Week 24 of the 2021 MLS season
BC Place (Vancouver)
"Vancouver" and "Portland" go 16 matches in a row without a draw, and the last time the teams shared points was more than 5 years ago. Timbers’ chances to win have dropped significantly, and now it’s a game at which two can play. In whose favor the scales will be tipped?
Vancouver Whitecaps Form
Blue-and-White are now undefeated in ten straight MLS, rolling on a four-game winning streak. Indeed, Whitecaps have dramatically crashed out of the Canadian Championship. In compensation, they came ever closer to playoffs in Major League Soccer. Brian White, Ryan Gauld, and Cristian Dajome make up a striking trio, and it is them who scored the lion's share of goals in the lucky sequence for the team.
At the same time, the Whitecaps are still coping well with the absence of some key players: Lucas Cavallini, Maxime Crépeau and Javain Brown have left for the national teams. Caio Alexandre, Cristián Gutiérrez, Jake Nerwinski are sidelined with injuries. In their previous game, Vancouver made a 2-1 home victory over Austin FC. Whitecaps could have conceded 3-4 goals if the opponent had converted opportunities, and in the 2nd half, with the score of 1-1, Austin FC could have taken the lead for the second time. Nevertheless, the wards of Vanni Sartini showed some spirit and scored 2 goals out of 3 possible moments: Christian Dajome missed from an excellent position, 6 goals prior to the decisive goal from Déiber Caicedo.
Portland Timbers Form
Portland have won 2 of their previous regular matches and are now 7th on the Western Conference table. Felipe Mora gained incredible form and made a huge contribution to the team's success. In the last 9 matches he has scored 7 goals in total and made two assists. At the same time, Portland still have one of the worst defenses in the MLS: the Timbers' opponents generated the most xG in total, and it was not always possible to compensate for this with successful actions on offense. Ismaila Jome, Andy Polo, Eryk Williamson, and Jeff Attinella are unavailable for his side trip to British Columbia due to injuries.
Portland Timbers got the best of Houston Dynamo by picking up a second consecutive 2-0 win away. By the 20th minute, Giovanni Savarese’s team scored 2 goals, after which they noticeably slowed down in the attack. Portland allowed the opponent to make 19 shots at goal, but only, in the end, Houston somehow could revive the intrigue. Goalkeeper Steve Clark was one of the best in the team: he made 6 saves.
History of head-to-heads
In the last 10 head-to-head matches, Portland beat Vancouver 6 times, having fallen to 4 defeats. The last three encounters between the Whitecaps and Timbers were finished with an identical 1-0 outcome. The opponents made 13 shots on goal for two, 6 of which were on the account of the Whitecaps. Timbers did not bury several good chances and fully deserved a draw, while Vancouver converted its only opportunity.
Important facts to know about this match
Vancouver won 5 out of 10 home matches
Portland lost 5 of the last 10 away matches
Vancouver scored a total of 13 goals in 5 previous games
Expert Betting Tips
Vancouver's winning streak in the MLS is quite impressive, but in the last match, the Whitecaps were very lucky; they barely beat one of the league's outsiders at home. Portland has had weak defense during the season, opponents still often kick goalwards. Overall, the defenders played reliably last week. In the last head-to-head, Timbers looked no worse, and now they may well get at least a draw. I propose to bet on the following outcomes:
- Portland handicap (0) for 2.13
- Portland win/draw + both score for 2.17
- Total over (3) for 2.15