PREVIEW- The Vancouver Whitecaps play their second consecutive home match this weekend, after last week’s eventful 0-0 draw vs Colorado, this time facing a recovering Minnesota United. With the potential of DP striker Sergio Cordova coming back from a lengthy injury spell, this could be the opportunity for the Whitecaps to claim their first win since April 8th vs Portland. Here is our match prediction for the Whitecaps vs Minnesota.
Time For A Win? Whitecaps vs Minnesota Match Preview
Whitecaps Current Run of Form
The Whitecaps are in a special kind of form that you could view from a “glass half-empty, glass half-full” perspective. On one hand, the Whitecaps have not conceded a goal in MLS since the reverse fixture against Minnesota in late March, and are near to breaking their longest-ever shut-out streak in MLS history. On the other hand, the Whitecaps have scored only one goal in all competitions since the 1st of April, where they put five past Montreal.
Ahead of this match, Head Coach Vanni Sartini noted that he was happy with his team’s performances as of late, but does wish some luck in front of the goal would come their way.
“We’re playing well, to be honest, and I am happy, I am confident because the future looks bright. We look better in every game that we play”.
“But at the same time, we cannot forget that while it is good to [create] chances, it’s better to finalize them. So that’s what we need to do”.
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) May 1, 2023
Minnesota Current Run of Form
Minnesota, meanwhile, are trying to recover from a bad patch of form in April, where they lost three out of five matches in MLS. They began the month with a surprise victory over the red-hot St.Louis, before falling to three straight defeats against Chicago away, Orlando at home, and Seattle away. Last week they managed to defend a 0-0 draw against FC Dallas at home, and sit now at seventh in the Western Conference, just two points ahead of Vancouver.
Minnesota’s biggest worry are similar to that of Vancouver, in that they are struggling to find goals. Without their Argentine midfield maestro, Emanuel Reynoso, to score the goals this season, they have only been able to score eight goals from an xG of 10.7 according to Fotmob. Moreover, they only have five players who have scored goals this season, with no player scoring more than two goals. Their new start signing San-Bin Jung is still trying to adapt to the league, having played four matches, with no goals or assists, nor without completing the 90 minutes.
Sunday Night Futbol ends in a stalemate. More on our draw with Dallas.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) May 1, 2023
Recent Head to Head
The last time these two teams faced was at the end of March when both teams were hampered to different degrees by the international break, with Minnesota having to play without seven of their starters, and the Whitecaps three. In that game, the Whitecaps salvaged a draw in the last moments of the game, with Simon Becher scoring a 98-minute winner to steal a point. However, the Whitecaps dominated the game for the majority of the match, coming away with 63% possession, 23 shots, and an xG of 2.04. This time around, they’ll hope they can put away some of those chances, even if it is against a more full-strength Minnesota side.
The last time Minnesota won at BC Place was last year in July when they won 3-1 thanks to goals from Franco Fragapane, Kemar Lawrence, and Luis Amarilla. It will be a feat the Loons will want to replicate come Saturday evening.
— Vancouver Whitecaps FC (@WhitecapsFC) July 9, 2022
With the poor away form since that upset win against St.Louis, and the fact that Minnesota are winless four, one might pip an easy win for the Whitecaps. But the ‘Caps have their own issues in front of the net and are struggling to make good of all the chances they are creating.
The one upside to this game is that their DP striker Sergio Cordova looks to be ready to come back into the team, and based on his training montages this week, looks hungrier than ever to make his mark in Vancouver. Given all this, don’t be surprised to see another tightly-contested match, with the score going 1-0 in Vancouver’s way.
Photo Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports on March 25, 2023, of Simon Becher’s Headshot.
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