the most depleted squads in the MLS 2020 tournament but have managed to put in a few impressive performances with a makeshift attacking line in the MLS.
Tosaint Ricketts, Fredy Montero, and Lucas Cavallini are all unavailable for this knockout clash and the Whitecaps will have to dig deep yet again to pull off a victory. Russell Teibert is a crucial player for the away side and the Vancouver side will look to its star man to provide some much-needed creative impetus on the pitch.
Injured: Maxime Crepeau
Not Available: Lucas Cavallini, Andy Rose, Fredy Montero, Georges Mukumbilwa, Tosaint Ricketts, Bryan Meredith
Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps Predicted XI
Sporting Kansas City Predicted XI (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Luis Martins, Roberto Puncec, Graham Smith, Graham Zusi; Gianluca Busio, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza; Khiry Shelton, Gerso Fernandes, Alan Pulido
Vancouver Whitecaps Predicted XI (5-3-2): Thomas Hasal; Ali Adnan, Ranko Veselinovic, Derek Cornelius, Jasser Khemiri, Jake Nerwinski; Leonard Owusu, Russell Teibert, In-Beom Hwang; Cristian Dajome, Yordy Reyna
Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps Prediction
Sporting Kansas City finished with six points in three games in the group stages and boast a potent attacking force that can be a nightmare to deal with. The home side holds all the cards in this fixture and will look to mount repeated assaults on Vancouver's defensive lines on the pitch.
With most of their attacking stars unavailable for the game, The Whitecaps will line up in a 5-3-2 formation and will try to bear the brunt of the Kansas side's attacks. Vancouver managed to score two goals past Chicago last week but may find the game against Sporting Kansas City a more difficult prospect.
Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps
Published 26 Jul 2020, 15:14 IST