Match Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Chivas USA, Oct. 23, 2013

USA TODAY Sports

Can Chivas USA end their take some points on the road? Everything you need to be ready for tonight's kickoff!

Chivas USA returns to action following a lengthy hiatus as they return to Rio Tinto Stadium to take on Real Salt Lake at 6 p.m. (MLSLIVE, KWHY).

It's the final week of the MLS season, so let's roll out this preview!

Tale of the Tape:
Chivas USA: 26 points (6-18-8), 9th in Western Conference (17th overall). Goal differential -31 (29/60). Last six: L-W-D-L-L-L
Real Salt Lake: 53 points (15-10-8), 2nd in Western Conference (4th overall). Goal differential +15 (55/40). Last six: W-L-L-W-D-D

Key Match Up: Chivas USA's rust versus RSL's ambitions: New York's win over Houston effectively closed the door on RSL's Supporter's Shield changes but Jason Kreis's team can still win the Western Conference title if they can beat Chivas USA and if Chivas can then turn around and beat Portland this weekend.

Chivas meanwhile hasn't played in over two weeks. How will Chivas return following the 5-0 rout at the hands of the LA Galaxy is anyone's guess.

Why Chivas will win the game: With the Supporter's Shield seemingly out of reach and a playoff berth attained, it's worth wondering if RSL is going to be channeling their usual intensity heading into the match.

Chivas has the opportunity to get a win if a young RSL side trips up while looking towards the playoffs, not the game at hand.

Why Real Salt Lake will win: History suggests two very strong correlations:

1. Chivas USA does not do well when playing after an extended absence.

2. In matches played after March, Real Salt has outscored Chivas USA 11-1.

Why the match will end in a draw: A rested Chivas team visits a haggard RSL side that just came off a draw in Portland. The rust and packed midfield of Chivas proves to be the immovable object to RSL's weary, but still irresistible force.

Notable Absences: None

What you do think? Think the Goats can stop their RSL slide? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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