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Odds taken from Betway.
LA Galaxy are the red-hot favorites against St. Louis City SC to clinch a victory at home and stay alive in the race to MLS playoffs.
LA Galaxy will take inspiration from their last home win against Chicago Fire FC while entering the contest. The hosts made the most of their extra-man advantage after Gaston Gimenez was sent off in the 27th minute.
LA Galaxy took no time to react as their talisman Tyler Boyd netted the first goal in the 29th minute. The hosts continued to dominate possession in the second half and found the back of the net through Riqui Puig in the 72nd minute before Billy Sharp scored from the spot in the 90th minute to put the match to bed.
Meanwhile, St. Louis City will look to overcome their last away defeat by getting all three points in the upcoming clash. The Bradley Carnell-managed side lost 2-1 against Sporting Kansas City after Alan Pulido bagged a brace for the hosts. The visitors found the back of the net once through Samuel Adeniran in the 22nd minute.
This is St. Louis City SC’s maiden season in the MLS and that is why these two clubs have only met once. That match took place this season in June and ended in a 1-1 draw. It was a cagey battle between the two teams with the match remaining deadlocked in the first half. St. Louis City SC’s forward Nicholas Gioacchini opened the scoring in the 68th minute while Daniel Aguirre netted the equalizer for LA Galaxy in the 85th minute.
LA Galaxy has maintained a terrific home record in the last five fixtures. Their fortress has been hard to breach by the visitors as the home side have clinched three wins and two draws. They won the matches against Chicago Fire, Philadelphia Union, and arch-rivals Los Angeles FC.
St. Louis City has struggled to display their dominance in their last five away fixtures and dropped points. The club registered three losses and two wins away from home. Their last away win in the domestic league was against Toronto FC in July.
LA Galaxy have restored themselves to the domestic league with two consecutive wins after their group stage exit from the Leagues Cup. However, their last home fixture against Houston Dynamo ended in a goalless draw.
The club has secured six points in three matches after their disappointing run in the Leagues Cup. The new signings have boosted the strength and morale of the club and that has reflected in the post-break performances.
In the last three games, LA Galaxy have scored six goals, conceded two, and kept two clean sheets. Both clean sheets have come at home, a place where they last lost a game three months ago.
The prolific duo of Boyd and Puig have made winning contributions by netting two goals each in the last three appearances. The American and Spanish duo have been the go-to men for LA Galaxy throughout the season.
Boyd has been the leading goal scorer for the club with six goals in 25 matches while Puig has been the most valuable player with five goals and seven assists in 24 appearances. Their Serbian forward Dejan Joveljic has also been a crucial part of the team in recent times.
LA Galaxy has recorded one of the worst seasons in the Western Conference as they find themselves loitering at the bottom half of the table. The club has failed to find a consistent goal scorer in the 2023 season and that is one of the major reasons for their poor performance.
It is also noteworthy that Vanney’s most favored 4-2-3-1 formation makes LA Galaxy one of the most possession-heavy sides in the league. However, the club is not adept at counter-attacks while playing in this formation and often becomes vulnerable to turnovers. Their play lacks creativity and production from the midfield or excitement from the wingers.
St. Louis City has displayed complacency after their group-stage exit in the Leagues Cup. The table toppers in the Western Conference returned to the league with a thumping 6-3 win at home over Austin FC. However, they lost against Orlando City in the next fixture before bouncing back with a win at home over FC Dallas.
The club struggled to maintain their dominance as they lost their last fixture away from home 1-2 to Sporting KC. It will be important for the club to put their act together in the upcoming match and bounce back as a formidable unit.
The good news for the visitors is that they have plenty of options to contribute to a winning cause. American forward and winger Nicholas Gioacchini has been consistent in front of goals in recent times and will be expected to find the back of the net against LA Galaxy. The 23-year-old has netted 10 times in 23 appearances.
Meanwhile, their German midfielder Eduard Lowen has been the most valuable player for the club in the 2023 MLS season. He has netted six times in 22 appearances and netted 10 goals. Among the other valuable contributors, Samuel Adeniran has struck six times in 13 appearances while American midfielder Indiana Vassilev has assisted seven times.
St. Louis must be credited for their brilliant start under Bradley Carnell. The South African was the first head coach to be appointed by the MLS’s expansion team in January 2022. The club has been one of the best stories in the league this season, as they became the fastest expansion club to reach 25 points. Incidentally, the 47 points collected by the points to sit atop the Western Conference table is the second highest in the MLS behind Cincinnati.
Under Carnell, the club has featured in his favored 4-2-3-1 formation. This formation allows the club to play a high-pressing game and go all-out action. The two holding midfielders have added strength to their four-man-at-back defense. The squad has displayed a lot of concentration, trust, and cohesion while playing as a unit and holding their formation against the opposition.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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