Portland Timbers will trade tackles with Marathon at Providence Park on Wednesday for a place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
The two sides played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in the first leg in Honduras last week. Brayan Castillo, Marion Ramirez and Felipe Mora were all on the scoresheet.
They will be keen to get the job done in the return leg to book their spot in the last eight. A quarterfinal tie against either Club Olimpia or Club America awaits the winner between Marathon and Portland Timbers.
The visitors have been in domestic action in Honduras throughout the year and come into this clash on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Lobos UPNMF.
Portland Timbers vs Marathon Head-to-Head
The first leg clash between the sides was their maiden fixture, which leaves this second leg firmly in the balance.
Marathon’s domestic campaign has hardly gone to plan and they currently find themselves in fifth place in Group A of the Liga Nacional Clausura.
Los Panzas Verdes have registered just one win from their last eight league games, with four of those ending in defeat.
Portland Timbers have not been in domestic action since the end of the MLS 2020 season in November last year.
Last week’s clash in San Pedro Sula was their first competitive fixture in almost five months. They will kick off their new MLS campaign with a trip to the Vancouver Whitecaps next Monday.
Portland Timbers form guide: D
Marathon form guide (all competitions): D-D-W-D-L
Portland Timbers vs Marathon Team News
The hosts have three players currently sidelined by injury. Jaroslaw Niezgoda and Sebastian Blanco (both ACL), as well as Aljas Icavic, are all unavailable for selection.
There are no suspension concerns for manager Giovanni Savarese.
Injuries: Jaroslaw Niezgoda, Sebastian Blanco, Aljas Icavi
The visitors have no injury or suspension concerns to worry about. Forward Marlon Ramirez stepped off the bench to score a crucial equalizer in the first leg and could be rewarded with a start by manager Hector Vargas.
Portland Timbers vs Marathon Predicted XI
Portland Timbers Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Steve Clark (GK); Claudio Bravo, Dario Zuparic, Larrys Mubiala, Jose Van Rankin; Diego Chara, Eryk Williamson; Dairon Aspirilla, Diego Valeri, Yimmi Chara; Mora Alliaga
Marathon Predicted XI (4-4-2): Denovan Torres (GK): Luis Vega, Mathias Techera, Carlos Garcia, Carlos Perdomo; Edwin Solani, Emilio Izaguirre, Kervin Arriaga, John Suazo; Marlon Ramirez, Brayan Castillo
Portland Timbers vs Marathon Prediction
Games involving Marathon tend to be on the high-scoring side and another fixture with plenty of goalmouth action is anticipated.
Portland Timbers’ lack of competitive action could weigh against them but we are predicting a narrow victory for the hosts with goals scored at both ends.
Prediction: Portland Timbers 2-1 Marathon