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  • April 19, 2014
  • • 9:30 PM
  • • Rio Tinto Stadium, Sandy, Utah
  • Referee: Drew Fischer
  • • Attendance: 20496

MLS Preview: Real Salt Lake - Portland Timbers

MLS Preview: Real Salt Lake - Portland Timbers

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Unbeaten RSL plays host to the surprisingly winless Timbers in a rematch of last year's Western Conference final.

Real Salt Lake and the Portland Timbers have gone in opposite directions since they last met in the 2013 Western Conference final.

While RSL cruised to a 4-1 aggregate triumph in that series and is now 2014's lone unbeaten team at 2-0-4, the Timbers have started the new season with a disappointing 0-2-4 record heading in Saturday's meeting at Rio Tinto Stadium (9:30 p.m. ET, MLS Live).

The matchup presents an intriguing contrast of styles, as the Timbers' 4-3-3 alignment goes up against Salt Lake's 4-4-2 diamond midfield. Expect the middle of the field to be congested, as RSL's wingers tuck inside to help negate Portland's midfield triangle of Diego Chara, Will Johnson and Diego Valeri.

The Timbers will mostly be focused on keeping RSL off the board, as Portland has allowed a league-leading 11 goals thus far this season, with the struggles of offseason acquisition Norberto Paparatto leading to the return of the Mamadou Danso - Pa Modou Kah center back pairing.

Jeff Attinella figures to start between the posts again for RSL with Nick Rimando (knee) a doubt. Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil (groin) and forward Robbie Findley (patellar tendon) are questionable, while forward Joao Plata (hamstring) remains out.

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