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The two frontrunners for the Supporters' Shield come face to face on Saturday night, and Al Hain-Cole expects some key defensive absentees to ensure an entertaining encounter

The clash of the conference leaders takes place in the MLS on Saturday night, as Western front-runners Real Salt Lake welcome Eastern counterparts Sporting Kansas City to the Rio Tinto Stadium.

The hosts currently boast a four-point advantage over their opponents in the race for the Supporters’ Shield, and are favourites at 6/5 (2.20) with William Hill to increase the gap with a win when they come face to face.

However, Peter Vermes’ side came out on top when the teams last met way back in April of last year, and are available at 23/10 (3.30) to come out on top 15 months on.

The guests have drawn two of their last three league fixtures on the road, and you can get odds of 9/4 (3.25) on them picking up a point in this one.

There are sure to plenty of neutrals tuning in to watch this top of the table clash, particularly as it brings together two of the most prolific sides in this season’s MLS.

While the Claret and Cobalt’s tally of 32 goals scored is the joint best out of both conferences, their opponents are not lagging far behind on 29, and defensive absences for both sides should ensure a high-scoring encounter.

International call-ups and injuries have cost Jason Kreis the services of his first and second choice goalkeepers, as well as centre-back Carlos Salcedo, while the Wizards are without 2012 MLS Defender of the Year Matt Besler.

All in all, odds of 10/11 (1.91) cannot be ignored on both sides finding the net, in a bet that would have paid out in seven of the visitors’ last eight league games.

The home fans will be wary of leaving the stadium before the final whistle, as goals have been scored in the last five minutes in eight of their side’s last 13 games, making odds of 11/4 (3.75) well worth a punt on the net bulging from the 86th minute onwards on Saturday night.

Both teams to score at 10/11 (1.91) with William Hill
Match goal 86th minute - full time at 11/4 (3.75) with William Hill

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Al Hain-Cole is a Liverpool fan, experienced tipster and avid follower of European football. He specialises in accumulators and if you would like to read more from Al you can follow him on Twitter here.