New York City FC vs FC Dallas | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs FC Dallas

Yankee Stadium – Sunday, April 29 2018 – 18:30 ET (23:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

New York City FC vs FC Dallas: Preview

New York City FC are looking to bounce back from their first loss of the season when they host still-unbeaten FC Dallas on Sunday night. The visitors are the last remaining unbeaten team in the league but travel to Yankee Stadium as underdogs.

New York City got handed their first defeat in emphatic style, as Portland ran out 3-0 winners at Providence Park last weekend. NYCFC couldn’t handle the Timbers’ intensity and ultimately paid the price. It was the first time they failed to score in an MLS game since September (also against the Timbers).

Patrick Vieira’s men are expected to bounce back here. They are a real force at Yankee Stadium, having won all three home games so far this season by an aggregate scoreline of 8-1. However, they’ve still yet to record a victory over FC Dallas since entering the league in 2015.

FC Dallas haven’t really impressed all that much but the fact they’ve yet to lose shows Oscar Pareja’s men have the right attitude. They beat Philadelphia Union 2-0 last weekend to move up to third in the West.

It’s unlikely that Dallas will come out attacking NYCFC on Sunday night. Instead, they’ll likely look to frustrate the hosts before breaking with pace on the counter. A draw would still represent a good result for the visitors as they look to keep their unbeaten streak going.

This will be the fourth clash between the two sides and NYCFC are still searching for their first win over Dallas. The past two games have both ended in score draws after Dallas won 2-1 in the first-ever meeting at Toyota Stadium in 2015.

New York City FC vs FC Dallas: Team News

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (hamstring).

FC Dallas

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Kellyn Acosta (sports hernia surgery), Jesse Gonzalez (finger strain).

🚑 Out: Brandon Servania (compartment syndrome), Jesus Ferreira (core muscle repair surgery), Paxton Pomykal (right meniscus surgery), Maynor Figueroa (right knee strain).

New York City FC vs FC Dallas: Key Stats

NYCFC’s MLS form: N/A

FC Dallas’ MLS form: N/A

Key stat: NYCFC haven’t lost consecutive MLS matches in just over two years – last losing two in a row in April 2016.

New York City FC vs FC Dallas: Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 FC Dallas: This could be an intriguing battle. Portland showed last weekend that this NYCFC team can be beaten with the right game plan and Dallas will undoubtedly arrive looking to frustrate the hosts. However, New York City FC have been far too good at home so far this campaign and they will expect to hand Dallas their first defeat of the season here.

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Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire

BMO Field – Saturday, April 28 2018 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football (via Red Button)

Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire: Preview

Toronto FC return to MLS action against Chicago Fire on Saturday afternoon after their heartbreaking penalty defeat to Chivas in the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Final on Wednesday. Gregg Vanney’s men fought incredible well but ultimately came up short. The competition has taken a lot out of the team, so Chicago will fancy their chances of picking up points.

Mexican sides continue to dominate the CCL, with Chivas lifting the trophy at Toronto’s expense this time around. The reigning MLS Cup champions can hold their heads high for their performances in the competition, but ultimately they returned empty handed.

The challenge will now be to ignite their MLS campaign, after losing four of their opening five games. Those losses have come as a result of focusing on the CCL games, but Toronto sit rock bottom in the Eastern Conference as a result. All four losses have also come directly after CCL fixtures, so fatigue will be a major concern for the home side here.

Chicago Fire arrive in high spirits after picking up a surprise 2-1 win at New York Red Bulls last weekend. Chicago goalkeeper Richard Sanchez came up big, making nine saves to help his side to three big road points. The Fire have picked up seven points from six games but know they are capable of better.

The worry for the visiting side is they’ve lost six consecutive MLS games against Toronto, stretching back three years. Saturday’s game does, however, represent an excellent chance to capitalise on a beaten Toronto side, who are expected to have key players missing.

This will be the 27th MLS meeting between the Eastern Conference sides. They have each won nine of the previous 26 games, with eight matches ending level. Toronto won both games 3-1 last season.

Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire: Team News

Toronto FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Victor Vazquez (back spasms), Chris Mavinga (abdominal discomfort), Gregory van der Wiel (Achilles), Jozy Altidore (foot), Justin Morrow (calf strain), Drew Moor (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: Nick Hagglund (hamstring).

