Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake: Preview, Prediction and Betting Tips | MLS

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake: Preview, Prediction and Betting Tips | MLS

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps are still unbeaten in the MLS this season, and they will be looking to keep that going when they take on Real Salt Lake this week. They welcome the United States from over the border and host them at the BC Place on Saturday.

The Whitecaps are second in the Western Conference table after picking up two wins and a draw in their opening three matches. They started the season with a 1-1 draw at home to Charlotte FC, but followed it up with back-to-back wins over San Jose Earthquakes and FC Dallas. 

They will continue to be without their coach, Vanni Sartini, on the sidelines as he serves his suspension. However, they were handed a boost earlier this week when MLS reduced his ban to three matches, thus making this the final match of his suspension. 

The coach was fined $20,000 and handed a five-match ban in addition to the one-match automatic suspension following his red card during the MLS Cup playoff exit to LAFC. He was handed the additional ban for entering the field to confront the match officials and his public criticism of them. 

Meanwhile, Pablo Mastroeni will be available for Real Salt Lake as they make the trip to Canada. However, the manager is under pressure already, as his side have lost twice and won once in the opening four games. 

They started the season with a loss to Inter Miami and a draw to St Louis City. They picked up their first win against LAFC but could not keep it going and were beaten by Colorado Rapids last week.

Also read: LAFC vs Nashville Preview, Prediction and Betting Tips | MLS

Team News 

Sam Adekugbe is back in training for the Vancouver Whitecaps, but he has not yet regained match fitness. He will be sitting out of the match, while Joe Bendik is doubtful. Andres Cubas and Fafa Picault are on international duty and will be unavailable. 

Pablo Ruiz and Kevin Bonilla will remain on the injury list this season for Real Salt Lake after the duo were ruled out with an ACL tear and a knee injury, respectively. Diego Luna, Gavin Beavers, Zavier Gozo, and Andres Gomez are on international duty and will be unavailable. 

Predicted Lineups

The Whitecaps are expected to go in with their usual 3-4-2-1 setup, with Yohei Takaoka in goal. Laborda, Veselinovic, and Blackmon will be the ones in defense, with Raposo and Ahmed as the fullbacks. 

Brian White should be the one leading the attack once again, with Gauld and Kreilach right behind him. None of the players have managed to score more than once this season, and they will be keen on ending the slow start against a side low on confidence.

Predicted XI: Yohei Takaoka, Mathías Laborda, Ranko Veselinović, Tristan Blackmon, Ali Ahmed, Alessandro Schöpf, Pedro Vite, Ryan Raposo, Damir Kreilach, Ryan Gauld, Brian White

MacMath should keep his place in goal for Real Salt Lake, with Hidalgo coming in at right-back. Glad, Vera, and Brody are the others expected to start in defense.

Eneli and Ojeda should be the pivot once again, while Barajas, Crooks, and Change lead the attacking midfield line. Cristian Arango has done well so far this season despite his teammates not stepping up, and he will be keen on improving his tally of two goals and an assist. 

Predicted XI: Zac MacMath, Bode Hidalgo, Justen Glad, Brayan Vera, Andrew Brody, Emeka Eneli, Braian Ojeda, Fidel Barajas, Matt Crooks, Maikel Chang, Cristian Arango

Also read: Lionel Messi injury update: When will the Argentine be back for Inter Miami?

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Head-to-Head

Real Salt Lake 2-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver Whitecaps 1-2 Real Salt Lake

Real Salt Lake 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Real Salt Lake

Vancouver Whitecaps 4-1 Real Salt Lake

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Prediction

Clean sheets are never on the cards when the Vancouver Whitecaps meet Real Salt Lake. None of the last five meetings have seen the two sides manage to do well in defence and that is expected to continue this week.

A win for the home side is the easy prediction, but it is expected to be a close match once again. It would not be a surprise if the fixture ends with a 2-1 scoreline for the third time running. 

Cristian Arango will be the biggest threat for the Vancouver Whitecaps this week at home and they will be looking to double down on him at every given chance. Brian White will need to step up for the home side if they are to get a win. 

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Real Salt Lake

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Betting Tips

Vancouver Whitecaps win

Both Teams To Score: Yes.

Over 3.5 Goals: No.

Odds

Vancouver Whitecaps Win: 1.93

Draw: 3.91

Real Salt Lake Win: 4.15

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Date & Telecast

BC Place – 23rd March – 23:30 GMT

India: MLS Season Pass

United Kingdom: MLS Season Pass

US: FOX