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Match Preview: Boston Breakers vs. Seattle Reign

Last ranked Boston Breakers face top ranked Seattle Reign.

Boston is 4-11-3 and formally eliminated from playoff contention.

Seattle is 11-3-3 and seven points clear at the top of the table.

Boston has struggled to move the ball into the attack this season (see: zero shots on goal against FCKC last week).

Seattle is capable of methodically picking teams apart and is on a 5-game winning streak.

But last these two teams met, Seattle only won by one goal, a Kim Little penalty kick, with Boston actually outshooting Seattle. So it's not as bleak as rankings might suggest. The Breakers will certainly have to move the ball better than they did against Kansas City, and once they do they'll have to actually finish. But this game could swing wildly between very close and total blowout.

Now, given Boston's recent form (one win in the last 10 games), it would be fair to lean towards the total blowout end of that spectrum. But there is absolutely no predicting which team will show up: the team that lost 5-2 to Portland and let in an astounding three goals in five minutes, or the team that gutted out a 2-1 victory over the Spirit.

The Breakers tend not to be at their best on the road - which is a polite way of saying they haven't won a single away game this season, going 0-6-2. Also, every away loss was by two goals or more. The players themselves have often said that they feel most comfortable at their home field; attempts to transition their game plan to the road have not been successful.

So you wouldn't be an awful Breakers fan if you went into this game expecting the worst - that's just the reality of this season. Seattle's midfield is capable of picking defenses apart and Kassey Kallman's back four will have to stay tight, not allowing Kim Little or Jess Fishlock to slip through. (Easier said than done.) But because Boston does have the ability to pop up with a win when you least expect it, they might just take some points off the league leader.

One wrinkle here is that Stephanie McCaffrey is listed as questionable with a left quad contusion. She'll probably end up playing, but McCaffrey at anything less than 100% slims some already narrow margins for victory. She has been integral in Boston's attack all season long, providing deep, penetrating runs and service into the box. She is also often the focal point of the attack as the team searches for her on the run with balls from deep. If she's not ready to go on game day, then Coach Durkin will probably consider Morgan Marlborough for the starting XI and use her as a target forward with Kyah Simon in support.

On the flip side, Beverly Yanez is out for the Reign, so they'll be without one of their most proven goalscorers. That could be good news for the Breakers defense, or it could be a moot point with Kim Little still in play.

The game kicks off at 10 PM ET, Wednesday, August 26. It will stream live on NWSL's youtube channel.