Chicago Fire

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Jorge Corrales (infection), Michael de Leeuw (left ACL), Djorjde Mihailovic (right ACL), Matt Polster (right MCL), Luis Solignac (left quad).

Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire: Key Stats

Toronto FC’s MLS form: L/L/W/L/L

Chicago Fire’s MLS form: L/D/W/L/W

Key stat: Toronto FC have lost all four of their MLS games directly after playing in the CONCACAF Champions League this season, getting outscored 10-1 in those games.

Toronto FC vs Chicago Fire: Prediction

Toronto FC 2-2 Chicago Fire: There are usually goals when these two sides meet. Both sides have scored in nine of their last 10 MLS meetings and that should be the case again here. Toronto need to rally after their midweek CCL loss but they will be drained mentally and physically. Chicago will be looking to replicate their game plan that worked so well at Red Bull Arena last weekend. They will sit deep and look to hit the hosts on the counter. Score draw.

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes

Orlando City Stadium – Saturday, April 21 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Preview

Orlando City host San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, looking to make it four wins in a row against a Quakes side desperately looking to snap their winless run of four.

The Lions started the season in worryingly bad form. They picked up just one point from two-straight home games to open the 2018 season, before losing away at NYCFC. However, since then they’ve picked up and have managed to put together three consecutive wins heading into Week 8.

Jason Kreis described last week’s 2-0 win at Philadelphia Union as Orlando’s “most complete game of the year” and he wasn’t wrong. They picked up their first clean sheet of the campaign and looked comfortable after racing to a two-goal lead before halftime. Sacha Kljestan was particularly impressive and will be looking to pull the strings again here.

San Jose have perhaps been unfortunate to have won just one of their opening five matches. The Quakes have scored in all five games but have been conceding far too many. They’ve shipped ten so far – an average of two per game – and must shore up at the back to have any chance of building some form.

San Jose come into Saturday’s game off the back of a 2-2 home draw with Houston Dynamo. The Quakes led early before throwing away the advantage and required an 85th-minute Jahmir Hyka strike to earn a point. They have enough fight in the team but defensive quality has been evidently lacking so far.

Neither of these sides have yet to register a win over each other in MLS. The three previous clashes have all ended level, with last season’s lone meeting ending 1-1 at Avaya Stadium after late goals from Carlos Rivas and then Chris Wondolowski.

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Team News

Orlando City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Scott Sutter (lower body), Jonathan Spector (concussion).

🚑 Out: Mason Stajduhar (Localized Ewing Sarcoma), RJ Allen (hamstring)

San Jose Earthquakes

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Tommy Thompson (illness).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Key Stats

Orlando City’s MLS form: L/L/W/W/W

San Jose Earthquakes’s MLS form: W/L/L/D/D

Key stat: San Jose Earthquakes have not won away at an Eastern Conference side since August 2015 (2-0 at DC United).

Orlando City vs San Jose Earthquakes: Prediction

Orlando City 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes: Orlando will win this game if they can build on last week’s performance at Philadelphia. They have shown defensive frailties of their own this term but they were solid last week and should make the most of home advantage to pick up a first victory over the Quakes. San Jose will expect to find the net once again, but their problems at the back will make it difficult for them to leave with any points come the end of Saturday’s contest.

Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders

Children’s Mercy Park – Sunday, April 15 2018 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders: Preview

Sporting Kansas City take on winless and goalless Seattle Sounders on Sunday afternoon, with the home side looking to stretch their unbeaten run to six.

The hosts have bounced back from an opening weekend home defeat by going unbeaten through the last five. They seem to have fixed their early defensive problems too, keeping a clean-sheet in back-to-back games coming into Week 7.

Tim Melia made a club-record 10 saves in last week’s 2-0 win at LA Galaxy to keep SKC at the top of the Western Conference. They need to start allowing fewer shots per game but the fact is, they’ll be expecting to pick up three more points against Seattle.

The Sounders’ season couldn’t have gone much worse so far. They’ve only played three games as a result of CONCACAF Champions League commitments but have yet to score a goal, let alone pick up a point. Oh, and they’ve picked up three red cards. Brian Schmetzer’s team have been decimated by injuries but they have enough quality to bounce back from this slump.

