Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake prediction, preview, team news and more | 2021 MLS Cup Conference finals

Portland Timbers beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 in November
Portland Timbers beat Real Salt Lake 3-1 in November

Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake square off at Providence Park on Saturday in the 2021 MLS Conference finals for a place in the MLS Cup showdown next week.

The Timbers are breathing fire at the moment, winning their last five games after losing three in a row before that.

During this period, they also beat Salt Lake 3-1 away in the regular season, their third consecutive win over their rivals.

Giovanni Savarese's side reached this stage after overcoming the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the quarter-finals, courtesy of a 90th-minute strike from Larrys Mabiala.

The Royals, meanwhile, also pulled off a similar escape against Sporting Kansas City, netting twice late in the second half, including a stoppage-time winner from Bobby Wood, to reach here.

Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake Head-To-Head

Real Salt Lake have won 13 of their last 33 matches, with the Portland Timbers winning only 12 times.

However, the latter have won all three of their clashes with Salt Lake in the 2021 calendar year, including a stunning 6-1 rout at home in September.

Next stop: Conference Finals. 🏆

Portland Timbers Form Guide (all competitions): W-W-W-W-W

Real Salt Lake Form Guide (all competitions): W-D-W-L-L

Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake Team News

Portland Timbers

The Timbers have several players out injured, with Jeff Attinella and Andy Polo suffering season-ending injuries. Hunter Sulte has a concussion.

To make things worse, Dairon Asprilla was sent off in the 1-0 victory over Colorado in stoppage-time and will hence be suspended from Saturday's fixture. Sebastian Blanco is also out with a hamstring injury.

Injured: Ismaila Jome, Jeff Attinella, Andy Polo, Hunter Sulte, Eryk Williamson, Sebastian Blanco

Suspended: Dairon Asprilla

Unavailable: None

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Real Salt Lake

The Royals have a comparatively better record with only Zack Farnsworth (knee) being unavailable.

Albert Rusnak is back after serving his two-week quarantine.

Everton Luiz is suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards.

Injured: Zack Farnsworth

Suspended: Everton Luiz

Unavailable: None

Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake Predicted XI

Portland Timbers (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark; Josecarlos Van Rankin, Larrys Mabiala, Dario Župarić, Claudio Bravo; Diego Chará, Cristhian Paredes; Yimmi Chará, Diego Valeri, Marvin Loría; Jarosław Niezgoda.

Real Salt Lake (4-3-1-2): David Ochoa; Aaron Herrera, Justen Glad, Marcelo Silva, Andrew Brody; Maikel Chang, Pablo Ruíz, Jonathan Menéndez; Albert Rusnak; Damir Kreilach, Rubio Rubin.

Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake Prediction

As much as Salt Lake would love to end their losing streak against Portland, their form has been inconsistent.

The Timbers may face more competition from their rivals here compared to what they did in their league meetings.

But Giovanni Savarese's side should prevail, advancing into the showpiece clash.

Prediction: Portland Timbers 1-1 (3-1) Real Salt Lake

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Edited by Shardul Sant
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