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Los Angeles FC to win (over 2.5 goals)
Los Angeles FC are the favorites going into their game against Vancouver Whitecaps and should pick up a comfortable win. They are the team in form and will be a tough test for the Canadian side.
Going by the form of the two sides, the home team should register a win here, and we expect there to be over 2.5 goals in the game. There’s a high likelihood of LAFC controlling the pace of the game and potentially keeping a clean sheet too.
Los Angeles FC have made an unbeaten start to the league this season.
They are in fine form, and with no CONCACAF Champions League games to play, the players will be well-rested. They are also undefeated in 9 of their last 10 MLS matches and currently top the Eastern Conference with 7 points from 3 games.
On the other hand, the Vancouver Whitecaps are yet to register a win and have lost two of their three matches, putting them at the bottom of the Western Conference. The start of the season has been terrible for them, and it could only worsen on Sunday when they meet LAFC. They have won only 2 of their last 20 away games in the MLS.
LAFC are predicted to dominate possession, have more attempts at goal, and score at least 2+ goals in the game.
Steven Cherundolo will be pleased with the way his team has started the season, but they cannot afford to take things easy just yet. While it looks like another easy win on paper on Sunday, the manager needs to get his players motivated to do well.
Carlos Vela’s hat-trick kicked things off in the 2022 MLS season for LAFC this season. The Mexican hit the ground running and made the most of the chances he got against Colorado Rapids on the opening day – but he has not scored since. The forward has put on back-to-back disappointing displays – by his standards – and will be hungry to get back on the scoresheet.
Last time at home, despite having nearly 70 percent of the possession and 25 attempts at goal, LAFC could only salvage a draw against Portland Timbers in the final seconds of the game. Yimmi Chara’s overhead kick gave the Timbers an unlikely lead at the Banc of Califonia Stadium, and the away side sat deep after that.
They looked set to take all three points until Mamadou Fall popped up with the equalizer in the 93rd minute to get LAFC a point from the game. The defender was left unmarked right in front of the goal, and Brian Rodriguez put the ball on a plate for him to tap in.
LAFC bounced back with a decent performance last weekend and picked up all three points when they visited the Inter Miami CF Stadium. Kwadwo Opoku handed the away side a much-needed lead just before halftime, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi sealed the win late into the second half.
Vancouver Whitecaps are one of the six teams that are yet to pick up a win in MLS this season.
The Canadian side are yet to put on a solid display on the pitch and know that they need to turn things around before it is too late. Of course, that won’t be remotely easy against LAFC.
Vanni Sartini’s side were thrashed 4-0 in the opening weekend by Columbus Crew at the Lower.com Field. The away side did not manage a single shot on target, and the Crew’s Eloy Room did not break a sweat in goal. Miguel Berry and Derrick Etienne Junior handed the home side the lead in the first half before Lucas Zelarayán and Luis Díaz scored late to make it an emphatic win. To make things worse, Jakob Nerwiński was sent off for the Whitecaps.
Things did improve slightly in the second game of the season when they faced the defending champions New York City FC. Instead of going attack heavy and risking leaving open spaces behind, Sartini got his men to stay back and play on the counter.
They failed to score in the game but put on a solid display at the back to earn a crucial point against a strong team. NYCFC could not break the defense despite dominating the game with 70 percent of the possession and taking 19 shots at goal. In attack, the Whitecaps managed a shot on target and made Sean Johnson pull off a save to keep his clean sheet.
The draw proved to be a confidence booster for the players, and they went ahead to put on a brave display at Houston Dynamo, but were ultimately exposed at the back again. They took an early lead through Lucas Cavallini in the 14th minute but could not get the three points. The home side hit back with Darwin Quintero scoring in either half to seal a 2-1 win for the Dynamos.
Sartini will be looking for a big performance again – even if it only means a point for them at this stage – and could go with a defensive setup.
|Los Angeles FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Teams||Los Angeles FC vs Vancouver Whitecaps|
|Location||Bank of California Stadium|
|Time||Sunday, March 20 at 10pm EST|
|How to watch||TSN1, MLS LIVE on ESPN+, KCOP 13, Estrella TV|
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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