Wednesday, July 24, 2024

FC Dallas v Portland Timbers: Neville keeping feet on the ground despite unbeaten run

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 3 Jul 2024

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Portland Timbers head coach Phil Neville insists he and his players are keeping their feet on the ground ahead of travelling to FC Dallas this Friday.

The Timbers extended their unbeaten run to seven matches in the MLS following their 3-2 victory over Minnesota United at Providence Park last time out.

Neville’s side are now fifth in the Western Conference table but are among a cluster of teams tightly packed in the middle of the division.

However, the Portland head coach said that despite his side’s recent form, they have achieved nothing but is confident his side will continue to push up the standings.

“We are keeping our feet on the ground, I think that is massively important,” Neville said.

“If we hadn’t scored that last minute goal, we would probably have been down in eighth or ninth. There are a number of teams jostling for positions in the league, so there is a long way to go.

“We’ve got now four games before the Leagues Cup. We have a mini points target that we have set ourselves.

“We want to keep pushing, we know the teams below us are pushing. We have to keep concentrating on ourselves. We are now in fifth, but we have achieved nothing.

“At this moment in time, fifth is not competing. Competing is being up at the top of the league. We are on the climb, we have momentum, we have confidence, we have belief but there is still a long way to go.”

For Dallas, they suffered back-to-back league defeats in a narrow defeat to Cincinnati last time out, courtesy of Luca Orellano’s second half strike.

The result leaves Peter Luccin’s side in 11th place in the Western Conference table, a point ahead of St. Louis City and seven behind Austin FC.

However, the Toros will be hopeful of continuing their impressive home record against their opponents at the Toyota Stadium and build momentum ahead of their important league meeting with Kansas City three days later.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Dallas – Petar Musa

Petar Musa has been in fine goal-scoring form since his arrival from Benfica in February, notching 11 goal involvements from 19 games for Dallas.

The Toros’ top scorer has four goals in his last three league games, including a hat-trick against Minnesota United, and will be confident of taking his tally into double figures.

Portland Timbers – Evander

Evander grabbed a goal and an assist in the Timbers’ win over Minnesota on Saturday, his seventh match this season with multiple goal contributions.

In doing so, the Brazilian equalled Diego Valeri (2013, 2017) for the most such games in a single regular season by a Timbers player in MLS.

MATCH PREDICTION: FC DALLAS WIN

Dallas will be looking for an immediate return to winning ways following their defeat to FC Cincinnati last time out. The loss was just their third in their last 22 home matches in all competitions (W10 D9) dating back to the start of the Leagues Cup last July. It was also only the second time in that span that Dallas failed to score in a home match.

Luccin’s side hold a favourable record against their opponents and have lost just one of their previous 11 encounters against Portland at the Toyota Stadium (W6 D4), dating back to 2015.

However, the visitors will come into the fixture with confidence following their comeback win over Minnesota. They came from two goals down to win 3-2, having also come back to win the previous time they trailed by two goals (vs. San Jose in May). Prior to these two comebacks, Portland had a record of W1 D11 L100 when trailing by multiple goals in an MLS match.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

FC Dallas – 44.2%

Draw – 26.8%

Portland Timbers – 28.9%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

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