San Jose look to extend their unbeaten run on Sunday evening, as they take on Los Angeles FC at Earthquakes Stadium. The visitors will be hoping to lock in their first win in no less than five games.
The hosts have an OK recent record in this fixture, winning each of the last two renewals, winning by three goals to two when the pair met here back in 2020.
San Jose Earthquakes – Tough to beat
Getting their heads in front is not something that the Earthquakes are particularly well versed in, winning just one of their last 13 matches, but they have developed a toughness and are quite hard to beat. San Jose have gone six matches without tasting defeat, which is reasonably impressive, even if they have drawn five of those six.
What is slightly worrying, at least from a home point of view, is San Jose’s form at home this season. They tied when last in action at Earthquakes Stadium, but that was their first point on home soil since May. Prior to tying 1-1 with Houston Dynamo, San Jose had lost four on the bounce in front of their own fans. That said, their recent away form should mean that Matías Almeyda’s men should come into this fixture feeling confident.
Expected Line-Up: Marcinowski – Nathan, Oswaldo, Beason – Salinas, Jungwirth, Judson, Abecasias – Cowell, Wondolowski, Espinoza.
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LAFC – Defensive woes
Ever since LAFC first entered MLS, they’ve been highly competitive, and that hasn’t changed. The problem this season is that Bob Bradley’s men, who’ve made the play-offs in each of their three seasons as a Major League Soccer franchise, are conceding too many goals. It’s now been a month since Los Angeles FC kept a clean sheet.
Sunday’s visitors have scored no shortage of goals this term, especially in recent weeks, hammering in eight in their last five, but such a total becomes less impressive when you learn that they’ve conceded 11 during that time. On the road, the Black and Gold have conceded at least twice in each of their last four.
Expected Line-Up: Romero – Kim, Blackmon, Farfan, Murillo, Palacios – Blessing, Atuesta, Cifuentes – Rossi, Vela.
Expert Pick #1 – Asian Total – Over 3 Goals @-133
The goals haven’t exactly flowed for San Jose at home all the time, but have still scored an average of 1.42 per game, while their expected goals for figures aren’t bad either. In fact, an average of 1.82 expected goals is very positive. Add in that they’ve given lots away, keeping zero clean sheets at Earthquakes Stadium, conceding an average of 1.71 goals per game.
Combine the above with the fact that LAFC can hardly avoid a high-scoring game at the minute, with four or more goals being scored in each of their last three matches, and a bet on the goals to arrive in no small number starts to look seriously appealing.
Expert Pick #2 – LAFC to Score in Both Halves @+140
As a secondary option, LAFC to score in both halves appeals. We all know about the threat that the visitors carry. In Vela and Rossi they have two of the deadliest weapons in all of Major League Soccer, which is why they’ve scored in all but one of their matches this campaign.
The visitors are also the second best team in the Western COnference in terms of expected goals created, so we know that they’re no slouches in terms of forging scoring opportunities. Moreover, the hosts have a habit of conceding both early and late in games at home. They’ve shipped a first half goal in six out of seven at home this term, conceding a second half goal in three of their last four.
Expert Pick #3 – Diego Rossi to Score @+125
It’s very easy to feel that both Vela and Rossi will hit the net every time LAFC step out onto the field, but on this occasion, at the current odds, it’s the Uruguayan who gets the nod. San Jose’s back-line has been far from sturdy at home, which is why they are without a clean sheet, so this must be viewed as a big opportunity to the man who finished as the top scorer in MLS last term. Rossi has netted five times this season, while he averages a strong 0.43 expected goals per 90 minutes, not to mention 3.09 shots per game. Against a weak opposing defense, the visiting forward is worth betting on to score.
There are plenty of signs that point towards goals arriving at Earthquakes Stadium on Sunday evening and the visitors should get more than their fair share of those goals, while one particular visiting forward looks set to have an enjoyable time.