LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers: MLS preview, predictions and lineups

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MLS action returns to our screens this weekend following a three-week break for the international fixtures.

Two of MLS' biggest clubs will go head-to-head on Saturday with LA Galaxy looking to continue their recent upturn in form with a victory against one of Western Conference's biggest strugglers, Portland Timbers.

RealSport101 is on hand with all the important team news and information ahead of this anticipated MLS clash.

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LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers Team News

Greg Vanney has an attacking dilemma to answer ahead of Saturday's clash with Portland Timbers after substitute Dejan Joveljic notched two goals and two assists from the bench in a 4-1 win over Austin FC last time out.

The Serbian has largely been utilised from the bench this season, making just one of his 12 appearances from the off, but could replace the experienced Javier Hernandez here. Efrain Alvarez could also start for the hosts after impressive from the bench last time out.

Portland Timbers have a host of major injuries to contend with ahead of their trip to the Dignity Health Sports Park. Centre-back Bill Tuimola was only fit enough for the bench against Inter Miami but scored a late consolation after coming on. He could replace Larrys Mabiala at the back for the trip to Los Angeles.

The visitors could line up elsewhere unchanged from the 2-1 defeat against Inter Miami with Nathan Fogaça continuing to lead the line and Daniel Ayala retaining his place in the midfield.

Confirmed absentees

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LA Galaxy: Adam Saldana (ankle), Jorge Villafana (knee), Sega Coulibaly (knee), Douglas Costa (leg), Eriq Zavaleta (leg)

Portland Timbers: Diego Gutierrez (foot), Claudio Bravo (thigh), Blake Bodily (hamstring), David Bingham (back), Jaroslaw Niezgoda (thigh), Felipe Mora (knee), Eryk Williamson (hamstring)

Predicted Lineups

LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): Bond; Araujo, DePuy, Williams, Edwards; Delgado, Raveloson; Cabral, Alvarez, Grandsir; Joveljic

Portland Timbers (4-3-3-): Ivacic; Rankin, Tuimola, Zuparic, Rasmussen; Paredes, Chara, Ayala; Loria, Fogaça, Asprilla

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers score prediction

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LA Galaxy's form this season has been inconsistent to say the least, but Greg Vanner's side headed into the international break in the best possible fashion, ending a three-match winless run with back-to-back victories against Los Angeles FC and Austin FC.

The Galaxy scored seven goals across those two games and seem to have rediscovered their shooting boots at the perfect time. The home side have scored just 17 goals in their first 14 MLS games this season, but have been strong in games with small margins and that could pay off here against a Portland Timbers side who score plenty but are unstable at the back.

The international break couldn't have come at a better time for Portland Timbers. The visitors had lost four of their last five league games heading into the international break with the only respite being a bizarre 7-2 home win over Sporting Kansas City in which both sides were taken down to ten men.

Giovanni Savarese's side reached the MLS Cup final back in 2021, but have endured a miserable season to date and travel to the City of Angles with just two points separating them from the bottom of the Western Conference. The Timbers' away form makes for even more concerning reading, picking up just one win on the road this season.

Score prediction: LA Galaxy 2-0 Portland Timbers