The rivalry between LAFC and LA Galaxy is one of the biggest in MLS but this is the most significant meeting between the two teams so far and it could be a classic game.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks LAFC are the strong favorites to come out on top in this Californian clash. The Supporters’ Shield winners are rated as -140 for this game with bettors favoring them significantly over LA Galaxy, priced at +300. The normal time tie is priced around +360.
|LAFC v LA Galaxy|
Betting on the MLS Playoffs Semi-Finals
There are only eight teams remaining in the MLS playoffs, four in each conference and the eight are lined up in four semi-finals, with the winners moving forward to the Conference Finals. In the West, LAFC had a bye to this stage as they finished top of the West in the regular season and if they reach the MLS Cup Final and will have home advantage throughout the playoffs.
LAFC Well Rested for Semi-Final
LAFC has been the dominant team throughout the regular season, finishing eleven points clear of their closest challenger in the West, Austin FC, and finishing with the best offensive and defensive record in the West and the second-best overall, behind Philadelphia.
Their higher win count, however, means that the Black and Gold won the Supporters’ Shield and they will be aiming to carry that dominance into the postseason.
The danger for teams having earned a First Round bye is that they are not as fresh as their opponents in the Semi-Final, but at the end of a hectic regular season, the extra time off will have given Steve Cherundolo’s team some much-needed rest ahead of this crucial game.
Battling Galaxy Show Fighting Spirit
This has been a tough season for LA Galaxy, but they have shown plenty of fighting spirit, most notably in recovering from their slump in form that ran from May through July.
They managed to avoid defeat in ten of their last eleven regular season games and although there were too many draws for manager Greg Vanney’s liking, they did enough to get into the playoffs, where they faced a potentially tough opponent in Nashville.
But in a close-fought game, Galaxy eventually prevailed thanks to a goal from Julian Araujo on the hour mark, despite being out-shot by their opponents.
Head-to-Head MLS Record
LAFC joined MLS in 2018 so this is one of the newest rivalries in the league, but in a short space of time El Traffico has become one of the most intense as the newcomers have performed strongly since joining the league whilst Galaxy have slipped since their glory days.
Their first game was in March 2018, when LA Galaxy won an entertaining encounter 4-3. They have had the better of the rivalry since then, winning seven of their 15 meetings, while LAFC has only won three and five have ended in draws.
The head-to-head record does, however, show that LAFC have been hard to beat at home in recent encounters with their city rivals. They’ve won two of the last three at the Banc of California Stadium with one game finishing in a tie.
LAFC has no players on the injured list, however, two of their roster are close to suspension. Center backs Jesus Murillo and Sebastien Ibeagha will have to be careful to avoid picking up another yellow card, which would make them ineligible for the Conference Final.
The team news for LA Galaxy is not quite as good. Left-back Jorge Villafana remains a long-term absentee due to a knee injury and they will also be without the injured Jonathan Perez for this game. Victor Vazquez and Samuel Grandsir are also one yellow card away from a suspension.
Betting Pick for MLS Semi Finals
LAFC are the obvious favorites here, but they are not unbeatable, and have shown clear signs of fragility. Eight of their nine defeats this season have come when they conceded the first goal of the game, which will encourage the visitors. Galaxy will also draw confidence from their strong form on the road. In the regular season they won six times on the road, their best performance in that area since the 2012 regular season when they also finished with six away wins.
Galaxy also has plenty of attacking threat, and Araujo, Chicharito and Riqui Puig have the creativity and composure in front of goal to keep their opponents on the back foot.
Still, we can’t ignore the ability in the LAFC ranks, bolstered by the arrival of Gareth Bale, who on his day remains one of the best players in soccer. The derby status of this game adds to the mix ahead of what could be a classic semi-final and a regular time tie looks the best betting pick.