Toronto currently sit top of the Eastern Conference with 44 points from 23 games played, 3 points clear of second place Chicago Fire and 4 points clear of third place New York City. This weekend they host Portland Timbers of the Western Conference at BMO Field with a chance to at least maintain their lead at the top of the table. Looking at the overall table and Toronto have a 7-point lead over Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City.
Toronto FC won the Eastern Conference last season, so this experience is nothing new to them and they went on to finish runners-up in the MLS Cup. The question is can they go one better this year or will Portland Timbers put a spanner in the works?
Toronto have proved a very difficult team to beat this season and have lost only 1 of their previous 10 games in all competitions.
In the MLS, Toronto have been defeated just twice in their last 17 games, which is a fantastic record. During that run of 17 games there have been 11 wins and 4 draws.
Drawing has become a bit of a speciality of late, as Toronto have drawn 3 of their last 5 MLS games, picking up a point against New York City, Colorado Rapids and DC United. However, at home Toronto have won 8 of their last 9 games, with the other one finishing in a draw.
Toronto’s last 4 home wins have all come with a clean sheet.
Portland Timbers Form
Portland Timbers have tasted just 1 defeat in their last 7 MLS games but victories have not been easy to come by.
They have won 2 of their last 3 games in the MLS but these are the only 2 wins from their last 10 games and they must start picking up maximum points from games to challenge the top teams in the Western Conference.
Away from home in the MLS, Portland Timbers have won 1 of their last 9 games which came courtesy of a 2-1 win at Vancouver Whitecaps on the 23rd July. They are undefeated in their last 3 away games, picking up a point at Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo.
Toronto have three players out of this match with injuries and they are Steven Beitashour, Benoit Cheyrou and Oyvind Alseth. However, their two main forwards, Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco are both fit to start.
Portland Timbers also have injury worries and will be without Gbenga Arokoyo, Chance Myers and Marco Farfan. There are also doubts over the fitness of Amobi Okugo, who has a knee injury.
Top Betting Tips
Given the form of both teams in the MLS, especially home and away respectively it is difficult not to back Toronto to pick up maximum points. The home win is on offer at 4/6 with Ladbrokes.
Portland have scored goals in each of their last 5 away games but Toronto have proven very tough to break down at BMO Field. With 4 clean sheets in their last 5 games, Toronto will be hoping to win this match to nil, which can be backed at 11/5 with William Hill.
There have also been under 2.5 goals in 3 of Toronto’s last 4 home games and this is available at 17/11 with Unibet.