- LA Galaxy v Philadelphia
- Saturday 8th July, 2023, 2230 ET
- Dignity Health Sports Park
LA Galaxy and Philadelphia are at opposite ends of their Conferences but Galaxy are improving and can hold the visitors to a draw on Saturday.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it’s clear that bettors favor Philadelphia in this game, with the visiting team rated as +145. LA Galaxy is the underdog of the two, despite home advantage, while the draw is rated at between +260 and +280.
|LA Galaxy v Philadelphia|
LA Galaxy Aiming to Build Momentum
LA Galaxy is still at the wrong end of the Western Conference, lying second from the bottom, but it goes into this game having gone six matches unbeaten. A victory over Salt Lake City was followed by four draws, and then last time out, a crucial win over LAFC in a typically thrilling El Trafico edition.
That form is solid, rather than spectacular, but given the start that Greg Vanney’s team made, it counts as a dramatic upturn and Vanney will be aiming to ensure the momentum continues.
The team’s slow start is still acting as a drag on its Conference position. Galaxy won only two of its first 14 games, registering nine defeats in that run, and the stats show that it still has the worst defensive record and the second-worst offensive record in the West. There is still plenty of time for Galaxy to make the playoffs, but it cannot afford to let its momentum slow.
Philadelphia Hoping to End Slide
Philadelphia Union is in a much stronger position than LA Galaxy and goes into this game in fifth place in the Eastern Conference, only four points behind Nashville in second place with a game in hand. The problem for Jim Curtin’s team is that it is heading in the opposite direction.
A nine-game unbeaten run between April and June included seven wins and two draws and appeared to put Philadelphia on course to dominate in the East once again. That run came to a halt over the last four games, from which it picked up only four points.
Of particular concern for Curtin is the team’s away form. The last three road games have yielded just one point and the latest defeat, against Atlanta, was particularly disappointing as Philadelphia managed only one shot on goal in a game that it lost 2-0. While it remains well-placed for the playoffs, it is ten points behind Eastern Conference leaders Cincinnati, and needs to end its current slide.
MLS Match Betting Head-to-Head
LA Galaxy was a founding member of MLS and Philadelphia joined in 2010, but the fact that these teams play in different conferences has meant that they haven’t met very often and the head-to-head record shows that this is a fixture that has only occurred 12 times since 2010.
The notable feature of this rivalry is that LA Galaxy has dominated consistently. Of the twelve games that these teams have played since 2010, the LA team has won eight, with three drawn. Philadelphia’s lone success occurred in 2012 when it won 2-1 in LA.
Since then, Galaxy has put together an eight-game unbeaten streak against Philadelphia, although three of those games have ended in draws. This will also be the first time that these teams have met since 2019, due to the effects of lockdown and fixture variance.
MLS Match Betting Team News
The team news for LA Galaxy hasn’t improved greatly over the last few days. Javier Hernandez is still a long-term injury absence as he recovers from an ACL injury. He is joined on the injury list by Memo Rodriguez and Martin Caceres who are suffering from thigh and ankle problems respectively.
Vanney may consider sticking with the team that was successful against LAFC last weekend. That would mean Douglas Costa, the former Bayern Munich winger, lining up along with Tyler Boyd and Preston Judd in a front three for the home team.
Philadelphia is also missing a pair of key players. Kai Wagner is still out with a hamstring problem and first-choice goalkeeper Andre Blake is on international duty. That means Joe Bendik is likely to continue as replacement goalkeeper, behind a 3-4-1-2 formation.
MLS Match Betting Pick
Philadelphia has an excellent record in MLS over recent months and has made a stronger start to the current campaign than Saturday’s rivals. But momentum and form count for a lot in this league and Philadelphia’s poor form on the road is a major concern ahead of this epic trip to the west coast. Galaxy is not a high-scoring team, but I think it can keep Philadelphia at bay here, so I’m picking the home team in the match-betting market.
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