Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers meet in the first MLS is Back semifinals. This match has the potential to be one of the most interesting this season, and all the fans in the USA can’t wait for its start. We have two teams with different styles of play coming at one another, which guarantees excitement. And not only that, according to the oddsmakers, the chances for advancing to the finals are almost equal, as Portland has a minimal edge per bookies.
Philadelphia Union (+170) plays defensive soccer and is not focused on beauty and glamour too much. Their tactics are simple: try not to concede, rely upon counter-attacks and set pieces, and if they score a goal by any chance, defend at all cost.
It is not something the majority of the fans like to see, but in Philly’s case, there is a result. In five games here this crew won four times, adding a draw on top of it. Three wins came with a one-goal margin, and the same number of matches concluded with under 2.5 goals.
Their opponents in the knockout stages were the New England Revolution, 1-0, and Sporting KC, 3-1. The group stage saw them beating NYCFC 1-0, Inter Miami, 2-1, and playing 1-1 with Orlando City.
Portland Timbers (+150) are one of the squads who is among the best in the MLS over the last couple of years. In 2015 they won the MLS Cup, three years later, they lost in the finals to Atlanta United, and now they want to redeem for that failure.
This is a group of offensively very gifted players, who can score multiple times against any opponent in the league, which is the reason why everybody likes to see their matches.
Timbers had the most difficult possible group in Orlando, which featured LA Galaxy, LAFC, and Houston Dynamo. They would advance to the next stage form that assembly with wins over Galaxy and Dynamo 2-1 both, and a draw against LAFC, 2-2.
Afterward, Portland eliminated FC Cincinnati after penalties, and beat NYCFC in the quarterfinals, 3-1. As you see all their contests are very efficient, and have no doubts, they will come out ready to attack against Union as well.
Warren Creavalle is injured for Philadelphia Union, and even though he is listed questionable, it seems that he won’t be in the protocol.
Dairon Asprilla and Andres Flores are out for Timbers, while Marco Farfan stands as doubtful.
Head to Head Matches
Portland seems to have found some kind of a formula for Philly in the past, and they are on a four-win streak at the moment. All those games ended with over 2.5 goals, and in all of them, Timbers netted at least twice.
We will back up Portland in this match, mostly because of their experience. Timbers have several veterans who know how to behave in these situations. Plus, they were looking pretty confident throughout the entire tournament. With all due respect towards Philly and success, they made so far, their path to the semis was far weaker than Timbers’.
That is why our recommendation for this match is to bet on Portland’s triumph at +150.
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.