Monday, 12 September 2016

LA Galaxy vs Orlando City MLS Match Preview And Prediction - Sunday, September 11, 2016


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It’s like deja vu for LA Galaxy at the moment. Last season they found themselves in a very good position towards the top of the table, but a late slump in form saw them slip down the table to 5th position, nine points adrift of the top spot.

Once again they began the season strongly, but once again their form has dipped, and they’ve found the leaders of the pack pulling away from them. They still occupy 2nd position in the MLS Western Conference, but there are already seven points between them and leaders FC Dallas. Below them Real Salt Lake and Colorado Rapids are both within a win of them, with the latter of those two also having two games in hand.

They looked to be on their way to victory in midweek when a Giovani dos Santos brace in the second half put them 3-1 up against Real Salt Lake, but they collapsed in the final 20 minutes and ended up drawing the game. This 3-3 thriller made it one win, six draws, and two defeats in their last nine matches in all competitions. In the MLS they have won one, drawn six and lost one.

Orlando City are having a marginally better season than they did in their debut campaign last year, but that could be enough for them. They are occupying one of the much sought after playoff spots in the MLS Eastern Conference with a two point advantage over 7th placed DC United. There’s a lot of work still to be done, but if they can make it into the playoffs this season it can be classed as a big step in the right direction.

Orlando City were also in action in midweek as they beat Montreal Impact 4-1 away from home with a sensational performance. This followed on from their 2-1 win at home to New York City to make it three wins, two draws, and two defeats in their last seven games.

Away from home they are unbeaten in five matches as well, although four of them have ended all square. LA Galaxy have drawn six of their last nine home games in the MLS as well, so the fact that a draw is priced as high as 14/5 is a big surprise. I’m backing this along with a 2-2 correct score prediction at 12/1.

Head To Head
Orlando City won the only previous meeting with LA Galaxy 4-0 back in May 2015.

Stats
50% of LA Galaxy's home matches this season have ended all square, including 67% of their last nine. Orlando City have seen stalemates in 46% of their away days as well, including 80% of their last five.

Team News
Left back Jelle van Damme, midfielder Steven Gerrard, and striking duo Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes are all injured for the hosts.

Right back Rafael Ramos, midfielders Harrison Hardy and Cristian Higuita, and striker Pedro Ribeiro are sidelined for Orlando City.

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