Just three days after their 1-1 draw against the LA Galaxy, the Portland Timbers are back in action tomorrow as they host FC Dallas in league play. With both teams playing games in quick succession -- Dallas played the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-2 draw on Saturday -- this match will be a true test of the depth and fitness of both sides.
The Timbers, of course, will be forced into at least one change following Nigel de Jong's malicious tackle on Darlington Nagbe in the 73rd minute of Sunday's match against the Galaxy. With Nagbe out, the Timbers will likely turn to Ned Grabavoy to fill in his place in the 4-2-3-1 that the Timbers ran out over the weekend, playing out on the wing and cutting inside to interchange with Diego Valeri.
Of course, the Timbers could potentially switch things up and move back to the 4-3-3 in which they started the season. The change back would mean either pushing Grabavoy or Valeri out to the wing, or taking Jewsbury off the pitch and giving another player a chance out wide. Despite Jack Barmby's rough day at left back against Orlando City SC, the Timbers' newest signing could potentially slot in to the Timbers' attack.
Regardless of how the Timbers line up, they will be facing a tough challenge in the Dallas defense. FCD's backline has been far from airtight, allowing five goals goals in their week two match against the Houston Dynamo; but with three shut outs in six matches so far the Timbers will still have their work cut out for them.
The duo of Matt Hedges and Walker Zimmerman in the center of the pitch for Dallas present a strong, athletic pairing at center back. While Fanendo Adi has certainly proven equal to the task of taking on some of MLS's more physically imposing defenders, these two in particular will prove to be a difficult task. However, they are prone to giving up fouls in dangerous areas, giving the Timbers a good chance at covering some of the set pieces with which they took apart Dallas during the playoffs last season.
Watch it on: ROOT Sports
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. PT at Providence Park in Portland, OR
Portland Timbers: 1-2-2, 9th place in the Western Conference
FC Dallas: 3-1-2, 3rd place in the Western Conference