Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, May 6th – 22:30 (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Chicago 16/5
LA Galaxy take on Chicago Fire on Saturday as they look to try and build some form after a poor start to the season.
Curt Onalfo has struggled to bring success through this period of transition so far, with last weekend’s frustrating 0-0 draw against Philadelphia another reminder that the Galaxy have a lot of work to do.
They come into the weekend in tenth place in the West, just three points outside the playoffs, but are in real danger of falling behind if they fail to pick up their form soon.
The Galaxy are historically a really strong side at home, but they’ve only won one of their five games at StubHub this season, scoring just three goals in that time and losing three.
Chicago will arrive in California with more confidence than usual as they look to end a seven-year winless run against the Galaxy.
The Fire fell 2-1 at the Red Bulls last week, suffering a second-consecutive away defeat after having won back-to-back home games beforehand.
They have yet to win away this season as their road woes have continued despite an upturn in quality following the arrival of Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger and former Galaxy man Juninho.
Chicago have now only won one of their last 46 away games in MLS, stretching back to 2014. But given the Galaxy’s struggles, they will feel they can leave with three valuable points on Saturday night.
Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget remain long-term absentees for the Galaxy, who are also without goalkeeper Clement Diop, who is sidelined with a hip injury.
John Goossens remains out for the Fire, who are also set to be without the injured Matt Polster and Patrick Doody.
LA Galaxy’s form: L/W/L/L/D
Chicago Fire’s form: D/W/W/L/L
Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in eight MLS games against Chicago, last losing to them seven years ago.
Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – Despite a terrible season so far, LA Galaxy have at least had Alessandrini’s performances to enjoy. The French DP has impressed since joining over the offseason, scoring four times in eight games, while picking up two assists along the way. If LA are to get out of this rut, you feel the attacker will need to play a leading role.
LA Galaxy 2-2 Chicago Fire – It feels way too early to call this a must-win game for LA. But the fact is they must start improving quickly to give fans a reason for optimism over the remainder of the season. Chicago are the league’s worst side on the road, but will arrive with hope of further damaging the Galaxy’s poor run of form. Either side could win this, in what should be an open contest, but we see the sides settling for a point apiece.