RCompetition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Wednesday, September 7 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)
Match Odds: RSL 21/20 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 12/5
The Playoff battle is really heating up now, with both these sides set to be left with just six to play following Wednesday’s battle at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Real Salt Lake come into the game fresh after not playing at the weekend. They are fourth in the West but are tied on points with both Colorado and LA Galaxy, who fill the two spots above them.
A midweek win here would leave RSL just five points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas so it’s a huge game for the home side. They have beaten Dallas and Colorado at home in their last two games and could complete an impressive hat-trick of victories with three points here.
LA Galaxy arrive at RSL off the back of their first win in seven on Saturday. Bruce Arena’s side emerged from a tricky spell with a 2-1 home win against Vancouver, thanks to a pair of fine goals from Baggio Husidic and Giovani Dos Santos.
The return of Robbie Keane will boost confidence further, though the Galaxy have not won away at RSL since 2013 and have not scored at Rio Tinto in their last four visits.
Their away form has been better this season than it was during the 2015 campaign, but they have not managed to seal a victory in their last three road games.
Real Salt Lake will be without Emery Welshman and Aaron Maund once again, while Sunday Stephen remains a doubt. Omar Holness and Kyle Beckerman are away on international duty and won’t return in time to play on Wednesday night.
LA Galaxy have a concerning injury list to worry about as the postseason edges ever closer. Gyasi Zardes is out for the season, while Jelle Van Damme and Steven Gerrard remain sidelined, so the absence of those three leaves Bruce Arena short-staffed in key areas. Robbie Keane should be back after retiring from international duty in last week’s Ireland game against Oman.
Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/W/L/W/W
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/D/D/W
Key Stat: Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in seven home games against LA Galaxy, winning four of those games, including each of the last two meetings at Rio Tinto.
Key Player: Yura Movsisyan – The Armenian striker scored twice in RSL’s 2-1 win over Colorado last time out and now has nine goals for the season. The Designated Player looks to be in good form and will be hoping to hurt the Galaxy backline here.
Real Salt Lake 2-1 LA Galaxy – RSL look to have hit a strong run of a form at the best possible time and are poised to win a third-straight league game for the second time this season as they look to move into second in the West. The home support gives them a major advantage, as well as the fact LA have a trio of key absentees. There should be goals here, but RSL ultimately look in better shape to edge this.