Thriving Toronto should take care of visiting Timbers
Portland have shipped 23 goals on their travels
Major League Soccer
Sky Sports Football, 11pm Saturday
Eastern Conference leaders Toronto have dropped just six points on home soil this season and their dominance should continue when poor-travelling Portland Timbers make the dreaded long haul to the BMO Field.
Toronto are without doubt the strongest MLS side, particularly when supplied with home advantage, and their 4-0 drubbing of giants New York City two weeks ago illustrates their superiority at their Canadian base.
The Reds have conceded just seven times in their 11 games on their own patch, which includes keeping four clean sheets from their last five matches.
That doesn’t bode well for inconsistent Portland, who remain troubled defensively. The Timbers have shipped 23 times on their travels – that’s as many as Toronto have conceded all season – and their generosity at the back makes their task far from straightforward
Portland find points particularly hard to come by on the road. They have won just one of their last ten away matches in all competitions and they rely too heavily on their attacking prowess.
Caleb Porter’s men have been unsuccessful on all four visits to the BMO Field and the potential absence of towering frontman Fanendo Adi leaves a void difficult to fill.
Portland’s talisman Diego Valeri is technically gifted and can make things happen but Toronto will be aware of his threat and the midfield partnership of Michael Bradley and Mark Delgado should keep his involvement to the minimum.
2pts 4-6 general