Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Wednesday, May 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 9/5
Philadelphia sit third in the East, just two points behind Montreal at the top but with two games in hand. Head coach Jim Curtin will be delighted with the start his side have made to 2016 and knows they must now push on.
The Union did not play last weekend and will hope the extended rest gives them an advantage here. They drew 1-1 with San Jose in their most recent match and are now unbeaten in six at home.
A win on Wednesday would move the Union to the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the weekend but the visit of an in-form Galaxy side means that three points are far from guaranteed.
The Galaxy come into this fixture off the back of their 4-2 win over New England on Sunday night, stretching their unbeaten run to seven.
Bruce Arena’s men have only lost once this term and are seemingly improving on the road, having not lost any of their last three away games.
This will be the club’s first trip to an Eastern Conference side since last June. They only won one of five trips to an Eastern opponent last season and face a tough task in winning this contest.
LA sit second in the West heading into the game, just two points behind Colorado and have a game in hand over the Rapids at this stage, so they look to be in a strong position.
This will be just the ninth MLS meeting between these two sides. Philadelphia have only won one of the previous eight meetings (D1 L6) and have yet to beat the Galaxy at home since joining the league six years ago.
Philadelphia Union will be without Maurice Edu once again as he continues to recover from a long-term leg injury, while Ken Tribbett is a doubt. CJ Sapong will spearhead the attack once again as the Union will hope their 11-day rest will help their cause here.
LA Galaxy will welcome back Ashley Cole from suspension here and he will hope to return to the lineup at left-back. Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are fit again, having both played on Sunday night and it will be interesting to see if they are both ready to start here. Jeff Larentowicz made his first start in a Galaxy shirt last time out and will hope to retain his place. Alan Gordon remains a doubt with a groin injury.
Philadelphia Union’s last five: L/W/L/W/D
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/W/D/W
Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have yet to beat LA Galaxy at home in MLS (D1 L2).
Key Player: Robbie Keane – The LA Galaxy talisman returned from injury in fine style at the weekend, scoring two first-half goals to help his side past New England. He now has four goals in four appearances this season and is a real threat whenever he plays.
Philadelphia Union 1-1 LA Galaxy – There is little to choose between the two sides ahead of this one. Philadelphia are tough to break down at home and should be fresh off the back of an extended rest. However, the Galaxy look to be in great shape at the moment and have nearly a full squad available. Both will fancy their chances, though a score draw looks the most likely outcome.