Seattle know they can turn their season around. They seem to pick up pace in the summer every year before charging into the playoffs. But they need to start getting some points on the board now to make sure they don’t have a ridiculous mountain to climb.

This will be the 17th regular season clash between the two sides. Seattle hold the advantage, having won eight of the previous 16 games, with SKC picking up five wins. They met twice last season, with the home side coming away victorious both times. It’s been five years since Seattle won away at Sporting KC.

Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders: Team News

Sporting Kansas City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Felipe Gutierrez (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: None.

Seattle Sounders

❌ Suspensions: Kelvin Leerdam & Clint Dempsey.

❓ Doubts: Henry Wingo (left thumb surgery).

🚑 Out: Jordan Morris (torn ACL), Osvaldo Alonso (quad), Victor Rodriguez (right knee sprain), Kim Kee-Hee (right calf strain).

Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders: Key Stats

Sporting KC’s MLS form: W/W/D/W/W

Seattle Sounders’ MLS form: L/L/L

Key stat: Seattle Sounders have failed to score in each of their last four regular season road games – the longest run in club history.

Sporting Kansas City vs Seattle Sounders: Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-0 Seattle Sounders: It’s difficult to see the Sounders’ shocking start to the season picking up in Kansas City this weekend. The hosts are in fine form and are flying high at the top of the West. Seattle aren’t helped by the suspensions either and facing Tim Melia means it’s unlikely they will even find their first goal of the season here. Home win.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy

Toyota Park – Saturday, April 14th 2018 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Saturday afternoon sees Chicago Fire welcome LA Galaxy to Toyota Park. There is plenty of interest in this one, with Bastian Schweinsteiger facing off against former Manchester United teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The home side have picked up after a disappointing start to the 2018 season. Their back-to-back losses have been followed up with a draw and their first win of the campaign.

That 1-0 win came against Crew SC in a hard fought game. It’s not going to be an easy afternoon for Chicago this weekend, as their squad is still riddled with injuries. Much of the same fighting spirit from last weekend is going to be needed.

LA Galaxy are looking to get back to winning ways. They come into this one having lost 2-0 at home against Sporting KC. Despite that loss they still sit third in the Western Conference. It was a tough one to take given how many chance Galaxy created.

Cameras will once again be on Ibrahimovic, who is heading back to fitness and hoping for more involvement here. Both of his appearances have been off the bench, but whether he is ready to start from the off remains to be seen.

There are some questions surrounding The Galaxy defence, who have conceded five goals in their last two games. Given their recent form on the road they cannot afford to give Chicago easy chances.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Chicago Fire

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Mo Adams (left elbow), Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture) and Kevin Ellis (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), Jorge Corrales (infection), Matt Polster (MCL sprain) and Luis Solignac (left quad).

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring) and Michael Ciani (groin).

🚑 Out: Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Key Stats

Chicago Fire’s MLS form: L/L/D/W

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L/D/W/L

Key stat: Homesick – LA Galaxy haven’t won the road in their last 11 attempts.

Chicago Fire vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Chicago Fire 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Fire look like they’re waking up after that sluggish start and are ready to climb the Eastern Conference. There is ground to make up – so a win here would be a more than welcomed result. LA Galaxy are still looking good in the West despite a couple of shaky results. It’s important that they can end a winless run on the road but a score draw looks a more likely outcome this weekend.

Atlanta United vs New York City FC | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs New York City FC

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Sunday, April 15 2018 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Atlanta United vs NYCFC: Preview

Atlanta United welcome New York City FC to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday night in what promises to be a thrilling battle between two of the league’s top sides.

The Five Stripes are arguably the most dangerous team in Major League Soccer right now. Yes, they’re four points off Supporters’ Shield leaders NYCFC. But they have won four in a row, scoring 13 and conceding just two.

Tata Martino’s side have put that opening day drubbing at Houston behind them and now look like they can beat anyone. Their 5-0 thrashing of LAFC last week further highlighted how dangerous they are, especially on the break. They scored four of the five goals in the final 23 minutes last week. NYCFC know they mustn’t commit too many bodies forward, at risk of being countered.

