Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (2024)

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Portland Timbers and Houston Dynamo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

With a victory against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday at Providence Park, the Portland Timbers can leapfrog them in the MLS table.

A 2-0 victory over Austin FC earlier this week has the Timbers sitting ninth in the Western Conference, just two points behind Orange Crush, who defeated the Colorado Rapids 3-1.

Match preview

Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (1)© Reuters

Things can change quickly in the MLS table, as the Portland Timbers have proven, losing four of their five domestic contests from April 27-May 18 but reeling off two successive triumphs since then.

As a result, Phil Neville's side are holding down the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, winning consecutive league contests for the first time all year.

After going pointless in their opening two MLS matches in May when scoring the opening goal, the Timbers have claimed maximum points when netting first on consecutive occasions.

It is worth noting that they have given up three targeted efforts or fewer in their previous two domestic affairs, while their victory on Wednesday was the first time in this competition all year that they did not concede.

Finding the back of the net has never been a problem for this group in 2024, netting the second-most goals in the Western Conference this year (30).

With 19 points after 16 domestic contests, the Timbers have collected two more points than they had at this stage of the previous campaign.

Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (2)© Reuters

A three-match winless run for Houston ended on Wednesday as the Dynamo won a league fixture at home for the first time since March (2-1 over the San Jose Earthquakes).

Three of their next four MLS games take place away from home, where Ben Olsen's men have lost on consecutive occasions by a single goal.

Although their last two away matches in this competition ended in defeat, the Dynamo have been relatively solid outside of Shell Energy Stadium this season, already equalling their number of victories on the road from the previous campaign (three) and with a chance to match their entire total from 2022 this weekend.

That said, they have left points on the table throughout the campaign, dropping eight in MLS this season when scoring the opening goal, putting them eighth in the West rather than second.

While the Timbers have been among the strongest attacking sides in the league this season, the Dynamo are among the best on the back end, tied with FC Cincinnati, New York City FC and Charlotte FC for the fewest goals conceded in this competition (16).

Orange Crush have beaten the Timbers in three successive league fixtures, winning a regular-season encounter at Providence Park last year (1-0) for the first time since 2011 (2-0).

Portland Timbers Major League Soccer form:

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer form:

  • D
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Houston Dynamo form (all competitions):

  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Team News

Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (3)© Reuters

Portland were without Santiago Moreno on Wednesday because of hamstring tightness, while Marvin Loria is still recovering from knee surgery.

James Pantemis got the start in goal in place of Maxime Crepeau, picking up the first clean sheet of the campaign for the Timbers, while Dairon Asprilla collected his 200th career cap in the MLS regular season.

Evander found the back of the net for a second match running, with their other strike coming from Jonathan Rodriguez from the penalty spot.

McKinze Gaines missed the previous Dynamo encounter due to a lower-body ailment, Steve Clark sat out with a broken nose, Sebastian Ferreira did not feature because of a lower-body issue and Nelson Quinones will not be back this season after suffering a knee injury.

There were two new faces in their starting 11 against Colorado, as Franco Escobar and Sebastian Kowalczyk replaced Daniel Steres and Latif Blessing.

Blessing came on as a substitute on Wednesday, scoring for the second match running, while Kowalczyk and Amine Bassi also netted in their victory.

Portland Timbers possible starting lineup:
Pantemis; Mosquera, E. Miller, Zuparic, McGraw; Williamson, Ayala; Asprilla, Evander, Antony; Rodriguez

Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Tarbell; Dorsey, Sviatchenko, Micael, Steres; Artur, Herrera; Carrasquilla, Bassi, Blessing; Kowalczyk

Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (4)

We say: Portland Timbers 1-2 Houston Dynamo

We have seen great improvements from the Dynamo away from home, and we believe their patience and compact defensive shape will frustrate the home side, enabling Orange Crush to win a second successive encounter at Providence Park.


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

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Preview: Portland vs. Houston - prediction, team news (2024)
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