LA Galaxy will go in search of a third straight win when they host Vancouver Whitecaps at Dignity Health Sports Park. Can they do it? Or will the visitors extend their own winning run, which currently stands at four.
This will be the third time that the pair have faced each other this season. The current season record stands at 1-1. When the two met initially, it was Galaxy who walked away with the spoils, winning by two goals to one, but Vancouver returned the favour less than a month later, winning by the same score-line in front of a home crowd.
LA Galaxy – On the up
Galaxy did appear to be moving in the wrong direction not so long ago. They’ve gone three matches without a win, two of which they lost, but returning back to the comforts of Dignity Health Sports Park has helped dramatically. Sunday’s hosts arrive at this point off the back of two wins, beating Portland Timbers by four goals to one, and Real Salt Lake by a goal to nil.
Playing at home certainly seems to suit Greg Vanney’s men, who’ve won seven out of nine on their own patch this campaign, scoring no shortage of goals in the process. Only one team in the Western Conference has netted more home goals than Galaxy this season.
Expected Line-Up: Bond – Araujo, Coulibaly, Williams, Villafana – Lletget, Raveloson, Grandsi – Alvarez, Cabral, Kljelstan.
Vancouver Whitecaps – Weak travellers
Most teams tend to struggle more on the road than at home, but Sunday’s visitors have taken that to another level this time around. The Whitecaps have played eight matches on their travels this season and are yet to pick up an away-day win, tying four and losing four.
Scoring hasn’t often been a problem for the Vancouver boys, who’ve scored at least once in six out of eight away games, scoring two or more in four of those six. Unfortunately, they’ve let themselves down at the back. Vancouver has kept zero clean sheets away from home, while they’ve conceded two or more in no less seven out of eight. Defensive problems indeed.
Expected Line-Up: Hasal – Nerwinski, Vecelinovic, Godoy, Gutierrez – Bikel, Baldisimo, Teibert – Dajome, White, Caicedo.
Expert Pick #1 – Over 2.5 Goals @-160
The goals have often flown for Vancouver on the road, and it’s worth betting that they’re not about to put a stop to that ahead of this one. At least three goals have been scored in seven of Vancouver’s eight away games, as well as in five of Galaxy’s nine at home.
Galaxy are the second-highest scorers at home in the West this season, while despite their struggles on the road, only two teams have scored more away goals than Vancouver away from home. Galaxy home games produce an average of 2.88 goals, while Vancouver’s away matches average 3.37.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 3.5 Goals @+155
At the current odds, ‘Over 3.5 Goals’ appeals too. As well as at least three goals being scored in seven of Vancouver’s eight travelling games, the net has rippled at least four times in five out of those eight.
Furthermore, the expected goals numbers produced both at this venue and when Vancouver are involved away from home also point towards plenty of goals. 3.31 expected goals are created on average when Galaxy play at home, while Vancouver’s away games have seen an average of 2.88 expected goals, so we ought to see no shortage of chances created on Sunday evening and thus a four goals may just be a tad more likely than the current prices suggest.
Expert Pick #3 – Kevin Cabral to Score @+220
Chicharito going to the Gold Cup was always going to leave a big hole in Galaxy’s frontline but forward Kevin Cabral has stepped up in recent weeks. The Frenchman hasn’t exactly been prolific in front of goal but he shouldn’t be devoid of opportunities against Vancouver’s weak rearguard, while he’s averaging a decent 0.31 expected goals per 90 minutes.
The visitors can’t seem to avoid a goal-filled game when playing away from home, while Galaxy aren’t exactly shy in that respect either. The form of both points towards lots of goals being scored at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday evening. If you’re looking to invest, side with goals.