City rivals LAFC and LA Galaxy lock horns on Saturday evening as the latter travel to Banc of California Stadium for the second El Tráfico of the season. The hosts will be hoping to pick up their first win in over a month, while the visitors need to bounce back too having lost two games on the spin.
LA Galaxy have had the better of this fixture in recent times, winning three of the last four renewals. That said, LAFC have won three of their last four games against their city rivals. When the pair met earlier in the campaign, it was the Galaxy that emerged victorious, winning by two goals to one.
LAFC – Stuttering
Saturday’s hosts find themselves going through a real period of stagnation. They’ve won none of their last seven matches, five of which they’ve lost. Bob Bradley’s men have also lost each of their last four, scoring a paltry three goals in the process.
Fortunately, a lot of LAFC’s struggles have been on the road. The Black and Gold did lose when last in action at home, but they’d gone five without defeat at Banc of California Stadium prior to that. However, they’re by no means tough to breach on their own patch, as eight of their last nine visitors have notched at least once.
Expected Line-Up: Romero – Kim, Murillo, Fall, Farfan – Blessing, Atuesta, Cifuentes – Arango, Vela, Rodriguez.
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LA Galaxy – Bounce-back required
Though they’re going through nowhere near as much of a rough patch as their rivals, the Galaxy are a little out of sorts. Their defeat at the hands of San Jose Earthquakes last time out was their second in as many games, while they’ve not exactly been consistent on the road this term, even if they have picked up a few good results.
Greg Vanney’s men have won just one of their last four travelling fixtures, though they will have gained some confidence by not only winning but keeping a clean sheet when last in away-day action at Minnesota. Couple that victory with the fact that the hosts have been struggling for some time and Saturday’s visitors may fancy their chances ahead of this clash.
Expected Line-Up: Bond – Araujo, Coulibaly, DePuy, Hamalainen – Lletget, Raveloson – Alvarez, Dos Santos, Grandsir – Cabral.
Expert Pick #1 – LAFC to Win & Over 1.5 Goals @+3300
Mere form would suggest that the hosts are overpriced ahead of this fixture, but if we dig a little deeper, it’s easy to feel that they’re a solid bet to emerge victorious and score twice in the process.
Results have often gotten away from the hosts, but their underlying numbers suggest that things could change very soon, especially at home. At Banc of California Stadium, LAFC have an average expected goal difference of +1.10, which is extremely good, and it tells us that they’re consistently creating considerably more than their visitors. In contrast, LA Galaxy have an average expected goal difference of -0.49 on the road, which is far from impressive. The hosts also produce an average of 2.05 expected goals at home, which suggests that they ought to have few problems creating the necessary chances to notch twice against GAlaxy’s less than secure defence, just as they have done in five of their previous six home matches against the Galaxy.
Expert Pick #2 – LAFC to Score Over 2.5 Goals @+165
In their recent home matches, LAFC have flirted with scoring an abundance of goals without quite doing so, scoring twice in four of their last five on their own patch. During that time they’ve averaged 2.36 expected goals for. Consider this in conjunction with their excellent scoring record at home in this fixture, notching three or more in three of their last five home games against the Galaxy, and a small secondary bet on the hosts hitting their stride offensively is merited.
Expert Pick #3 – Danny Musovski to Score @+175
Cristian Arango has been by no means one of the first names on the LAFC team sheet since his switch from Millionaros, but the 26-year-old hasn’t been without involvement in recent weeks, featuring in each of the last three matches, and when he has featured, he’s generally threatened. He’s yet to score, but an average of 0.78 expected goals per 90 minutes is not to be ignored.
Moreover, after Diego Rossi featured for the MLS All Stars, the Colombian could be in from the start. If he is, at the current odds, he’s worth supporting to grab his first goal in Major League Soccer.
They’ve certainly not been in fine form of late, but this appears to be a good opportunity for the hosts to impress on route to picking up a much-needed three points. They tend to do well at home against their city rivals, while the underlying figures point towards a home victory.