Los Angeles Galaxy vs LAFC Preview, Betting Predictions, Picks: Bet on Host Goals

Kevin CabralLA Galaxy host their city rivals Los Angeles Football Club in the MLS on Sunday night (8pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN Deportes, ESPN, ESPN Deportes+ and TSN2). The visitors will make the short trip to Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, where they have never won. Will this be their first away victory against the Galaxy since entering Major League Soccer back in 2018? Read on for this El Trafico derby game predictions, full preview & betting picks.

The LA Galaxy were in a favorable position not that long ago, but a lack of positive results in recent weeks has seen them drop down in sixth position in the Western Conference. They are still on track to make the postseason, though Greg Vanney’s men will need to resume picking up points soon, otherwise they will be in real danger of slipping into a last-ditch fight for a top-seven finish.

In contrast, LAFC were in a rather poor position recently, and while they’re still not where they want to be, they had started to make a move in the opposite direction to Sunday’s hosts, moving up towards the coveted top seven thanks to three wins on the spin. However, they’ve since hit a roadblock and are now out of form having lost each of their last three. The importance of winning this fixture is huge anyway, what with it being a derby game, but this time there is added importance, as three points for either side will be massive.

Defensive weakness proving costly

From an attacking point of view, it is not as if the Galaxy have been in flying form lately, scoring more than once in just one of their last 11, which is something of an issue. They have only failed to score in two of those 11, so they have not been terrible in that respect. Their main problem at the minute is at the other end of the field, where they just can’t keep things tight.

Sunday’s hosts are without a clean sheet since the middle of August, while they’ve shut their opponents out in just one of their last ten. They have conceded two or more in six of those ten and it is that lack of defensive solidity that means their modest offensive output hasn’t been enough. Vanney’s men are now without a win in eight MLS fixtures, only three of which they’ve avoided defeat in.

Visitors blighted by inconsistency

Getting results on a regular basis has simply been beyond LAFC this season, there’s no getting around that simple fact. They have the quality, the same quality that saw them finish highly in previous seasons, but for one reason or another, Bob Bradley’s men haven’t got it right this time around.

For much of the campaign, luck wasn’t on the side of the LAFC boys, who were creating lots, but in recent weeks, their offensive levels have waned and thus they’ve been punished. In three of their last five, Sunday’s visitors have failed to create more than 0.9 expected goals, which is far from impressive, and makes it easy to see why they come here having scored just two in their last three. Galaxy has no shortage of trouble keeping teams out, but if the visitors want to get a positive result, they will need to offer more in the final third, that’s for sure.

Third time lucky?

LAFC will be hoping that they get lucky at the third time of asking against their city rivals this season. Back in May, Galaxy won by two goals to one at this venue, while they pounced late in the day to deny Sunday’s visitors when the pair met in August. In general, Galaxy has had the better of this fixture in recent times, winning three of the last five renewals. LAFC has won just once during that time, while they have never won at Dignity Health Sports Park, despite having had five attempts.

Home goals the best option?

Neither side arrives here in great form, so it really is anyone’s guess who comes out on top, and at the prices, neither appear as particularly good value options. One bet that does stand out is ‘LA Galaxy to Score Over 1.5 Goals’.

We know that Vanney’s men haven’t been at the best offensively of late, but they’ve rarely failed to find the net, while their overall scoring record at home is good, notching 21 in 13 matches. Moreover, the hosts have an excellent recent record of goals in this fixture, scoring three times against LAFC just over a month ago, as well as twice at this venue earlier in the campaign. In fact, the Los Angeles Galaxy have now scored at least twice in eight of their last nine against LAFC, scoring two or more in four out of five at this venue since 2018.

Cabral can do it

If a player prop is more your sort of thing, then LA Galaxy’s Kevin Cabral looks a good price to get on the scoresheet. The Frenchman hasn’t exactly been banging in the goals left, right and center this season, but the 22-year-old is now getting plenty of game time, while he scored when the city rivals last met.

In addition, the forward averages a very solid 0.39 expected goals for per 90 minutes, as well as 2.21 shots, and it would be little surprise if he sprung into action against an LAFC defense that has been far from impressive in recent weeks. So these are our betting predictions and picks for this El Trafico MLS game preview:

  • LA Galaxy to score over 1.5 goals @ -105 with Bovada. It is -111 with Intertops.
  • Kevin Cabral to score at any time @ +250 with Intertops. It’s +230 with Bovada.