Portland Timbers await Club America in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The home team has big-time problems as they enter Wednesday’s clash without several very important players. On the other end, Club America plays poorly over the recent few weeks and is trying to bounce back on the right path. The latest performances aren’t promising for the Mexicans, which is why their fans don’t feel comfortable before this clash. The respective situations in these teams suggest that we should see a feisty and hard battle at Providence Park because neither side can afford to lose, especially at this stage of the competition.
Portland Timbers (+225) played four competitive games since the beginning of the year. Two were in the CONCACAF Champions League, against Marathon, whom they easily dispatched in two matches. After 2-2 in the opening leg, the rematch in Portland saw the hosts’ 5-0 victory.
The Timbers didn’t start as planned in the MLS, losing to Vancouver Whitecaps in the season opener on the road, 1-0, but they managed to correct that mistake. Timbers defeated Houston Dynamo at home, 2-1.
Giovanni Savarese’s boys like to play open and efficient football, which is why they often score and allow goals. As you see three of the past four matches ended with over 2.5 goals.
Club America (+120) is without a victory for the past three events, losing twice and posting one draw. LAs Aguilas lost at home to Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League, 0-1, but managed to progress because of a win in the first leg, 1-2. After that, CA took just one point in the big derby against Cruz Azul and defeated Toluca with 3-1.
Before these three matches, Club America had an excellent run with 10 wins and only two losses in 12 games, with the majority of these games ending without them allowing a goal.
To be perfectly precise for all those who love statistics. Five of those wins came with clean sheets, and when it comes to efficiency nine concluded with 2 or 3 goals.
Jeremy Ebobisse is out for the hosts as well as Sebastian Blanco, and that is a colossal blow for the Timbers. Aljaz Ivacic, Ismaila Jome, and Steve Clark are also ineligible, the same as Timbers’ X-factor on Jaroslaw Niezgoda. All these players have health issues.
Jesus Lopez and Nicolas Castillo won’t play for Club America because of injuries.
Head to Head Games
These teams never met before.
The absence of Ebobisse and Blanco (who, even though some suggest might appear tonight, won’t) is a great setback for Savarese. The Venezuelan head coach builds his game around these two players, and it won’t be easy for him to find proper replacements. On the other side, Club America comes to Oregon shaken but determined to get back on the right track. Overall, they seem much tougher than Portland and more tactically endowed, which is why when it comes to betting on the winner here, we tend to lean towards them. After all, they are the favorites per bookies. Double chance draw or Club America is the safest bet of the day, with the odds at -295.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.