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Guess the Starting XI - Match 29 vs. SKC

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Can the Vancouver Whitecaps bounce back against another top team in the West and defend home turf?

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Sporting Kansas City William Purnell-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back everyone,

Last weekend was a tough reality check for the Vancouver Whitecaps in Seattle, but on balance, it’s not the end of the world for their playoff hopes. The Whitecaps still sit just a single point out of a playoff spot, so the focus now turns to a critical stretch of games to wrap up the season.

Much like Seattle last weekend, the Whitecaps aren’t directly competing with Sporting Kansas City for a playoff spot, but because this match is at home, the points are all the more valuable. This effect is only amplified when you consider the Whitecaps still have to face Portland, San Jose and LAFC all on the road in this closing stretch of the schedule. Given the current playoff outlook, all three of those fixtures are potential six-pointers as several teams scrap it out for the final three playoff spots.

SKC has been on a good run of form lately, with four wins in their last five matches, and that sole loss coming against the aforementioned Sounders. It is worth considering though that SKC has been another one of the recent recipients of the “anti-gauntlet” that has been playing FC Dallas and Houston back to back this year.

For Vancouver, depth, especially at the defensive end of the pitch, remains in question. Erik Godoy and Cristian Gutierrez sound as though they are close to match fitness, while Andy Rose and Ranko Veselinovic remain on the mend (I’ll update here when and if we know more).

The good news for the Caps is that Max Crepeau and Javain Brown should be available for this one, and I would expect them both to start on Sunday. Otherwise, it seems as though Vanni Sartini is settling into a rhythm with his tactics, which perhaps makes the lineup predictions a bit easier. That being said, it will be interesting to see if the Italian has any surprises to throw at Peter Vermes - someone who always seemed to have the better of Marc Dos Santos.

As a final note, the reason some scores changed more drastically than others last week is because if you were one of the diligent ones who submitted a score each and every week, you may have “lost” more points as a result of the two “no harm” weeks being reflected in the standings. In the case of Isabelt and AmandaC at the top of the standings, I believe this is because Amanda missed out on the Pacific match while Isabelt had entered a prediction for that one. Hope that all makes sense!

Ok, on to rules and standings:

  • Predictions will be ‘valid’ if posted HERE (or more accurately, the correct match thread) prior to the lineup being officially announced, usually about an hour before kickoff.
  • You receive 1 point for every player you correctly guess to be in the Starting XI. You receive 4 bonus points for correctly predicting all 11 starters.
  • You get 5 points for correctly guessing Win/Lose/Draw, this doubles to 10 if you also predict the right score-line along with the result.
  • That means, if you correctly predict the Starting XI, Final Score, and Winner, you can earn 25 points!
  • At the end of each quarter, the contestants lowest score of that period will be deducted from the cumulative standings.