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Preview: Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Toronto – prediction, team news, lineups



Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between Vancouver Whitecaps and Toronto, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

In the first all-Canadian matchup of the 2024 MLS campaign, the Vancouver Whitecaps will host Toronto on Saturday at BC Place Stadium.

The Caps ended the month of March with a narrow 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers, while Toronto suffered their first home setback of the season, losing 3-1 to Sporting Kansas City.

Match preview

© Reuters

For a second match running, the Caps let a first-half lead slip away last Saturday, but this time they found a way to earn three points, scoring a goal three minutes before the 90.

That moved Vanni Sartini‘s men up to second in the Western Conference with 10 points, while they ended a three-match winless run against MLS opponents at BC Place.

Vancouver have two matches remaining on home soil before heading back on the road, and on Saturday, they can win back-to-back domestic games at BC Place Stadium for the first time since July 2023.

Heading into this weekend, the Caps have not lost a regular-season contest against the Eastern Conference since suffering a 3-1 defeat to the Chicago Fire in July 2022, with Nashville SC being in the Western Conference that season when they beat Vancouver 3-0.

Dating back to the previous campaign, the Caps have won four successive regular-season encounters when netting multiple times and have not lost in this competition when doing so since July 2023 (3-2 defeat versus the Seattle Sounders).

They are unbeaten in five successive matches in all competitions versus Toronto, winning their only regular-season meeting against them last year at BMO Field (2-1).

Toronto FC head coach John Herdman yells on February 24, 2024© Reuters

After allowing numerous quality scoring opportunities in the opening half, the Reds were made to pay for their complacency last week, losing for the first time at BMO Field in 2024.

John Herdman‘s side forced Sporting into playing directly, a strategy they would come to rue as the visitors fired 10 efforts on target despite having just 38% of the possession.

Saturday will be a good test of how well they can bounce back after a defeat, something they struggled to do in 2023, following up a loss with a victory on only three occasions in this competition last year.

The Reds have captured three points in only one of their last 23 away contests in this competition, losing their most recent one, 2-1 at New York City FC.

You have to go back to 2021 to find the last victory for Toronto against a Western Conference opponent in this competition, claiming a 1-0 victory at home versus the Vancouver Whitecaps.

TFC have lost four consecutive away matches in all competitions against the Caps, with their last triumph at BC Place in the regular-season occurring in 2017 (2-0).

Vancouver Whitecaps Major League Soccer form:

Vancouver Whitecaps form (all competitions):

Toronto Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Vanni Sartini on July 31, 2023© Reuters

The Caps’ leading goalscorer in two of the past three MLS campaigns, Brian White, missed their match against Portland with a head injury, while Luis Martins was unavailable because of a sore thigh.

Sam Adekugbe saw his first action of the 2024 regular season last weekend, coming on for Ali Ahmed in the latter stages, having previously missed time with a knee injury.

Ryan Gauld notched his first of the season in their victory versus the Timbers, Fafa Picault had a goal and an assist for a second successive time and Ryan Raposo put home the winner, his second of the campaign.

Once again, the Reds were without first-choice goalkeeper Sean Johnson last week due to a sore thigh, while Raoul Petretta and Richie Laryea sat out for the same reason.

Their top goalscorer Lorenzo Insigne (two) did not feature against KC because of a hamstring strain, Brandon Servania has a problem in his knee, while Nicksoen Gomis is recovering from a wrist injury.

Jonathan Osorio had the only goal for TFC a week ago, the first for the Canadian international in 2024 in what was his first start since March 9 (1-0 win over Charlotte FC).

Vancouver Whitecaps possible starting lineup:
Takaoka; Adekugbe, Veselinovic, Blackmon; Raposo, Cubas, Vite, Ahmed; Picault, Gauld; Kreilach

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Gavran; O’Neill, Long, Rosted; Marshall-Rutty, Coello, Longstaff, Flores; Bernardeschi, Osorio; Kerr

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We say: Vancouver Whitecaps 2-1 Toronto

Both sides are off to strong starts in 2024, but we believe the Whitecaps’ overall attacking depth is greater than what Toronto possesses, and that might be the thing which separates these two sides.

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

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