Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Avaya Stadium – Friday, August 28 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)
Match Odds: SJ Earthquakes 7/4 – Draw 5/2 – LA Galaxy 7/5
San Jose Earthquakes and LA Galaxy meet in the third and final California Clasico match of the 2015 regular season on Friday night in a game that should kick off the second Heineken Rivalry Week in fine style.
The Western Conference rivals are two of the hottest teams in MLS coming into this, with seven wins from seven between them. But something will have to give here.
San Jose extended their winning run to three with an impressive 2-0 win over DC United last weekend, following up the incredible 5-0 triumph at Sporting Kansas City on the Wednesday before.
A return to Avaya Stadium will further boost their chances as a first California Clasico series win in three years is in touching distance.Embed from Getty Images
The Galaxy have won each of the last two series but know their dominance is under threat ahead of what will be a very tricky away game.
LA come into this looking for a fifth-straight win in MLS. Last Sunday’s 5-1 demolition of NYCFC moved them to the top of the Western Conference and they also lead the Supporters’ Shield standings after 25 weeks.
Their away form has improved since Giovani Dos Santos arrived and the Galaxy will look to the Mexican, as well as Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard for inspiration when they play at Avaya Stadium for the first time ever on Friday evening.Embed from Getty Images
The Galaxy beat the Quakes 5-2 at StubHub Center in the most recent meeting, just weeks after San Jose win 3-1 at Stanford Stadium. More goals are expected here in what should be a thriller.
For San Jose, Innocent Emeghara remains a long-term absentee, while Steven Lenhart, Jordan Stewart and Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi also remain sidelined. Matias Perez Garcia and Fatai Alashe remain doubtful but should feature.
LA Galaxy have four concerns. Brian Perk remains out for the season, while Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic and Todd Dunivant still remain questionable and are unlikely to feature. Giovani Dos Santos and Robbie Keane will look to continue their frightening partnership in attack.
San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: D/L/W/W/W
LA Galaxy’s last five: L/W/W/W/W
Key Stat: LA have only won one of their last 11 regular season meetings against San Jose away from home.
Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes forward thrives in games like this. He has three in his last two and scored in the earlier season clash at Stanford Stadium. Expect Wondo to be heavily involved on Friday night.Embed from Getty Images
San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 LA Galaxy – Difficult to split the sides on paper going into this. Goals are expected between two attacking sides but a draw looks the most likely outcome. That would see the Galaxy win a third-straight California Clasico series on goal difference, so the Earthquakes must set out to win if they are to be celebrating.