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Preview: Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers

Preview: Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles FC and Portland Timbers, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Los Angeles FC will seek to make a winning start to their 2023 Major League Soccer campaign when they play host to Portland Timbers on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the away side visit the Banc of California Stadium aiming to record back to back victories having come out on top in their season-opener last time out.

Match preview

Los Angeles FC (LAFC) Denis Bouanga celebrates his goal against Toronto FC at Empire Polo Club on February 11, 2023© Reuters

Los Angeles FC wrapped up their pre-season round of fixtures with a convincing 3-1 triumph over USL Championship side San Diego Loyal on February 19.

Steve Cherundolo‘s men took the lead 21 minutes in through Carlos Vela before they were pegged back by Nick Noon after which second-half strikes from Kwadwo Opoku and Denis Bouanga decided the contest.

The Black and Gold have now won consecutive matches for the first time since the turn of the year which definitely bodes well for their league campaign.

First up is the challenge of an opposing outfit with little to choose as the last 12 clashes have yielded four wins apiece for either team and as many draws.

Off the back of 13 victories from their most recent 16 home matches across all competitions, Saturday’s hosts will be raring to give their fans reason to cheer come the sound of the final whistle this weekend.

Portland Timbers head coach Giovanni Savarese watches from the sidelines before a game against Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park on February 28, 2023© Reuters

Portland Timbers started as they mean to go on thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park on Tuesday.

Juan Mosquera wasted no time in opening the scoring after just six minutes and that was enough to get the job done for Giovanni Savarese‘s men.

One of only five teams to have picked up an opening-day win, the Oregon-based side currently sit fourth in the Western Conference standings.

Having netted a combined 10 times in their last five away outings, Saturday’s visitors know that they will need to be at their attacking best to come away with a positive result.

Los Angeles FC pre-season form:

Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:

Portland Timbers defender Juan David Mosquera (29) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal in the first half against Sporting Kansas City at Providence Park on February 27, 2023© Reuters

Portland’s trio of Felipe Mora, David Ayala and Dairon Asprilla are all battling with knee injuries with neither of them yet to feature this year.

Tega Ikoba also misses out for the away side through injury, while Sebastian Blanco remains a long way off making his return to action from a thigh problem.

Yimmi Chara was hauled off in the first half of his side’s curtain-raiser last time out, making the Colombia international an injury doubt for this one.

Maxime Crepeau missed all of Los Angeles’ pre-season friendlies due to a broken leg and the goalkeeper is unfit to participate this weekend.

Twenty-eight-year-old Denis Bouanga has found the back of the net four times in his last three appearances, making him one to keep an eye on.

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Palacios, Murillo, Hollingshead, Chiellini; Acosta, Sanchez, Cifuentes; Vela, Bouanga, Opoku

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Bingham; Mosquera, Zuparic, McGraw, Rasmussen; Williamson, Chara; Moreno, Evander, Loria; Niezgoda

SM words green background

We say: Los Angeles FC 2-1 Portland Timbers

Los Angeles’ recent home form means that it is hard to envisage any other outcome rather a win for them. While we expect Portland Timbers to put up a decent fight, we just about fancy the hosts to secure the points at the end of the 90 minutes.

How to watch

You can watch Los Angeles FC vs. Portland Timbers and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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