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Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake prediction and picks from MLS expert Graham Ruthven for the Western Conference playoffs final Saturday night. He gives his best bets for the game here.
ANALYSIS

Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake Prediction: Western Conference Playoffs Final

When: Saturday, December 4, 6.30 p.m. ET

Where: Providence Park, Portland

Click Here For Portland Timbers vs Real Salt Lake Odds

Unexpectedly, Real Salt Lake has grown into the biggest, most compelling storyline of the 2021 Major League Soccer playoffs. First, Pablo Mastroeni’s side scraped into the post-season by virtue of a stoppage-time goal on Decision Day. Then they knocked out the Seattle Sounders in a penalty shootout despite not registering a single shot in 120 minutes of play. This was followed by a comeback victory away to Sporting KC.

The Portland Timbers look to be in good shape and will be challenging opponents for RLS, but they might have already seen off stronger sides. Here are some tips and information ahead of the Western Conference final between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake on Saturday, December 4.

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On the surface, the Portland Timbers certainly looks to be the stronger of the two teams. Gio Savarese’s side has won their last five matches in a row and come into this game on the back of an impressive 3-1 win over Minnesota United, which saw them assert their dominance over the visitors to Providence Park and a 1-0 away win over the Colorado Rapids.

Sebastian Blanco picked up an injury in the win against Colorado, meaning there is some doubt over whether the Argentine will be available for the Western Conference final. If absent, Blanco would be a big loss to the Timbers with much of their attacking play flowing through the 33-year-old - see his brace in the first-round match.

Real Salt Lake’s run to the Western Conference has defied logic, but while their win over the Seattle Sounders saw them benefit from some good fortune, Mastroeni deserves credit for the changes he made in the win over Sporting KC to turn the match in his side’s favor. Moreover, they produced when it mattered most.

However, the omens aren’t particularly good for RSL, with the Portland Timbers scoring two or more goals in nine of their last ten league matches at Providence Park. There have also been over 2.5 total goals in each of the previous six meetings between the Timbers and RSL (all competitions). A place in the MLS Cup final against either the Philadelphia Union or New York City FC awaits the winner.

Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake Picks

  • 1.5u - Portland Timbers Moneyline (-105)
  • 0.5u - Half Time/ Full Time - Draw/Portland (+390)

Article Author

Soccer

Graham Ruthven is a soccer writer and tipster who has written for the New York Times, Guardian, Eurosport and others.

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