Portland has a two-game losing streak, so this game is crucial to regain their early season momentum. With a trip to LA to play the Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City coming to Portland the week after, winning this game will be a huge boost. As usual we will take a look at what exactly Portland needs to do to earn that win, breaking it down by position -- Defense/Goalkeeper, Midfield and Forwards.
Portland will win if: They keep everything in front of them and challenge everything. Last week's meltdown came because the Timbers sat too deep and didn't challenge a cross. The games before that Portland challenged everything and by doing that they had the lowest shots attempted and shots on goal against. Troy Perkins needs to be more vocal and a field general if Portland has the lead late in the games.
Portland will lose if: Chivas loves to counter after putting 10 men behind the ball, and if Portland's outside backs get too far forward, it will put a lot of pressure on the CB's to shut down the counters. If the CB's can't handle the break and slow it down until help comes it will be a long night for Timbers Fans.
Portland will win if: Darlington Nagbe continues to play the way he has been and if the other midfielders adjust to their new roles. With Nagbe in the center of the pitch this creates 4-3-1-2 formation and causes the 3 other midfielders to have to cover both the center of the pitch at times and the wings.
Portland will lose if: They fail to possess the ball and break down Chivas' defense. If the midfielders lose the ball they will need to recover quickly because of Chivas propensity to counter. If they fail to do so Chivas will be able to have odd man rushes at the Timbers goal.
Portland will win if: Kris Boyd is getting shots on goal. If Boyd is getting shots on goal this means Portland is possessing the ball and being patient in their attack. Boyd and the other forward, most likely Jorge Perlaza, will need to work with the midfielders to maintain the possession and make the runs which open room for Nagbe to operate.
Portland will lose if: The forwards are unable to get on the ball and not able to make the passes. Turning the ball over will then give Chivas the opportunity to counter.