Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, September 25 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 5/6 – Draw 13/5 – Seattle 14/5
LA are all but guaranteed a place in the postseason. They have only lost one of their last 16 games and look to be in good shape heading into the crucial stages of the campaign.
Bruce Arena’s men earned a 2-2 draw at Sporting Kansas City last weekend, with Landon Donovan netting a special equaliser off the bench. Morale is high in the LA camp but they have not won back-to-back games since July and that inconsistency is the only real criticism at this stage.
They are a real force at home and will be expected to brush Seattle aside on Sunday, but that won’t be as easy at it seems with the Sounders fighting for their lives.
A terrible season has been turned on its head in recent weeks for Seattle. The Rave Green have been in good form and are making a late surge towards the playoffs. They enter the weekend five points outside the top six in the West and know a win here would be massive.
Sporting KC currently occupy the last playoff spot in the West but they have played two more games than Seattle and so the Sounders have their fate in their own hands.
They have not won at LA since their debut MLS season in 2009 so leaving with three points on Sunday seems unlikely, but this should be a great contest between two exciting and attacking teams.
LA Galaxy remain without Gyasi Zardes, while Steven Gerrard is a doubt. Landon Donovan scored from the bench last week but is unlikely to be fit enough to start this one so another substitute appearances is expected.
Seattle will once again be without Clint Dempsey and Aaron Kovar, while Brad Evans is a doubt with a calf strain. Roman Torres looks to be back to full fitness and should continue alongside Chad Marshall in the heart of the Sounders defence.
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/D/W/D
Seattle Sounders’ last five: W/D/L/D/W
Key Stat: Fortress – LA Galaxy are unbeaten in their last 15 home games in MLS.
Key Player: Nicolas Lodeiro – The Sounders best chance of success in Carson is to try and get Lodeiro on the ball as much as possible. The Uruguayan playmaker has been sensational since moving to MLS in the summer and now has three goals and seven assists in his eight appearances.
LA Galaxy 1-1 Seattle Sounders – This is a huge game for both sides and is the standout MLS clash of the weekend. Neither can afford to lose this and so a tight contest is expected. Seattle have been producing when it matters over the last few weeks and will need to be at their best to take anything away from StubHub Center on Sunday. Both sides should score, but we see this one ending all square.