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● Los Angeles FC are second in the Western Division after taking seven points from three games this season
● Dallas FC are fourth in the Western Division after taking seven points from four games this season
● When Los Angeles FC and FC Dallas clashed at the BMO Stadium last season, the hosts bagged all three points with a 3-1 win
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Los Angeles FC got off to the perfect start this season after winning the first two games of the new campaign before the defending champions dropped points for the first time this past weekend after a goalless draw against Seattle Sounders FC.
After losing their opening game of the season against Minnesota United, FC Dallas bounced back in an almost perfect way as they defeated LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City. In between these two fixtures, FC Dallas were held to a 1-1 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps.
The two sides are level on points and only separated by goal difference as things stand. While FC Dallas are going to be a tough hurdle to clear for Los Angeles FC, the defending champions are favorites to come out on top.
The two sides have met each other on eight occasions in the MLS. Los Angeles FC have won four times, while the game has gone in favor of FC Dallas only on two occasions. Two games have ended in draws.
Last season, at the BMO Stadium, goals from Danny Musovski, Cristian Arango, and Kwadwo Opoku helped Los Angeles FC beat FC Dallas 3-1. In the reverse fixture at the Toyota Stadium, Los Angeles FC were reduced to ten men when Ryan Hollingshead was sent off.
Eventually, a Jesus Ferreira brace handed FC Dallas a 2-1 win. Back at the BMO Stadium, FC Dallas are still waiting for their first win over Los Angeles FC. So far, there have been four meetings between the two sides and the hosts have won thrice and only one game has ended in a draw.
The title defense for Los Angeles FC has gotten off to a decent start as they are five points off the top of the table with a game in hand. A win against FC Dallas will bring them within just two points of league leaders St. Louis City.
In the three league games Los Angeles FC have played this season in the Western Conference, they have scored seven goals and conceded just two. Both the goals that the defending champions conceded came in one game.
In the last two matches, Los Angeles FC have picked up four points and secured a shutout in both games. Another clean sheet against FC Dallas will boost the defensive morale and aid the team's defensive prowess, which could help them in the near future.
Securing a third clean sheet on the bounce will not be an easy task for Los Angeles FC, as the defending champions will be without their key midfielder Kellyn Acosta this weekend when they face FC Dallas.
The 27-year-old picked up a knock last weekend in the match against Seattle Sounders and limped off in the 82nd minute. According to reports, the injury is not serious and the midfielder will be back in action in a few days.
However, Acosta may not be fit enough to face FC Dallas, leaving a void in midfield that will be a tad challenging to fill for coach Steven Cherundolo. Jose Cifuentes started in midfield during the CONCACAF Champions League encounter on Wednesday and could get his first start in the new MLS campaign.
In the final third, Los Angeles FC have been quite potent. They have scored seven goals in three games in the league so far and in their Champions League two-legged encounter against LD Alajuelense, they scored four goals on an aggregate and advanced to the next round.
In the MLS, in two out of their three games, the Los Angeles FC have been awarded penalties after their attackers were brought down inside the box to thwart goalscoring opportunities. They have a goalscoring rate of 2.3 per match, which is the third-highest in the league.
In a total of eight encounters against Los Angeles FC in the MLS, FC Dallas have managed to clinch all three points only on two occasions. Both their wins have come on home soil at the Toyota Stadium.
A big positive for FC Dallas is that they have nabbed a win against the defending champions last season. However, the club won by a one-goal margin against a Los Angeles FC side that was reduced to ten men in the first quarter of the match.
The other win over Los Angeles FC came almost five years ago when the side registered another 2-1 win. Even in this game, Los Angeles FC finished with ten men. Looking at the historical statistics, FC Dallas will be content with a point and two more would be a bonus.
The FC Dallas attackers have been quite clinical this season as the club has scored six goals in four games this season so far. They have the fifth-best goals per match record as they are scoring at an average of 1.5 goals per game.
However, when it comes to creating chances and firing shots at goal, FC Dallas are lacking a lot. So far, FC Dallas have fired 2.5 shots on target per match. This record is the third-worst in the league including sides from both divisions.
Capitalizing on the few opportunities they create has helped FC Dallas secure seven points in four games. They have squandered the joint-fewest chances in the MLS as they have only missed one big opportunity.
As mentioned before, FC Dallas could be satisfied if they walk away from the BMO Stadium with a point. The venue has not been a happy hunting ground for the side and in addition to that, FC Dallas will take the pitch with a poor away record.
Their winless streak on the road could get extended to five games in the MLS if they return without a point from the BMO Stadium. FC Dallas have drawn two and lost two of their last four away games as their last win came in September against Minnesota.
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● Teams: Los Angeles FC vs FC Dallas
● Location: BMO Stadium
● Time: Saturday, March 25 at 10:30 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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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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