Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes:
MLS Regular Season,
Date: Saturday, July 23, 2016
Kick-off: 4:00 UK Time
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy (Utah).
There is plenty at stake when the two struggling Western Conference teams of MLS face-off each other at the Rio Tinto Stadium on Friday evening.
Real Salt Lake were held to a goal-less draw at home by New England in the previous fixture at home. This extended their win-less streak to 5 games, with 3 home draws and 2 away defeats. At the same time, there is some positive that they are unbeaten at home this season, with 5 wins and 4 draws from 9 league games this season. However, their last three home games ended in draws.
San Jose Earthquakes end their 7 match win-less run last weekend with a 2-1 home win against Toronto FC. However, the match witnessed two of their players Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero getting sent-off within a span of 10 minutes leaving them short of options for the upcoming away trip to Utah. Their away form shall be highlighted as they haven’t won a single game on the road whole season.
Real Salt Lake stay inside the play-off zone with 30 points from 20 games so far. They are 4th in the Western Conference table, but are at constant pressure from Portland Timbers and Vancouver Whitecaps at a point gap. San Jose are 8th with 25 points with 19 games. Kansas City at 7th are three points ahead of them, but played 3 matches more. While the Whitecaps and Timbers at 29 points have played 2 matches more and if the Earthquakes can use their fixtures wisely, they will be able to sneak into the play-off zone.
Real Salt Lake: Team News
Jess Cassar has no major injury worries for this weekend match and changes are hardly expected to the side that kept a clean sheet against New England in their last round fixture.
But Emery Welshman and Jamison Olave are short on fitness and will be assessed closer to kick-off.
Real Salt Lake: Predicted line up (4-3-3)
Rimando – Phillips, Maund, Glad, Beltran – Beckermann, Morales, Mulholland – Plata, Movsisyan, Martinez.
San Jose Earthquakes: Team News
Anibal Godoy and Alberto Quintero will serve their bans after getting send off during the 2-1 win against Toronto.
Jordan Stewart is injured and remains sidelined, while Marc Pelosi remains is doubtful as he is short on fitness.
San Jose Earthquakes: Predicted Line-up (4-4-2)
Bingham – Francis, Stewart, Bernadez, Cato – Dawkins, Thompson, Alashe, Salinas – Amarikwa, Wondolowski.
Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes: Head-to-Head Stats
- Last 25 matches: Real Salt Lake – 9 wins, San Jose Earthquakes – 8 wins, Draws – 8.
- Real Salt Lake at home vs SJ Earthquakes (12 matches): 4 wins, 5 draws, 3 losses.
The teams played against each other three times last season, sharing a win each. The first match of the series at Avaya Stadium on April 2015 finished in a 1-0 away win for Real Salt Lake. The following fixture at Rio Tinto on May 2015 witnessed a 1-1 draw and the Earthquakes grabbed a 1-0 win back at home in the third and final fixture on September 2015.
- The last five matches between these two sides had witnessed under 2.5 goals.
Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction
Real Salt Lake will be desperate to end their five match win-less run in the league. A lot is at stake considering their position inside their play-off zone is in danger. They have drawn in each of the last three home games and are struggling to find goals.
SJ Earthquakes are a poor side on the road and haven’t won an away game this season. They are coming on the back of 3 defeats in the last 5 away games and are expected to struggle against a strong home side like Lakers.
A draw could be the outcome of this fixture, judging by the current form of the two sides involved. But I slightly favour Salt Lake to edge a narrow win from this tie. The hosts have scored at least 2 goals in 5 of the last 6 home matches against the Earthquakes and will be backing them to do the same on Friday night.
I will be also going with a correct score prediction of 2-0 in favour of Real Salt Lake.
Real Salt Lake vs San Jose Earthquakes: Tips
Double Chance – Salt Lake/Draw.
Salt Lake – Over 1.5 goals.