MLS: San Jose Earthquakes vs Portland Timbers

San+Jose+Earthquakes+v+Portland+TimbersDefending MLS Cup champs Portland Timbers on the Road against San Jose Earthquakes

The Portland Timbers opened their 2016 MLS regular season campaign with a 2-1 win over the Columbus Crew Sunday at Providence Park. The Timbers came out of nowhere to win their first MLS Cup. The Timbers will now turn their attention to Sunday’s road game against the San Jose Earthquakes as they look to have another good performance. The San Jose Earthquakes badly underachieved and failed to make the playoffs. Home field advantage is a huge advantage in the MLS and the Earthquakes are the moneyline favorites. The soccer match between the San Jose Earthquakes and the Portland Timbers will be on Sunday, March 13, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. ET at Aviva Stadium. The game will be broadcast on FOX Sports 1.

The Portland Timbers looks like they could make a nice run this year. The Timbers arguably arrived a year early, as they’ve got a lot of young talent just learning to really play at such a high level. Diego Valeri looked great in the midfield in the opener against Columbus, while Adi and Lucas Melano looked in good form also. The Timbers only have some minor injuries to deal with coming into this soccer match. Liam Ridgewell, Dairon Asprilla and Chris Klute are all have minor injuries.

The San Jose Earthquakes have more major injury concerns. Marc Pelosi is out for at least the next two months with a knee problem. Fatai Alashe has a sports hernia, while Cordell Cato is trying to rehab a hamstring problem. Jordan Stewart has a Achilles injury he is trying to get over. The Earthquakes are looking a little over matched in this one against the Timbers.

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Soccer Match: Chelsea vs Paris Saint-Germain

Chelsea+PSGChelsea F.C. Host Paris Saint-Germain: Ligue 1 Champs  Against Erratic Blues

Paris Saint-Germain and Chelsea have the Champions League left to play for in the 2015-16 season. The Parisians are already the Ligue 1 champs  and Chelsea needs to win this soccer match to give them a chance to stay in the Champions League next season. The odds have the two teams on even terms with Chelsea at a slight favorite. The tournament between Chelsea and PSG is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at 2:45 p.m. ET at Stamford Bridge. The soccer match will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

The Blues have been in better form in the past recent weeks. Chelsea have shown some attacking prowess with Diego Costa and Pedro. The Chelsea Blues need to score a goal in this game if they want to get through to the quarters, as they’re coming off of a 2-1 loss in Paris.  If the Blues can win by a 1-0 margin, they’ll advance on away goal.

The Parisians have injuries to Matuidi and Verratti, not to mention the knock which has kept Angel Di Maria down in recent weeks and might limit his effectiveness in this game. Paris Saint-Germain manager Lauren Blanc has played down these injuries, however the Parisians aren’t as deep as Blanc suggests. We do think the Blues will take an early advantage in the match,  however Paris Saint-Germain may come back in the end and give them the crucial goal it needs to advance.

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MLS: Seattle Sounders vs. Sporting Kansas City

Seattle+Sounders+Sporting+Kansas+CitySeattle Sounders FC host Sporting Kansas City to open 2016 MLS season

The first Sunday of March is arguably the biggest day of the year for Major League Soccer fans. The Seattle Sounders FC will open its Major League Soccer season at home against Sporting Kansas City for the eighth straight year in 2016. The Sounders FC will be an odds favorite for  one of the toughest venues to play in the entire nation. The matchup between the Seattle Sounders and Sporting Kansas City is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, March 6, 2016 at CenturyLink Field. The soccer game will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

The Seattle Sounders have made their share of changes to their roster to keep pace in the Western Conference. The Sounders have traded midfielders Lamar Neagle and Marco Pappa. Seattle boasts the front line duo of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins and veteran utility man Brad Evans. Seattle won 11 matches last year at home, the second most in the Western Conference behind LA.

Sporting KC will welcome back 2015 MVP candidate Benny Feilhaber as well as U.S. national team regulars Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.  Sporting Kansas City let go of veteran defender Paulo Nagamura and added playmaker Justin Mapp and Brad Davis in the midfield. These players are more defensive-minded players. Dom Dwyer is a great striker, but he’s always proven to be most effective when he has a great running mate. Krisztian Nemeth is now gone, and there really isn’t an obvious answer when it comes to replacing him.
Seattle did win 11 matches last year at home while Sporting Kansas City wasn’t good on the road. This soccer game is looking like it may be a low scoring game.  The Sounders may have an edge in this soccer game having played in the CONCACAF Champions League already this year.

