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Sporting Kansas
Major League Soccer
Jun 20, 2024 at 1.30am UK
Children's Mercy Park
Real Salt Lake

3 - 4
Salt Lake

Afrifa (28'), Agade (70', 90+5')
Bassong (90+2')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Gomez (14', 51'), Julio (33'), Crooks (84')
Vera (77')

Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Real Salt Lake - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Two sides at opposite ends of the Western Conference table square off on Wednesday as Sporting Kansas City play host to Real Salt Lake at Children's Mercy Park.

The Wizards secured a 1-0 victory when the sides met back in May and will draw inspiration from that performance as they look to secure back-to-back home wins for the first time since November.

Match preview

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy (26) celebrates on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Sporting Kansas City were sent back down to earth on Sunday as they suffered a 4-2 defeat against Los Angeles Galaxy when the two sides met at Dignity Health Sports Park.

After Dejan Joveljic scored the only goal of the first half to put LA Galaxy in front, Gabriel Pec turned in a superb second-half display as he scored one and set up two to help the hosts see off a late-comeback scare and decide their eighth league victory.

Prior to that, Sporting Kansas City snapped their run of seven consecutive defeats on June 9 when they picked up a 2-1 win over 10-man Seattle Sounders courtesy of goals from Johnny Russell and Alenis Vargas.

Since the start of April, the Wizards have failed to win 11 of their 12 MLS matches — losing nine and claiming two draws — and this underwhelming run has been owing to their struggles at the opposite end of the pitch.

Peter Joseph Vermes's men have conceded 36 goals so far, with only San Jose Earthquakes (43) shipping more, and have the second-fewest number of clean sheets in the league after 18 matches (1).

With 14 points from 18 games, Sporting Kansas City are currently bottom but one in the Western Conference standings, just three points above last-placed San Jose Earthquakes.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Andres Gomez (11) celebrates on March 10, 2024© Reuters

Real Salt Lake, on the other hand, were made to rue their lack of sting in front of goal as they played out a somewhat disappointing goalless draw with an equally wasteful CF Montreal side last weekend.

A total of 30 shots were fired at the Saputo Stadium but neither goalkeeper would end up picking the ball out of the back of the net, with a draw being a fair result upon reflection.

With that result, Real Salt Lake have failed to taste victory in five straight games on their travels, losing 4-2 against New Mexico United in the US Open Cup on May 9 before playing out four consecutive stalemates in their subsequent four outings.

However, Pablo Mastroeni's men have now gone unbeaten in each of their last 14 games in the league, picking up eight wins and six draws since a 2-1 loss to Colorado Rapids on March 10.

Real Salt Lake have picked up 34 points from 18 MLS matches to sit top of the Western Conference table, one point above second-placed Los Angeles FC, who have one game in hand.

Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer form:

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes on February 25, 2024© Reuters

Sporting Kansas City will be unable to call upon the services of 20-year-old forward Vargas, who is currently away with the Honduras national team.

On the injury front, the Wizards will take to the pitch without Daniel Salloi and French midfielder Remi Walter, who has been sidelined through ankle and knee injuries respectively.

They are joined on the club's injury table by Belgian defender Logan Ndenbe is yet to make an appearance this year as he continues his recovery from an ACL injury.

Real Salt Lake will be without several players down the spine of the team as the likes of Marcelo Silva (hamstring), Pablo Ruiz (knee) and Justen Glad (ankle) have all been ruled out through injuries.

Experienced defender Erik Holt has been out of action since picking up a hamstring injury back in February while Kevin Bonilla continues his lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Real Salt Lake will also have to cope without the duo of goalkeeper Gavin Beavers and 20-year-old midfielder Diego Luna, who are currently on international duties.

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Shelton, Castellanos, Fontas, Bassong; Rodriguez, Radoja, Thommy; Russell, Pulido, Davies

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
MacMath; Brody, Hidalgo, Vera, Katranis; Eneli, Ojeda; Gomez, Arango, Luna; Julio

SM words green background

We say: Sporting Kansas City 1-2 Real Salt Lake

Sporting Kansas City are in for another tough 90 minutes against a Real Salt Lake side who are unbeaten in 14 consecutive league games since March. Mastroeni's men have struggled for results on the road but we fancy them to claim all three points against the floundering hosts.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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