Sporting Kansas City suffered back-to-back defeats for the first time in the 2021 season in the last week. It has greatly hampered their chances of finishing on top of the Western Conference for the third time in fourth years. However, they can still do it with a positive result against Real Salt Lake and a little bit of good fortune.
Sporting Kansas City currently have 58 points and are one short of Conference leaders Seattle Sounders. Peter Vermes' side had a rather forgettable outing against Austin FC. Despite dominating possession, they found themselves trailing as early as the first minute of the match.
Austin FC ran to a 3-0 lead by the hour mark before Johnny Russell pulled one back before the hour mark. They could tie their record for most wins in a regular season in the post-shootout era with a win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake's inability to cash in and make a playoff spot over the past three weeks has frustrated fans. They were beaten 1-3 at home by Portland Timbers in their latest game. Pablo Mastroeni's side have now lost three of their last four games.
Real Salt Lake have 45 points after 33 matches and are two points behind LA Galaxy, who occupy the final playoff spot. LAFC have 45 points as well. So not only do Real Salt Lake need to win here, they also need to get lucky with the results in the matches involving the other two.
Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake Head-to-Head
In the last 10 meetings between the two sides, Sporting Kansas City have registered just two wins. Real Salt Lake have won five while three games have ended as draws. The last time the two sides locked horns was in May earlier this year and Real Salt Lake won the game 3-1.
Sporting Kansas City form guide: L-W-W-L-L
Real Salt Lake form guide: W-L-W-L-L
Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake Team News
Sporting Kansas City
Alan Pulido recently underwent knee surgery and is sidelined for a while. Felipe Hernandez will not feature again this season after being suspended for betting. Jay Lindsey is still nursing a hamstring injury and will sit this on out.
Injuries: Alan Pulido, Jay Lindsey
Suspensions: Felipe Hernandez
Real Salt Lake
Zack Farnsworth and Toni Datkovic are both unavailable for Real Salt Lake with undisclosed injuries. That's the extent of injury concerns as far as Pablo Mastroeni is concerned.
Injuries: Zack Farnsworth, Toni Datkovic
Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake
Sporting Kansas City Predicted XI (4-3-3): Tim Melia; Luis Martins, Andreu Fontas, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Graham Zusi; Remi Walter, Ilie Sanchez, Gadi Kinda; Khiry Shelton, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi
Real Salt Lake Predicted XI (3-4-1-2): David Ochoa; Justen Glad, Erik Holt, Aaron Herrera; Justin Mera, Nick Besler, Pablo Ruiz, Everton Luiz; Albert Rusnak; Damir Kreilach, Rubio Rubin
Sporting Kansas City vs Real Salt Lake Prediction
Neither Sporting Kansas City nor Real Salt Lake have showcased great form in recent weeks. KC have been urged to get themselves together by an irate Peter Vermes after their latest defeat.
Sporting Kansas City have enough quality to get the better of a really desperate Real Salt Lake here.
Also ReadArticle Continues below
Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Real Salt Lake