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Seattle can shade final showdown.

FOOTBALL MLS CUP FINAL 9pm IT WASN'T just the weather which was freezing when Toronto and Seattle met in last year's MLS Cup final and another cagey showpiece is on the cards when the same teams go at it at BMO Field, writes Steve Davies.

Both sets of players were like rabbits in headlights in last season's final in Toronto, a desperate affair which went through extra-time to penalties with Seattle getting up in the shootout.

Toronto are odds-on to get their revenge on what is expected to be another bitterly cold night with heavy snow showers forecast.

Those conditions, plus the stakes, and the fact that the Canadian side have looked a bundle of nerves throughout the playoffs, mean the hosts don't seem to represent a great-value bet. Seattle draw no bet looks a better option, although under 1.5 goals at 11-5 with Paddy Power is also one to mull over.

Toronto are at home because the Eastern Conference champions piled up more points over the course of the regular season than Seattle.

But in the playoffs Greg Vanney's men have looked far from convincing. The shape of the Reds won't change but there's a doubt over 16-goal Jozy Altidore, who is struggling with an ankle injury.

In a match where chances are likely to be at a premium, they need Altidore fit to line up alongside top marksman Sebastian Giovinco.

Seattle's away form isn't the greatest though they won at Houston in their Conference final, albeit helped by the hosts going down to ten men.

Centre-back Roman Torres returns from a ban to solidify the champions who are a much better team than they were 12 months ago.

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Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Geographic Code:1CONT
Date:Dec 9, 2017
Words:281
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