The Portland Timbers (17-13-4) will host New York City FC (14-11-9) at Providence Park in Portland, Oregon, on Saturday, December 11th. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 P.M. PST.
The Timbers come into the Championship with their experience handing them a nice advantage. The club won the MLS Cup in 2015 and has made three appearances in the match.
This will be the first time New York FC has played in the Cup.
The Timbers defeated Real Salt Lake on December 4th by a final tally of 2-0 to clinch the Western Conference. New York clinched the Eastern Conference by taking down the Philadelphia Union 2-1 on December 5th.
We should be in store for a thrilling competition on Saturday.
Timbers vs. New York City FC Betting Analysis
On the New York City FC side
New York City should be well prepared for the club’s first-ever Finals appearance.
Playing on the road certainly will make things more challenging for this club. Yet, many experts believe that they can earn the win on Saturday. So what are the keys for New York City FC to earn a victory in this match?
First off, flexing the star power that you possess is never a bad idea. They have the Golden Boot winner in Valentin Castellanos returning on Saturday after being suspended for the Conference Semifinal game. Castellanos was the leading goal scorer in the league and has already added two goals in the postseason prior to missing the last match.
As a unit, the Timbers have more offensive skills as well. Even with Castellanos out in the semifinal, New York City still won. Players such as Ismael Tajouri-Shrad, Jesus Medina, and Thiago could all play crucial factors in this match.
New York City FC is ranked second in a tie with Portland for goals scored with a total of 62. However, they take far more shots on goal with 431 total to lead the league. They also rank fourth in assists with 43.
But New York City needs to keep cool heads on Saturday. This is a club that ranks first in reds with 9.
But New York City offers plenty of talent and should have a solid opportunity to emerge victorious in the MLS Cup.
On the Portland Timbers side
Portland would love to make it two MLS championships within a ten-year span. They certainly have the skillset to do just that.
The Timbers having home-field advantage increases their odds from the start. If they can find a way to strike early, the momentum could last throughout the match and lead them to the win.
Portland is led by the sharp duo of forwards in Felipe Mora and Dairon Asprilla. Mora has scored 12 goals this season, while Asprilla has added ten goals. Midfielder Sebastian Blanco has been in the middle of many scoring plays for Portland with nine goals and six assists.
The crowd will unquestionably play a role in this match. Portland features one of the best fan bases in the sport, and their home faithful will do everything in their power to help their club win the Championship.
As we discussed earlier, Portland and New York FC are tied for second in the league in total goals scored. The Timbers rank sixth in shots with 378 total and fifth in assists with 41.
One area where the Timbers have a clear advantage is in saves. The club ranks second with 136 saves, while New York FC falls down all the way to 18th in the league in saves.
In all likelihood, Portland’s chances of winning me may be decided via their defensive effort, given the offensive power of their opponent.
Timbers vs. New York City FC Prediction
Top sportsbooks favor New York City in this match. Even with Portland playing at home, the oddsmakers believe in the goal-scoring ability in this club.
I fully expect this match to not disappoint. We will see a hard-fought game on both sides that is bound to keep you entertained throughout. But in the end, I am rolling with New York City FC to win the match and earn their first MLS Cup.
Take New York City FC -1.