Sunday, August 1, 2021

Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions, MLS 6 Jul 2021

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Verdict: Real Salt Lake win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

Vancouver Whitecaps are supposed to be playing hosts to Real Salt Lake in the MLS on Wednesday evening (the night between Wednesday and Thursday in Europe), but in reality, it will be the other way around. The match will take place at the Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah, where the Whitecaps have been playing their home games due to the Covid-related travel restrictions imposed between the USA and Canada. It is the home of Real Salt Lake.

Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps have been competing in the MLS since 2011, but in the decade gone by since, they’ve never won it. The closest they got to the top was in 2015, when they finished second in the Western Conference and third in overall placement. Last season, they finished ninth in the conference, just missing out on the final series.

It’s safe to say they won’t be getting anywhere near the top this year either. At the moment, they are at the bottom of the pile with just nine points from 11 matches, two less than San Jose and FC Dallas in 11th and 12th, respectively.

The Whitecaps didn’t win any of their seven previous games, a poor record indeed. Their last-six record consists of a 3-0 defeat away to Sporting KC, a 2-1 defeat away to Houston Dynamo, a 3-1 defeat in this fixture reversed against Real Salt Lake, a 1-2 defeat at home against LA Galaxy, a 2-2 draw away to Seattle Sounders, and the same away to FC Dallas.

Team News

Defender Ali Adnan won’t be playing for the Whitecaps anymore. The club have terminated his contract as a result of a prolonged visa problem.

Manager Marc Dos Santos and his team won’t be able to rely on goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau, who is away on international duty with Canada, along with striker Lucas Cavallini. Right-back Buno Gaspar, on loan from Sporting Lisbon, is likely to miss out as well, having struggled a lot with injuries lately.

Real Salt Lake

Founded in 2004, Real Salt Lake have been a part of the MLS since 2005. They were crowned champions in 2009 after winning the play-offs, despite finishing fifth in the Western Conference. They did very poorly last season, however, ending second from the bottom.

It’s going somewhat better for them at the moment. They are ninth in the conference with 13 points, the same tally as Portland Timbers directly above and Austin FC directly below.

RSL’s recent form hasn’t been great though; one win, three draws and two defeats in the last six matches. They first drew 2-2 away to Dallas, then 1-1 at home against Minnesota, beat the Whitecaps at home by 3-1, lost in Seattle by 2-1, drew at home against Houston, and lost at home to Los Angeles FC.

Team News

Unlike his Whitecaps counterpart, manager Freddy Juarez won’t have any players missing through international duty. He may, however, be without the services of defender Toni Datkovic and winger Jonathan Menendez, as the pair await their immigration to the US to be resolved.

Meanwhile, defender Zack Farnsworth, forward Jeison Ramirez and goalkeeper Andrew Putna all missed the last match through injuries, and they are major doubts for this one as well.

Conclusion

Real Salt Lake are the favourites to win this contest, for three very obvious reasons; they were the better side the last time around, they will once again be playing at their own home rather than at that of their opponents, and they’ve done better through the season so far.

Verdict: Real Salt Lake win

Best odds: 11/10

Bookmaker: 888sport

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Veselin Trajkovic


Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.

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