- Orlando City v LA Galaxy
- Saturday, April 29, 19:30 EST
- Exploria Stadium
LA Galaxy got its first win of the season last weekend and it can win again against Orlando.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it’s clear that bettors favor Orlando City in this clash, but there isn’t a lot of confidence in the betting markets. Orlando is rated as a +116 favorite, while LA Galaxy is priced around +235 and the draw is the underdog at +261.
|Orlando v LA Galaxy|
Orlando Struggling for Consistency
After it reached the MLS Cup playoffs last season, Orlando City has been struggling for consistency at the beginning of its 2023 campaign.
In eight MLS games so far, Orlando has won three, lost three and drawn two, as well as being knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League in a narrow two-legged tied with Tigres. The result is that the team is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference at this early stage, which is far from disastrous, but head coach Oscar Pareja will be hoping his team can start putting some good performances together.
In recent weeks, Orlando has alternated between strong road performances and terrible home showings, securing an impressive win at Philadelphia and Minnesota, but losing its last three games at Exploria Stadium, including its lastest fixture, against DC United, in which two second half goals gave the visitors a comfortable 3-1 win: a result that took DC above Orlando in the table.
LA Galaxy Finding Form
LA Galaxy has had a rough start to the 2023 MLS season, but in the last two league games has shown signs of finding some form in the West.
Greg Vanney’s team picked up only three points from their first seven games in the domestic season, and all three of those came from drawn games. But it showed much more fight and belief in a 3-2 El Trafico defeat against LAFC, mounting a late charge but eventually falling short, and that momentum carried over into last weekend’s league fixture against Austin. Second half goals from Riqui Puig and Chicarito gave it a 2-0 victory, its first maximum haul of the campaign. It also means that the team has scored four goals in its last two games, more than doubling its goal tally from the first six.
Galaxy fans will be hoping that this pace is maintained over the next few weeks as the team tries to climb the table. Currently one off the bottom of the Western Conference, there is already a 13-point gap between Galaxy and the pace setters Seattle and St Louis, and Vanney’s team can’t afford to let that gap grow too large if it wants to remain in contention for a play off spot.
MTS MLS Betting Head-to-Head
Orlando City joined MLS in 2015 and has played in the Eastern Conference since then, so this is a fixture that is only played once a year.
The head-to-head record shows that it is an even rivalry, however. Orlando won the first ever meeting between the two teams, in May 2015, winning 4-0 at home, but a year later on the west coast, Galaxy hit back with an impressive 4-2 win.
The fixture has followed that pattern since then, up to last year’s game, when Orlando managed a 1-0 win in Los Angeles. Overall, the record shows three wins apiece over their six meetings, and unusually, there has not yet been an MLS draw between the two teams.
MLS Betting Team News
Orlando adopted a back three in the last game against DC United, but it didn’t work, and given that defense has been the team’s strong suit so far this season, it is likely that Pareja will return to a back four for this game, made up of Kyle Smith, Robin Jansson, Rodrigo Schlegel and Luca Petrasso.
The return to a back four should also mean that Cesar Araujo and Felipe Martins will be paired together again in the midfield with Mauricio Pereyra playing ahead of them. Duncan McGuire, who has now scored in both of his last two appearances, should once again be the focal point of the attack.
For Galaxy, the team news is good. Although Jonathan Bond remains out of action due to his shoulder injury, Greg Vanney was able to call on both Martin Caceres and Douglas Costa last time and Costa may be in line for a start here. Chicarito will start up front and his experience should help get the best out of the team’s attacking potential.
MTS MLS Betting Picks
The Orlando team has plenty of ability but it isn’t quite clicking this season and Pareja’s experiment with the defensive formation has not helped in the search for consistency. It has struggled at home this season, while Galaxy is finally unleashing the potential of its forward line, so I’m picking Greg Vanney’s men to head back west with all three points.
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