MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

StubHub Center – Saturday, August 12 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 13/8 – Draw 12/5 – NYCFC 6/4

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Preview

LA Galaxy welcome New York City FC to StubHub Center on Saturday, looking to end their eight-game winless run in MLS. The Galaxy are struggling to build any form and are in real danger of missing out on the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Curt Onalfo was replaced by Sigi Schmid but results haven’t picked up. A 0-0 draw at home to the Sounders was followed by a 3-1 road loss to Portland last weekend. The Galaxy come into the weekend in 9th place in the West and nine points outside the playoffs.

Failure to win on Sunday would surely leave LA with too much to do in their remaining 11 games. Especially when you consider they still have trips to Columbus, Seattle, Atlanta, Sporting KC, Houston and FC Dallas to come.

New York City FC look well on course for their second-successive playoff appearance. Patrick Vieira’s men have had a bit of a wobble over the past few weeks. But they proved their credentials by once again beating local rivals New York Red Bulls last Sunday.

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David Villa fired a hat-trick in that 3-2 win, moving NYCFC four points behind league leaders Toronto FC. The visitors are ten points above the red line in the Eastern Conference. A playoff berth is all but guaranteed, but the aim will be to go into the postseason in the strongest form possible.

This will be the only regular season meeting between the two teams this season. They have only met twice before, with the series tied at one win each. The Galaxy beat New York City 5-1 in their first ever meeting at StubHub in 2015, before NYCFC responded with a 1-0 home win 12 months ago.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Team News

LA Galaxy remain without long-term absentees Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Robbie Rogers. Jonathan Dos Santos is in line for his first MLS start after coming off the bench last week. Jelle Van Damme and Bradley Diallo are available after serving suspensions at Portland. Romain Alessandrini is one booking away from suspension, so will need to watch his step.

New York City will be without four players on Saturday. Maxine Chanot, Ronald Matarrita, Miguel Camargo and James Sands are all out. Rodney Wallace is in line to make his first MLS appearance since June after recovering from an adductor strain. Maxi Moralez picked up his fifth yellow card of the season last time out and will serve a one-game suspension as a result.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/L/D/L

NYCFC’s last five: L/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are winless in their last eight home games in MLS. That’s their longest streak since 2010. They’ve only managed to score seven goals in those eight games too.

Key Player: David Villa – The New York City hitman comes into the weekend off the back of scoring his first MLS hat-trick. The Spaniard netted three in last week’s New York derby and comes into the weekend as the league’s leading scorer with 17 goals. Given the Galaxy’s struggles this year, Villa can expect to be at the forefront of the action on Saturday.

LA Galaxy vs New York City FC: Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-3 New York City FC – The fact is, this is not the sort of LA Galaxy team we’re used to seeing. They lack a clinical edge and confidence is all but gone. They face a real uphill battle if they are to make the playoffs and an in-form NYCFC will be able to smell blood here. Vieira’s men looked lethal against the Red Bulls when going forward last week and will prove too strong for the Galaxy if they are in a similar mood here.


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