If Atlanta aren’t the hottest team in MLS, then it’s surely NYCFC. The visitors are unbeaten and have picked up 16 points from a possible 18 to start the season. They put in what was probably their best display when they beat Real Salt Lake 4-0 on Wednesday night, so they’ll arrive at Atlanta in high spirits.

Patrick Vieira’s men will welcome the stiff test Atlanta are sure to offer. But they boast a dangerous attack of their own, having scored twice in each of their three road games so far this season.

This will be the third meeting between the two sides. Both previous games ended 3-1 to the home side, and goals are expected again here.

Atlanta United vs NYCFC: Team News

Atlanta United

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Ezequiel Barco (quad strain), Franco Escobar (head injury), Jose Hernandez (quad strain), Mitch Hildebrandt (knee sprain), Greg Garza (right shoulder).

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: David Villa (lower body), Alex Ring (knee).

🚑 Out: Kwame Awuah (knee).

Atlanta United vs NYCFC: Key Stats

Atlanta United’s MLS form: N/A

New York City FC’s MLS form: N/A

Key stat: New York City FC have scored at least two goals in each of their past seven MLS games.

Atlanta United vs NYCFC: Prediction

Atlanta United 2-2 New York City FC: Goals are expected again at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, as is always the case. NYCFC have yet to lose and will be desperate to avoid ending that streak here. They will likely set up to frustrate the hosts and break on the counter. This one should be intriguing but ultimately, it could end all square.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City

StubHub Center – Sunday, April 8th 2018 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Preview

Sunday evening sees LA Galaxy welcome Sporting Kansas City to StubHub Center. The Galaxy fans will be holding out for back-to-back wins.

Last weekend had it all in the LA Derby. With Galaxy’s new hero, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, coming off the beach with his side 3-1 down, to bag a brace and help turn things around for a 4-3 victory.

While there was plenty of excitement across the globe for that game, the LA Galaxy faithful will be hoping for a calmer performance, with an improved defensive display.

Sporting Kansas City come into this one having won 1-0 at home against DC. The Western Conference leaders will be looking to send out a message to the chasing pack with an away win here.

Peter Vermes saw his side lose in their season opener and they have responded well. Unbeaten in their last four (W3, D1) they look like they mean business.

Sporting KC have had good form against the Galaxy in the last six meetings between the two, winning three and drawing three. There has been plenty of action in those six games, with 15 goals scored – if that’s anything to go by it should be a good one.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Team News

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring) and Michael Ciani (groin).

🚑 Out: Romain Alessandrini (hamstring) and Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

Sporting Kansas City

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Felipe Gutierrez (undisclosed).

🚑 Out: None.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Key Stats

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: W/L/D/W

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS form: L/W/W/D/W

Key stat: SKC have won just one of their last ten games on the road.

LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City: Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-2 Sporting Kansas City – Score draw. There isn’t much to split the two ahead of this fixture. The Galaxy will be buoyed by their dramatic comeback last week and with players returning from injury, things are looking up. Sporting KC know this is going to be a tough visit – however, given their recent form against LA Galaxy and that they’re top of the pile in the West, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them come away with a share of the spoils.

Atlanta United vs LAFC | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs LAFC

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Saturday, April 7th 2018 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Atlanta United vs LAFC: Preview

Atlanta United take on LAFC on Saturday evening in what is surely of the most anticipated fixtures of the season. They are two of the most attacking sides in the league and will go head-to-head in front of a sell-out crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in their first ever meeting.

Atlanta have bounced back from a shock 4-0 opening day defeat at Houston by winning three-straight games. They now sit third in the Eastern Conference and are looking set to challenge at the very top of the standings this season.

Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Minnesota showed a different side to Atlanta. They are known for blowing teams away with their skillful play and attacking intent. But Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was sent off after 38 minutes, so Atlanta had to dig deep to hold onto their 1-0 lead for almost an hour.

LAFC could have done with some of that defensive quality after leading 3-0 away at LA Galaxy in the first Los Angeles derby between the new rivals. But inexperience and the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw LAFC concede four goals in 30 minutes to suffer their first MLS defeat.

They looked well on track to keep their 100% record intact after leading 3-0 but Bob Bradley will undoubtedly be concerned with the way his team fell apart, especially in a game of that magnitude.

