Sporting KC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps Prediction and Picks: First Round MLS Playoffs
When: Saturday 20 November, 5 pm ET
Where: Children’s Mercy Park, KS
The 2021 Major League Soccer playoffs start this weekend with the elite of North American soccer set to do battle. One of the standout first-round matches will see Sporting KC host the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, with a place in the Western Conference final on the line for both teams.
Sporting KC is renowned as playoff specialists, while the Whitecaps made a late run to qualify for the post-season. Therefore, this has the potential to be one of the most compelling matches of the playoffs. Here are some tips and information ahead of the MLS playoffs first-round match between Sporting KC and the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Momentum is key when it comes to the playoffs. This will be a concern for Sporting KC as they kick off against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday, given that Peter Vermes’ side ended their regular season campaign with three straight defeats to Minnesota United, Austin FC, and Real Salt Lake.
This poor run of form saw Sporting KC lose their grip on the top spot in the Western Conference, with the Children’s Mercy Park outfit ultimately finishing third in the standings. Vermes must find a way to lift the confidence of his players; otherwise, their season could come to an end against Vancouver this weekend.
The Whitecaps, on the other hand, are unbeaten in their last six matches and look to be a team high on confidence. The signing of Scottish playmaker Ryan Gauld was a catalyst for the Canadian side to turn around their season, with Vancouver’s only two defeats since July coming in Cascadia Cup matches.
What’s more, Vanni Sartini’s team is undefeated in 11 of their last 12 away matches. Moreover, this is a side that is comfortable on the road. So the home advantage Sporting KC usually enjoys at Children’s Mercy Park, one of the most atmospheric venues in MLS, might not be as acute as it ordinarily would be.