There is an all-Western Conference clash on Sunday evening as Minnesota United get set to host Portland Timbers at the impressive Allianz Field. Both teams currently find themselves in the play-off picture as Minnesota sit 5th on 35 points and the Portland Timbers occupy the final spot, ahead of Real Salt Lake on goal difference, although they do have a game in hand.
Minnesota’s last outing was a dull goalless affair against another fellow Western Conference side in the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Loons won’t be too disheartened about that result as it meant they are now on a run of six games unbeaten which is a great response to previously losing three games on the spin. The Portland Timbers also come into this game on the back of a six-game unbeaten run, and they have their tails up after picking up two great wins in succession. The first being a 2-1 win away from home against bitter rivals Seattle Sounders and then they battered LA Galaxy last time out at Providence Park.
Minnesota United and Portland Timbers have met on four occasions previously and the head-to-head record is split. Minnesota have won two of the meetings, and so have Portland. Interestingly, the home side has always won when they have come across each other. The most recent meeting was a 3-2 victory for Minnesota last September as goals from Romario Ibarra (2) and Michael Boxall earned them all three points.
The home side have little to worry about heading into their fixture with Portland as they have no injuries in their squad to report.
The Timbers have three injury concerns ahead of their trip to Minnesota. Marco Farfan is ruled out with an injury to his left knee, and goalkeeper Jeff Attinella is out for the year after having surgery on his right shoulder. Andy Polo is listed as ‘questionable’ with a hip problem.
The first bet that jumps out at me ahead of Sunday’s match is Minnesota United ‘Draw no bet’ at 1.57. I’m a fan of these selections because if you fancy a team to win but aren’t a 100% confident, you can bag yourself the comfort of knowing that if they avoid defeat, your bet won’t lose. Minnesota are unbeaten in their last six MLS games and they have only lost once in their last 11 on home turf. Also, as mentioned earlier, the home side has always won when the Loons and Timbers meet.
Minnesota United and Portland Timbers have met on four occasions and over 2.5 goals has landed every time, with the score lines reading 5-1, 3-2, 3-2 and 3-2. That is actually an impressive over 4.5 goals landing each time they have met, and over 2.5 goals is priced at 1.50 to happen on Sunday – it looks like a given.
Finally, I would also consider the combination of over 2.5 goals and both teams to score at 1.72. It provides you a little bit of extra value and that has also been successful each time that these two sides have met.