LAFC have the chance to bounce back in another showcase game here, but that will be a real tough task. The Five Stripes have scored seven goals in their two home games so far this season and will be looking to exploit the LAFC defence after last week’s collapse.

Atlanta United vs LAFC: Team News

Atlanta United

❌ Suspensions: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (red card).

❓ Doubts: Jeff Larentowicz (ankle).

🚑 Out: Ezequiel Barco (quad strain), Franco Escobar (head), Jose Hernandez (quad strain), Mitch Hildebrandt (left knee), Andrew Carleton (upper respiratory infection).

LAFC

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Luis Lopez (right leg fracture), Omar Gaber (right knee sprain).

Atlanta United vs LAFC: Key Stats

Atlanta United’s MLS form: L/W/W/W

Los Angeles FC’s MLS form: W/W/L

Key stat: Atlanta United have scored at least two goals in each of their past ten regular season games at home. They have still never failed to score at home in a regular season game.

Atlanta United vs LAFC: Prediction

Atlanta United 4-3 LAFC: Goals, goals, goals. These two sides love to attack and will surely set up to try and outscore each other. If either side can get on the scoresheet early, it will open the game up, so expect this one to be one of the games of the weekend. LAFC’s collapse at the Galaxy last week showed they are vulnerable when the pressure ramps up and the atmosphere in Atlanta should give the home side a slight edge.

Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers

Toyota Park – Saturday, March 31st 2018 – 18:00 ET (23:00 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers: Preview

Chicago Fire take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening, with both sides still looking for their first win of the 2018 season. Chicago have opened the season with back-to-back losses, while Portland have taken just one point from a possible nine.

The Fire have only played two games but the early signs are worrying. They fell 2-1 at Minnesota United last weekend but lost a crazy game at home to Sporting KC 4-3 in Week 2 to open their campaign. That result was the more concerning, given the fact they looked so poor defensively and that they came from 2-0 down to lead 3-2 with seven minutes left before caving in.

Head coach Veljko Paunovic does have a number of injuries to deal with, which isn’t helping the Fire’s cause. But the concern is that they are in danger of falling a long way behind in a competitive Eastern Conference before they can get their season going.

Portland entered last week’s game at FC Dallas in the same position Chicago are in now, with two losses from two outings. However, they bounced back from a 4-0 drubbing at the Red Bulls by coming from behind to earn a valuable point at Dallas. Sebastian Blanco’s fine strike ensured Giovanni Savarese picked up his first point as an MLS head coach and he’ll now be looking to build on that.

The Timbers are preparing for the fourth of five-straight away games to open the 2018 season. They would love to get a win here, taking their points tally to four from four games. However, they haven’t won any of their last six away games in MLS.

This will be the ninth clash between the two sides and Chicago are still looking for their first win over Portland. The Timbers have won four of the previous eight games, with four ending all square. Their last two meetings have ended level, including last season’s entertaining 2-2 draw at Providence Park.

Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers: Team News

Chicago Fire

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Grant Lillard (knee)

🚑 Out: Matt Polster (knee), Djordje Mihailovic (knee), Michael de Leeuw (knee), Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture), Jorge Corrales (infection).

Portland Timbers

❌ Suspensions: Lawrence Olum (red card)

❓ Doubts: Jeff Attinella (right thigh)

🚑 Out: Vytas (right thigh), Roy Miller (left Achilles).

Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers: Key Stats

Chicago Fire’s MLS form: L/L

Portland Timbers’ MLS form: L/L/D

Key stat: Chicago Fire have scored in a club-record 33 consecutive MLS home matches. In that time, they’ve posted an 18-5-10 record.

Chicago Fire vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

Chicago Fire 2-2 Portland Timbers: The past two games between these two have ended all level and that looks likely to be the outcome on Saturday evening too. The Fire will be desperate to get at least a point on the board but know they have defensive problems to address. Portland, meanwhile, will be looking to build on last week’s result at Dallas. Both sides have issues to address but that should lead to an open and entertaining clash.

LA Galaxy vs LAFC | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

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.

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.

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

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring), Michael Ciani (groin).

🚑 Out: Romain Alessandrini (hamstring), Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion).

LAFC

❌ 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.