Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, March 19 – 22:30 ET (02:30 GMT)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – SJ Earthquakes 11/2
LA Galaxy host San Jose Earthquakes in the first California Clasico match of 2016 on Saturday night, with the Quakes looking to continue their impressive start to the new campaign against their fierce rivals.
LA followed up their 4-1 opening day win over DC with a disappointing 1-0 defeat in Colorado last weekend. They conceded in the fifth minute of stoppage time and will have been left deflated after putting in a solid performance on the road.
Bruce Arena knows his team are much stronger at home and will be desperate to see his side pick up a second win of the campaign on Saturday.
With the quality and experience in the Galaxy side, they should be able to manage the occasion of a big derby and will expect to beat San Jose.
The Quakes are not to be taken lightly, however. Dominic Kinnear has watched his side beat Colorado and Portland through the first two weeks – the first time San Jose has won its first two games of an MLS season in franchise history.
They will be hoping to keep momentum building but a trip to StubHub Center is always a tricky one. San Jose haven’t won away at the Galaxy since 2012, although a victory here would really solidify their chances of success this term.
The home side won each of the three regular season meetings last season, with the Galaxy recording a 5-2 victory in the only game at StubHub Center – the most goals scored in a California Clasico game in the 20-year history of the rivalry.
More goals could be on the cards here as the Galaxy will be out to show they are still a team to be feared across MLS. San Jose will look to exploit that on the counter-attack in what could be an exciting contest.
LA Galaxy will continue to be without goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, so Brian Rowe will continue between the sticks. Giovani Dos Santos is still a doubt, while the same applies to Alan Gordon, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo. Mike Magee will hope to start for a second consecutive week alongside Robbie Keane.
San Jose are without six players for the trip to LA. Marc Pelosi, Cordell Cato, Jordan Stewart, Chad Barrett, Shaun Francis and Andres Imperiale will all miss out once again as Dominic Kinnear looks set to name an unchanged side to the one that beat Portland last weekend.
LA Galaxy’s form: W/L
San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/W
Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in four-straight home games against San Jose Earthquakes (W2 D2).
Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irish forward scored a hat-trick in this fixture last season and will be hoping to find the net again on Saturday. He netted in the Galaxy’s opening game and always plays better at StubHub Center. He is a constant threat to opposing defences and will look to cause San Jose problems from the outset.
LA Galaxy 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – This should be a close contest but LA Galaxy have to be favoured at home. The Quakes will expect to hurt them but will likely come up just short in what should be an exciting game.