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

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. New York City FC

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, August 23 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/9 – Draw 18/5 – New York City 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host New York City FC on Sunday in a standout MLS fixture. This will be the first time these franchise’s have ever faced each other and the potential reunion of the Frank Lampard vs Steven Gerrard midfield battle makes this game the most highly anticipated of Week 25.

LA Galaxy come into this game top of the Western Conference and in fine form after winning their last three matches, scoring eight goals in the process.

The Galaxy have managed to score 22 times in their last five home games – that is an average of 4.4 goals in each MLS game at StubHub Center, which is incredible. The reigning MLS Cup holders have only lost one of their 13 home matches this season which just goes to show how tough it is going to be for NYCFC to take all three points away from StubHub on Sunday.

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New York City come into this game on a two-game unbeaten streak as they beat Eastern Conference leaders DC United before drawing 2-2 against Columbus on Wednesday night.

With NYCFC currently sat in seventh position in the Eastern Conference, they will be looking to be only the fourth side to take points away from the StubHub Center this season to boost their playoff chances with the end of the regular season just around the corner.

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On average New York City conceed 1.25 goals in every away game and with the attacking dominance that the Galaxy have shown at home this season, NYCFC will most certainly have to shore things up at the back to stand any chance of success in this one.

English fans will be hoping to see Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard face off against each other in midfield once more, but Lampard’s fitness concerns mean that it’s not guaranteed.

Team News

LA Galaxy are still without goalkeeper Brian Perk for the remainder of the season. Jose Villarreal, Baggio Husidic and Todd Dunivant all missed the win over FC Dallas and are doubts for the NYCFC game. Steven Gerrard, Robbie Keane and Giovani Dos Santos will all start, while Gyasi Zardes is expected to despite transfer rumours linking with a move to Europe.

New York City FC remain without long-term absentees George John, Tony Taylor and Connor Brandt. Javier Calle is out with a hamstring injury. Khiry Shelton is questionable, while Ned Grabavoy and Chris Wingert are doubtful after missing the win over DC United. Frank Lampard is facing a race against time to be ready as he continues to battle a thigh injury.

Key Points

La Galaxy’s form: W/W/W/W/W

New York City’s form: W/L/L/W/D

Key Stat: LA Galaxy have scored an average of 2.3 goals per home game this season. Attack.

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irishman has been in fine form this season, scoring 13 goals, 10 of which have come at home. He could prove to be the difference this weekend and it’s tough not to see him continuing his fine scoring form at home this Sunday against a leaky NYCFC defence. With his incredible movement and keen eye for goal, we can see him causing New York City’s defence huge problems.

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Score Prediction

La Galaxy 3-2 New York City – This looks like a game that promises plenty of goals due to the creativity that both sides have in their midfield through the likes of Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo. These veterans should create chances throughout the game and with both sides boasting clinical strikers in Robbie Keane and David Villa, we can see this game being an end-to-end affair with lots of goals. The Galaxy haven’t managed a clean sheet in their last five encounters, which means this game could be closer than what many may think, though the home side should still edge it.