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The Western Conferences’ most in form team touches down in the City of Angels, ready to make a name for themselves. The LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers predicted lineups give us a list of stars from around the world, but will the visitors suffer stage fright?
Portland Timbers have logged four wins in a row and netted at least two goals in each, it puts them in the playoff picture. With Billy Sharp bagging goals for fun since his move from Sheffield United, it seems unlikely we see a repeat of the 0-0 earlier in the season.
LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers predicted lineups and news
There have been goals galore in Galaxy’s last four, they have scored 11 and conceded 12 in entertaining encounters. We’ve seen something similar from the Timbers too, seven of their last eight matches have seen over 2.5 goals.
This is the 36th meeting between the sides and LA have managed to remain unbeaten in their last five. It has been well over a year since Portland last stepped foot in the Dignity Health Sports Park, that was a 1-1 draw.
Team news: LA Galaxy
Captain and leading assist-maker Riqui Puig hobbled off against Austin and as of Thursday hadn’t been seen in training. The diagnosis is an ankle injury and the 24-year-old Spaniard is touch and go for Saturday night’s spectacle.
Billy Sharp is the in-form striker and has been ably supported by Tyler Boyd and Diego Fagundez in recent games. Defensively there is so much work to do, at the moment the best performer has been Japanese international Maya Yoshida, but he cannot do it alone.
LA Galaxy predicted lineup: 4-3-3
Bond- Leerdam, Yoshida, Mavinga, Edwards – Delgado, Cerrillo, Rosell – Fagundez, Sharp, Boyd
Team news: Portland Timbers
A lot of credit for the Timbers turnaround in form has been the impact of interim coach Miles Joseph, the team have won five out of seven matches since he was at the helm. The 49 year old has been keen to let his side play, and that was evident in their sizzling 3-2 display against Colorado Rapids last week.
The main injury concern is midfielder Evander who hasn’t overcome a calf strain yet, he might not make it back in time for this trip. Noel Caliskan was good cover in that area of pitch, he should be rejoined by Cristhian Paredes who returns from a suspension. One player that is definitely out is Slovenian goalkeeper Aljaž Ivačič who has been given a three-match ban for threatening language towards his own staff.
Colombian duo Santiago Moreno and Darion Asprilla have been in great form and will likely get a lot of joy against this frail Galaxy rearguard.
Portland Timbers predicted lineup: 4-2-3-1
Bingham – Mosquera, Župarić, McGraw, Bravo – Caliskan, Paredes- Asprilla, Moreno, Antony – Mora
Will Billy Sharp play today?
The English forward has been in fine form since switching South Yorkshire for Southern California, he has scored six goals in seven appearances quickly adapting to his new surroundings. However, the 37-year-old striker can’t be expected to start every match, given his advanced years. So will he play against Portland?
Greg Vanney used him sparingly at first, four appearances from the bench and then just 70 minutes in his first start, against LAFC in El Tráfico. But he earned a starting spot and as such has been on the field from the off in the last three matches.
With Riqui Puig a doubt, will he need Sharp to lead the team? Can he afford to give him a break in a packed schedule? The likelihood is that he does get the nod for this match, before taking a breather on the two road games in Seattle and Minnesota.
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