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Soccer Match: Manchester United vs Arsenal

Manchester United vs ArsenalManchester United host Arsenal in the Premier League on Sunday

This might be the match of the week as Manchester United hosts Arsenal. Manchester United needs the win against Arsenal on Sunday. Anything less than a win and the Red Devils can kiss any chance of playing in the Champions League next year goodbye.  The soccer match between Manchester United and Arsenal is scheduled for Sunday, February 28, 2016, at 9:05 a.m. at Old Trafford. The matchup will be televised on NBC Sports Network.

Manchester United hasn’t won three straight Premier League games since September. Fifth place Manchester United have only 2 victories in last 6 games. Manchester United tried their best against both Midtjylland and Shrewsbury last week, but didn’t look great in either match.  The list of injuries is just too long right now for Manchester United. Without forward Wayne Mark Rooney, the offense doesn’t look good. If goalkeeper David De Gea can’t play in this one, there could be issues in this next match.

Arsenal might not be in great form, however the injury front is improving. Santiago Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky and Jack Wilshere will still be out for at least a couple more weeks.  Winger Mesut Ozil and striker Olivier Giroud should have a nice day up front against a beaten up Manchester United.  We think the sight of a wounded Manchester United team is going to set Arsenal on the right track. This could end up being the difference on the road.

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Soccer Match: Real Madrid vs. AS Roma

real-madrid-vs-as-romaReal Madrid against AS Roma in Wednesday’s Champions League game

Real Madrid knows that scoring a couple goals on the road will take all of the pressure off of the return trip to the Bernabeu in a couple weeks. Real Madrid are the odds favorites to take the big lead in this series. Real Madrid might be the third best team in La Liga right now, but may be one of the top favorites to win the Champions League. AS Roma is going to need a win in this match to have any chance of advancing to the last eight against one of the best teams in the world.  The soccer match between AS Roma and Real Madrid is scheduled to take place at 2:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 at Stadio Olimpico. The game will be televised live on FOX Sports 1.

AS Roma has won four matches in a row and seems to be in it’s best form of the season. This is good heading into a soccer match of this type of magnitude . Roma isn’t going to win Serie A this year, but the wins put the team back in control to reach the Champions League next year.  Goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has played well of late which is the main reason why Roma has been in top form.

Real Madrid claimed its third straight match in strong form on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. Real madrid haven’t been beaten in a fixture since December 13. Winger Gareth Bale is important  for a soccer game like this one.  Forward Cristiano Ronaldo and striker Karim Benzema can do plenty of damage up front. These two players have combined for 40 goals this year. Both teams may end up getting on the board in this soccer match, but we give the edge to the Real Madrid over AS Roma in this one.

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Soccer: Sunderland vs. Manchester United

Manchester United v SunderlandSunderland A.F.C. vs. Manchester United F.C. – Premier League

Manchester United blew a 1-0 lead last weekend on the road and walked away with a 1-1 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. Morgan Schneiderlin came off the bench for the last 15 minutes and Bastian Schweinsteiger was once again absent having not recovered in time, but they are lining up in this potential XI to face Sunderland with both of them back in midfield. Sunderland came back from down 2-0 in the last quarter of an hour and celebrated swiping a point at Anfield against Liverpool. The game between Sunderland and Manchester United is scheduled for Saturday, February 13, 2016 at 7:45 a.m. ET at the Stadium of Light. The match will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network.

With pressure mounting on manager Louis van Gaal, Manchester United have showed more intent to break down the opposition’s defense in recent weeks, resulting in just one loss in their last nine matches. Manchester United really should be the odds-on favorite here, knowing that Sunderland is still the second-worst team in the Premier League this year next to Aston Villa. The Red Devils let another opportunity slip for maximum points last Sunday at Stamford Bridge, though at least they can say they’ve gone three straight matches taking at least a point. If this team plays with the heart, particularly defensively that it showed against both City and Liverpool these last couple weeks, this is a winnable match. Sunderland are just 3-3-6 at home, and the should be a slim likelihood of them beating one of the top teams in the country.

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