LA Galaxy preview
The Galaxy are winless in seven MLS games as they go through their usual ‘summer slump’ period. To be fair, manager Bruce Arena has been badly hindered by injuries and player unavailability due to international duty. They did however receive a big boost in midweek when they knocked out the Timbers in the US Open Cup away from home. The Galaxy usually come back into form at some point around now and maybe this is the exact fixture in which they remind the league how good they actually are. This is a match played on Independence Day and I’d Imagine a big noisy crowd will fill the stadium. The atmosphere should be excellent and all the big star players that the Galaxy possess will surely want to put on a show. At the StubHub centre, LA Galaxy are unbeaten this season and it’s usually a real fortress of a stadium. Player absences won’t affect LA as much here with only defender Robbie Rogers currently listed as out.
Vancouver will surely travel here in a dispirited mood. They lost the Canadian Championship against Toronto last week, succumbing to a late goal and the tie was decided on away goals. They had the title in their hands but let it slip. Carl Robinson’s boys will really need some picking up after that, perhaps a big game on Independence day against the Galaxy will give them the necessary adrenaline. Last time out in MLS they beat Philly 3-2 away from home in what was a thrilling encounter. A lot of Whitecaps games in recent times have been end to end exciting contests and it’s been nearly ten matches since they last kept a clean sheet. Vancouver have won three and lost five fixtures on the road this season, it seems they are completely all or nothing. Just like Galaxy, injury news is favourable with nobody major expected to miss out.
For those people who purely look at LA Galaxy’s recent form, I can understand why many might presume a lower scoring contest here. The simple fact is that LA have missed a lot of weapons in recent times but should be back to full strength in attacking areas now. This match is being played on Independence Day which is obviously a huge deal in America. To be hosting a fixture on this date is quite a privilege and it’s kind of an unwritten rule you need to put on a show. Fans will be expecting high levels of entertainment here and I’m sure the Galaxy players will respond to that. Vancouver aren’t a great defensive side so probably their most effective way of hurting the Galaxy is by scoring a few goals themselves. The class of Galaxy often shines through in matche like this and ultimately I think they’ll obtain victory – maybe with a late winner or something. It’s a shame this match is on so late at night for UK viewers because it should be a real cracker between two positive teams. I’m going to predict Galaxy taking it something like 3-2 in a high scorer.
The last four Galaxy matches in MLS have all ended comfortably under 2.5 matches. They added to the under run with the aforementioned 1-0 success against Portland in the Cup. But I know the Galaxy. Sooner or later their big attacking guns will fire and this is just the sort of stage for it to happen. If they were coming into the match in free scoring form then this goal line would be 3.0, so I’m happy to take over 2.75 @ a decent price. Vancouver have been involved in a lot of high scoring matches in recent times, 8 of their last 9 have all ended over 2.5 and it’s been ages since they kept a clean sheet. It’s also been a long time since they last failed to score themselves though. So I’m very happy to take the overs here. I just sense this is a match which will kick off into a potential thriller. I expect the Galaxy to show their class and get three points. But at fairly short odds of 1.80 I don’t mind missing out considering it’s been a while since they tasted victory in MLS. I expect Vancouver to run them close and I believe the best bet for this match is over 2.75.
Recommended bet: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.88 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)