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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at Portland Timbers

How do we think the Black & Gold will do in the Pacific Northwest?

MLS: Portland Timbers at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC have an interesting challenge on Wednesday night. Just four days after the 0-0 draw against FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium, the Black & Gold are back at it and still on the road, traveling to Providence Park to take on the Portland Timbers.

While fans of each team may still have memories of the 2015 MLS Cup in their minds when these two sides meet up, both teams are focused on this season. Currently, Crew SC looks to be in a good spot to make the playoffs, sitting in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, nine points clear of seventh place D.C. United with six games remaining.

The Timbers do not have the same comfort level. Portland is in sixth place in the Western Conference, four points ahead of the Vancouver Whitecaps. At this point in the year, both teams need points, but the Timbers are a bit more desperate.

It has been a tough stretch for Portland, a team with just two wins since Aug. 11. Meanwhile, Columbus has just one loss in the team’s last seven games. How will the game play out out west on Wednesday night? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Patrick Murphy

It’s the Diego Valeri show in Portland yet again in 2018. The attacking midfielder has been a mainstay for the Timbers for years now. But he’s not all alone in the attacking third with names like Samuel Armenteros and Sebastian Blanco.

The offense has not been the issue for Portland with 41 goals scored. The Timbers, though, are allowing goals galore, with 40 conceded on the season. That’s good news for Crew SC, who struggle to score, especially on the road.

I like the way Columbus is playing and think the Black & Gold can get a goal against this Portland defense. Unfortunately, I think the Timbers get one too and it’s another road draw for Crew SC.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Portland Timbers 1

Collin Johnson

Match two of three-match weeks tend to be a letup for Columbus Crew SC. Luckily, the Portland Timbers are are also in match two of a three-match week. Both teams are on 44 points so this should be an intriguing matchup of two teams with playoff aspirations looking to secure much-needed points at the end of the season.

There will likely be some sort of squad rotation. I wouldn’t be surprised if Federico Higuain starts off on the bench or even totally out of the lineup. That said, Crew SC play a Colorado Rapids team this weekend that has not scored a goal in more than a month. If Crew SC are able to squeeze out a point or three against Portland they have a real shot to win at home against Colorado and more or less lock up a trip to the playoffs.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Portland Timbers 1

Eliot McKinley

A midweek game, on the road, against a Western Conference opponent sounds like the perfect recipe for some squad rotation for the Columbus Crew. Both teams are having very similar seasons results wise, but Portland needs a win to solidify their playoff position more than the Crew do. Being at home, I expect Portland to grab three points.
Portland Timbers 2 Columbus Crew 1

Guilherme Torres

The second of three games in a week’s time is normally the hardest one to predict as teams approach it in different ways. Based on previous experiences, I’d say head coach Gregg Berhalter rests some of his starters in Portland and hope for the best and get them ready to amass three points on Saturday, when Crew SC returns home to face the Colorado Rapids.

The Black & Gold could still be able to get a good result on the road against the Timbers, even if not at full power. This, however, will be a very important game for Portland — that might have former Crew SC Steve Clark starting as goalkeeper — as the Oregonians had a tough 4-1 loss to the Houston Dynamo last weekend and are looking to rebound. I anticipate a game of limited chances for the Crew and the final outcome will ultimately depend on whether the team can convert them or not.
Portland Timbers 1 Columbus Crew SC 1

Patrick Guldan

Gregg Berhalter has said that several players won’t be making the trip to Portland and there will be lineup changes. That much is known. What isn’t known is what Berhalter is cooking up to tweak the system and heighten any mismatches with Portland. It’s unlikely that Federico Higuain will play as he picked up a slight ankle injury and would be playing on turf. Columbus probably is looking for a different way to create chances.

Crew SC may be facing the Timbers at the right time. The travel for Columbus will be tough, but Portland also played in Texas on Saturday evening. They will be traveling back home for Wednesday’s game then to Washington D.C. for the weekend and are likely to rotate too. After a early season hot run, they now are only 2-2-1 in their last five and 4-5-1 in their last 10. This is a team that’s struggling a little.

Most likely both teams will be fatigued, leading to a sloppy game where an error will make the difference.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Portland Timbers 1

Ralph Schudel

I don’t think I’ll ever look at this matchup the same after MLS Cup 2015. Providence Park is one of the premier facilities in Major League Soccer and expect the Timbers Army to be in full voice, even on a Wednesday evening. I do think this Crew SC team is capable of pulling the upset and escaping with three points. Gregg Berhalter’s press looks like it could do damage against the Timbers who look to pull off the offside trap.

The wildcard in this match is Timbers goalkeeper Steve Clark. He recently made the change to the Pacific Northwest following a stint in D.C. and looks to steady the ship for PTFC. That being said, I believe Justin Meram and Gyasi Zardes strike and Columbus escape with a victory against Portland.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Portland Timbers 1

Our predictions are in. Now let us know what you think about the game in the comment section below.