Portland Timbers vs New York City FC

By Ernie Bibby, Thursday, June 22, 2023 1:18 pm

There’s an intriguing cross-conference fixture on Saturday evening as an improving New York City FC travel to face an injury-hit and inconsistent Portland Timbers. Both sides currently sit outside the play-offs and will be looking to kick-start their season.


Portland Timbers

The Portland Timbers will have been exceptionally disappointed with their start to the season so far. Although there are hopes that they can produce a Seattle-style second half of the season surge, it feels like an unlikely prospect given the sheer amount of injuries within the squad. Even Evander hasn’t been exempt from fitness issues and the off-season signing has struggled to put together a consistent run of games.

Combo 49
Football Portland Timbers FC New York
Home 1.74
Draw 3.44
Away 3.27
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With Evander finally having shrugged off his early-season problems, Portland looked like they were slowly beginning to turn a corner, however, Wednesday’s home defeat to Chicago Fire was yet another unwanted setback.

The Timbers have now won just one of their last seven and haven’t managed to score more than a single goal in a game since May 14th. They may not lose often at home, however, the majority of their matches have been decided by a single game margin and tend to swing either way.

Nevertheless, they just a handful of points shy of the play-offs and if they can string together a few decent results, they can put themselves firmly back into contention.


New York City FC

New York City have been one of the most inconsistent and erratic teams in MLS this season. However, after four consecutive draws, perhaps we are beginning to see this squad settle down?

The Pigeons haven’t tasted victory since April 22nd and Wednesday’s 2-2 draw was the first time that they have scored 2+ goals in a game since the beginning of May.

Some of their early season performances can be excused as they were a little to finish assembling their squad, yet they still don’t appear to have a focal point to this squad. Gabriel Pereira and Santiago Rodriguez have done the majority of the heavy lifting when it comes to the goal-scoring, however, more is required in the final third.

Nevertheless, NYCFC were second away from taking all three points at the Mercedes–Benz Stadium and despite requiring a last minute equaliser at the Crew, they were deserving of their point. They’re slowly getting into their groove and a late play-off push isn’t out of the question.



Head to Head

These two sides haven’t met in a competitive game since the 2021 play-offs when NYCFC required penalties to squeeze past their rivals. Portland Timbers had won each of the three previous meetings between these sides with NYCFC failing to find the net in each of those defeats. NYCFC’s last regular time victory at this stadium came all the way back in May 2016.


Key Betting Stats (prior to Friday’s game vs Malta)

  • Just 38% of Portland’s matches have featured three or more goals this season
  • Only two of New York City’s away games this season have featured three or more goals.
  • NYCFC have kept just a single clean sheet on the road so far.
  • 56% of NYCFC’s goals have been conceded in the final 40 minutes of games.
  • Almost a third of Portland’s goals have been scored in the final ten minutes of matches.
  • 47% of Portland games have been goalless at HT.


Match Prediction

Portland are stronger at home, yet they are far too inconsistent and cannot be backed with any conviction. Given their problems, NYCFC are a decent price to win this game, yet they could easily snatch a point. The visitors are improving and although cross-conference matches aren’t always ideal at the end of a busy week, they still might be able to leave with something to show for their efforts.


Winning Combo

New York City FC Win or Draw Double Chance, Under 5 Goals and Highest Scoring Half – Second Half

Odds – 15/4 with Bet365 Bet Builder


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