LAFC vs LA Galaxy - Prediction, Betting Odds & Picks
- Will LAFC run into defensive difficulties against their crosstown rivals?
- An opportunity for a noteworthy statement from Galaxy’s marquee signing
- The Galaxy have their own defensive dilemmas to sort out
|What||LAFC vs LA Galaxy|
|Where||ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Bay Lake, Florida)|
|When||Saturday, July 18th at 10:30 PM ET|
|How to watch||Watch on ESPN+ here!|
In recent years, few MLS rivalries, if any, have lived up to the hype and spectacle that El Trafico provides. Although it is a young derby that has only existed since 2018, the handful of high-scoring matches between crosstown rivals LA Galaxy and LAFC have been nothing short of brilliant.
Adding even more excitement to this upcoming game is the fact that neither of the two were able to gain a win in their MLS Is Back debut.
The Galaxy were far from satisfactory during Monday night’s 2-1 lost to the Portland Timbers. Their finishing was poor throughout the game, and once the Timbers took charge with their two goals, the Galaxy were rarely able to break down the opposition’s backline.
As for LAFC, they were all over the place in their latest 3-3 draw with the Houston Dynamo. Although they looked surprisingly lethal in the attack without the injured league MVP Carlos Vela, LAFC were extremely questionable defensively.
LAFC vs LA Galaxy Odds
|LA Galaxy wins||+320|
Odds taken from DraftKings
Even without Vela, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say the highly-talented LAFC are not only the favorites in this match but also the entire MLS Is Back tournament. Nevertheless, if there’s one thing we’ve learned from this capricious rivalry series, it’s that you can never count the underdogs out.
Underlying Issues Regarding LAFC’s Backline
LAFC will be expected to continue their goalscoring run, but will that be enough to compensate for other problems?
On Monday, the Dynamo had no complications with stealing back possession and creating threatening chances through counters. LAFC’s pressing tactics have earned a very long list of wins for themselves in the past, but at times, it also helps create plenty of space for teams to hit them back in retaliation.
This means that there needs to be a much stronger defensive presence for key figures such as Eddie Segura, Dejan Jakovich, Andy Najar, and others.
Keep in mind, the Galaxy have scored three goals on LAFC in each of their last three meetings.
Can Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez Make A Statement In His First El Trafico?
Other than perhaps David Beckham, no MLS player acquisition has been met with more media attention or commotion than that of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez with the Galaxy. Arriving as a star player from Europe in January, the all-time leading goal scorer for the Mexican national team will be expected to win trophies and break records during his stay in the league.
It’s early days in his MLS career, but there are worrying signs that that might not happen.
Adjusting from the exit of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy are still trying to find a way to properly adjust the pieces of their attacking puzzle that now includes Hernandez in his place. The Mexican striker needs adjusting as well. Although he scored in his last match, he constantly looked frustrated as he failed to connect with the rest of his roster.
Will Saturday be the time in which he finally makes a statement with his new team?
Galaxy Have Defensive Issues Of Their Own
Where to begin in the loss to the Timbers?
Right-back Rolf Feltscher was a weak link and arguably the worst player on the field, central defender Giancarlo Gonzalez needed to have more of a dominant presence and defensive midfielder Perry Kitchen was far too absent for his role. Even if much-needed changes are made, Galaxy fans should feel nervous about the prospect of their defensive inadequacies that were put on display in the latest loss.
Despite the fact, the Galaxy has the talents to find the back of the net at least once this Saturday, LAFC could potentially surpass them with their more fine-tuned attack.
Anything can happen in El Trafico. Unfortunately for the Galaxy, LAFC’s attack will likely have more chemistry in what should be a thrilling shootout this weekend. Stick with LAFC for the win.
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Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast.