The Vancouver Whitecaps will be looking to take another step in the right direction when they play host to Real Salt Lake at BC Place on Sunday evening. In contrast, the visitors will be hoping to bounce back having tasted defeat last time out.
This won’t be the first meeting between the pair this season, nor will it be the second. In June, RSL emerged victorious in front of their own fans, winning by three goals to one, while they recently visited this venue and left with all three points, scoring four goals and conceding zero in the process.
Vancouver Whitecaps – Short Summary
The Whitecaps continued to move forward last time out, beating LAFC by two goals to one at this venue, securing their second straight win. In recent weeks, Sunday’s hosts have developed into something of a tough unit. They’re not exactly blowing teams out of the water, but are keeping things reasonably tight, conceding no more than once in each of their last four MLS fixtures.
Unfortunately, as touched on above, they’ve struggled to get going against Real Salt Lake this season, scoring one and conceding eight goals in two matches against Sunday’s opponents. Then again, the hosts have certainly improved results wise since the pair last met, so they should now be capable of playing with more confidence.
Expected Line-Up: Crepeau – Gaspar, Jungwirth, Veselonivic, Brown – Owusu, Bikel, Teibert – Dajome, White, Caicedo.
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Real Salt Lake – Looking for more of the same
The boys from Rio Tinto Stadium arrive in Canada off the back of a poor result last time out, losing by two goals to one in Colorado, though given their previous efforts against Vancouver this term, the visitors probably won’t be feeling too downbeat.
After two high-scoring wins, the away team should fancy themselves to get a positive result on Sunday, though they’ll be looking to do so without a permanent boss. Freddy Juarez resigned from his post on Friday afternoon, meaning that Pablo Mastroeni, who was assistant head coach under Juarez, will take charge of the team on an interim basis.
Expected Line-Up: Putna – Powder, Glad, Silva, Morgan -Besler, Ruiz – Merendez, Rusnak, Meram – Rubin.
Expert Pick #1 – Over 2.5 Goals @-115
Vancouver haven’t exactly been conceding goals left, right and centre, while they’ve not really been scoring freely as such, but In each of the renewals of this fixture this season there’s been shortage of goals, with eight goals scored in two matches. Moreover, there was no shortage of scoring chances when the hosts last played at this venue, while they’ve now scored four and conceded four in their last two at home.
Furthermore, lots of goals have tended to arrive in Real Salt Lake’s away games of late. They lost 2-1 last time out on the road, and 3-2 prior to that. More than two goals have been scored in seven of their nine travelling fixtures this term too. An average of 3.61 expected goals in Salt Lake’s away games is also hard to ignore.
Expert Pick #2 – Vancouver Whitecaps to Score Over 1.5 Goals @+125
Another option here is home goals. Yes, the hosts have failed to hit the heights offensively against Real Salt Lake this season, but they have improved of late, while they come here after scoring twice against LAFC, which will certainly have added to their confidence.
Vancouver have scored twice in three of their last four at home, producing expected goals for figures of 1.4, 1.6 and 1.5. This bodes well ahead of a game against a defense that has surrendered an average of 1.93 expected goals per away game, not to mention five goals in 180 minutes of recent away-day action.
Expert Pick #3 – Cristian Dajome to Score @+225
Finally, for those looking at player props as an option, Cristian Dajome fits the bill. The Vancouver attacker has enjoyed himself at BC Place, scoring five of his eight MLS goals on home soil, while he produces a pleasing 0.37 expected goals per 90 minutes too. Having sharpened his shooting boots in a Canadian cup game mid-week, the Colombian is supported to find the net against a visiting defense that has been anything but secure on the road of late.
In what will be the third renewal of this fixture (this season), goals should be on the menu. The hosts have found their shooting boots at home of late, while Real Salt Lake can hardly stay away from a high-scoring encounter on their travels right now.