Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC
StubHub Center – Saturday, March 31st 2018 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)
UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football (via red button) & Sky Sports Mix
LA Galaxy vs LAFC: Preview
It’s LA Galaxy vs LAFC. It’s the first derby clash between the new rivals and it’s the most anticipated game of the weekend. The two sides will face off in what’s unofficially being called El Trafico. Oh, and to make things even more interesting, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is available for his MLS debut.
LA Galaxy return home for the first time since opening weekend. The good news is that their only win of the campaign so far came on home soil. The bad news is they haven’t won since. A 2-1 loss away at NYCFC was followed by a 0-0 draw at Vancouver last weekend, but that point has to be seen as a good result, particularly as LA dressed just 17 players.
Still, they’ve only played three games and none of that really matters ahead of a derby game. Even if it is the first-ever meeting in what is sure to develop into one of Major League Soccer’s hottest rivalries. The fact that Ibrahimovic is available to make his debut makes this all the more of a spectacle. Saturday’s game won’t just be a big deal in Los Angeles, but across the world.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 28, 2018
Standing in the opposite corner are the new guys who have made one hell of an impression so far. LAFC have only played two games in their short MLS history. Yet, they’ve won both games and have scored six goals. Oh, and both games have come on the road if that wasn’t impressive enough.
Atlanta United set a precedent with the explosive start to life in MLS they made last season. LAFC have gone one better and have smashed the benchmark through the roof. They already seem to have an identity. Bob Bradley has his side well drilled and they will undoubtedly be hungry to keep their 100% record intact beyond Saturday’s huge clash.
We’re back on Saturday.
— LAFC (@LAFC) March 29, 2018
It could be an extra boost that they’ve had three weeks to prepare for this game after back-to-back bye weeks. They’ve still been busy off the field though as Andre Horta has joined as the third Designated Player. However, the 21-year-old midfielder is unlikely to join up with LAFC until the summer.
LA Galaxy vs LAFC: Team News
❌ Suspensions: None.
❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring), Michael Ciani (groin).
🚑 Out: Romain Alessandrini (hamstring), Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).
❌ Suspensions: None.
❓ Doubts: Omar Gaber (groin), Calum Mallace (knee).
🚑 Out: Luis Lopez (leg), Walker Zimmerman (hamstring).
LA Galaxy vs LAFC: Key Stats
LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L/D
LAFC’s MLS form: W/W
Key stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in their last three home games in MLS, scoring six and conceding just two. That comes after a run that saw them lose six of their previous eight home games.
LA Galaxy vs LAFC: Prediction
LA Galaxy 1-3 LAFC: Goals are expected here as both sides will be desperate to stamp their authority down. The stars from both sides should be out and with or without Ibrahimovic on the field, LA Galaxy have weapons to hurt LAFC. That said, LAFC have looked incredibly dangerous so far and there’s no reason they can’t spoil the Galaxy’s party with another huge road win on Saturday.