The second half of an MLS rivalry week doubleheader will commence late Friday when the Los Angeles Galaxy host Los Angeles FC. This will be the third Battle for Los Angeles this year and Los Angeles FC would love to pick up its first win in this derby.
The first game between these two teams was an instant classic. LAFC looked set to pick up a win against their new rivals and start their inaugural season 3-0 after taking a three-goal lead in the second half. However, the Galaxy showed they were not ready to be overtaken by the new kids on the block just yet, roaring back with four goals in the final 30 minutes to win the game 4-3. It is the biggest comeback victory to date in the MLS.
These two sides squared off again last month, with LAFC again suffering another late collapse. LAFC took a 2-0 lead in the match after goals by Carlos Vela and Lee Nguyen early on in the first half and looked set to grab a win. However, the Galaxy again scored in the 82nd and 86th minutes to salvage a draw. You have to wonder whether or not there is something mental about the Galaxy in the minds of LAFC fans and players now, but a victory would alleviate those concerns.
Don't miss the Major League Soccer action from StubHub Center in Carson, California at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, August 24, 2018. Catch every moment of the match live on ESPN.
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LAFC have been playing decent football over the last two months. The club is 5-3-3 in MLS play during that span, with a 5-2-1 record in games that were played in Los Angeles. LAFC boast three talented offensive players in Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela, and Diego Rossi, and the trio have combined to tally 25 goals this year.
Diomande came to the MLS from Hull City in May of this year and made an instant impact. He tallied nine goals in his first seven MLS games, and Diomande was named LAFC’s first-ever MLS Player of the Month in June of this year. Diomande missed two games earlier in the month due to injury, but he was able to return to action last week in a 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids. He made a difference immediately, notching an assist after coming on as a late substitute, and LAFC is thrilled that he will be ready to go here.
It’s been a brutal month for the Los Angeles Galaxy thus far. The Galaxy have not won a match since beating Orlando City at the end of July, and they are currently 0-2-2 in the month of August. They are now in danger of missing out on the playoffs for the second straight season with the red-hot Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers coming on strong.
The Galaxy suffered their worst loss of the season last week against the Sounders. Seattle jumped on the Galaxy early, notching a goal in the third minute of play on its way to a 5-0 rout. It was going to be an uphill battle for the Galaxy, with the team missing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Giovani dos Santos, Jonathan dos Santos, and Romain Alessandrini, but a 5-0 loss is never a good thing.
LAFC have two long-term injuries to report heading into this match. Goalkeeper Quillan Roberts and midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye are both expected to miss the rest of the season with serious injuries.
As for the Galaxy, the team will again be without Alessandrini and the dos Santos brothers this week. They will also not have defender Michael Ciani available after he suffered a hamstring injury. Ibrahimovic should be back in the lineup though, giving the Galaxy one of their playmakers.
Free Soccer Betting Pick
This is the time for LAFC to step up. A win here would seriously damage the Galaxy’s playoff hopes, and pretty much solidify a postseason spot for themselves. The third time is the charm, and I see them seizing the opportunity to beat the reeling Galaxy.
Major League Soccer Odds: Los Angeles FC 3, Los Angeles Galaxy 1
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