LA Galaxy v Real Salt Lake
The form of LA Galaxy has improved somewhat in recent weeks. They’ve obtained 7 points from their last four fixtures, with only a defeat against Dallas (2-3) a blemish on their card. Drawing 1-1 away at Portland Timbers last week was a surprising boost and they will hope to kick on against Real Salt Lake here. These two are old rivals and regularly meet up to three times a year. It used to be a tight sort of fixture when both sides were strong MLS Cup contenders, but in recent times there’s been a more open feel to affairs. The strength of each outfit is probably an attack at the moment, especially with RSL continuing to miss a bunch of defenders to injury. The Galaxy are in better health these days but key right back Rolf Feltscher remains on the sidelines following shoulder surgery 6 weeks ago.
Zigi Schmid’s Galaxy have lost 4 out of 7 home games which is a pretty poor return. The StubHub centre is far from the fortress it once was under Bruce Arena and opposing teams now fancy their chances of getting a result traveling here. That said, Salt Lake have been pretty poor on the road, losing a whopping 5 out of 7 games with their lone road win facing a bang out of form Seattle Sounders a couple of weeks ago. For the most part, teams have beaten up on their injury-ravaged defense on the road and the Galaxy certainly have the firepower to do that here. It was a boost for LA that Zlatan Ibrahimovic didn’t want to (or wasn’t picked) to go to the World Cup in Russia. With him and the likes of Ola Kamara, Alessandrini, plus others they will carry plenty of threat in the final third. Unfortunately, both of the Dos Santos brothers are on international duty with Mexico and will miss out.
Both teams come into the match in fairly good form so should be confident of getting a good result. In each of the last six meetings, there have been a bunch of goals, with all fixtures going over 2.5, most of them comfortably so. Clean sheets have been few and far between and I expect that to continue. Neither of these defenses have been particularly convincing of late, minus the odd decent display against someone poor. Over 3 goals looks like the best, and safest pick for the game around the 1.90 mark. The goals and chances should naturally flow. LA Galaxy are -1 Asian Handicap favourites and I have to admit they are the most likely winners. But it might only be by one goal or something, and as previously mentioned, their home record is rather a worry this year, so I would be happy to give them a miss.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.900
San Jose Earthquakes v Los Angeles FC
San Jose Earthquakes head into the match in pretty miserable form. They sit third bottom of the Western Conference, but only thanks to the pure ineptitude of Seattle and Colorado, who are truly horrible right now. The Quakes haven’t been much better and disappointed in new coach Mikael Stahre’s debut year. Just 2 wins in 13 games is a dire return, although only five of those fixtures have been at home. Not that they look very good at the once formidable Avaya Stadium anyway. Stahre has somehow made this place an easy one for the opposition, losing 3 out of 5, even going down to DC United last time out (1-3). Something isn’t right at San Jose and they are clearly a team struggling. In midweek they lost in the US Open Cup so not much is going right for them at the moment.
Meanwhile, Bob Bradley’s LAFC outfit come here having won just 1 of their last 6 games. The new MLS franchise had a great start to life in the league but this is now their worst run of results. LAFC haven’t been ‘bad’ per se, but have failed to hit the heights they were hitting early in the campaign. They have scored in all but one of their MLS fixtures which is very encouraging but clean sheets have been in relatively short supply. The team have been crippled by some key World Cup call-ups. Defensive duo Steven Beitashour and Laurent Ciman miss out, along with playmaker Carlos Vela. Omar Gabar and Marco Urena head out to Russia as well, exposing what is already a thin squad.
The Earthquakes are in between -0.25 and DNB Asian Handicap favourites here. If they could get their act together then it would be an attractive price, because this doesn’t feel like a great phase for LAFC, especially considering they miss key players to international duty. But having watched DC United dismantle the Quakes here at home, then I am very concerned going forward about backing this team. I sense neither is in great form, which might make both fancy their chances of victory. This could be an overish sort of game and San Jose should be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a weakened backline. LAFC usually carry a strong counter-attacking threat and possess a lot of pace in their ranks with the likes of Blessing and Rossi. I think there’s enough here to warrant backing over 3 goals. The only concern is if both are too timid due to some poor recent form. But the natural style both like to play should lead to an open game of football.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.819
Preview By: @meatmansoccer
As the much-anticipated Nation showdown inch closer and closer, here are some things that you might have missed out for FIFA World Cup 2018!