St Louis City vs LAFC Preview, Predictions, Betting Picks: Home Goals Assured?

Last updated September 22nd, 2023

Denis BouangaSt Louis City look to get back to winning ways on Wednesday (8.30pm ET), but they won’t have things easy, despite playing at home. An LAFC side with renewed confidence will be in town fresh off their derby win last time out. The top two teams in the Western Conference go head-to-head at CityPark and this preview, with its betting predictions and picks, aims to work out this clash.

Recent form isn’t everything, and we are talking about a home team that continues to stride on out in front in the Western Conference, though it’s fair to say that St Louis City has been in quite poor form for a while. Wednesday’s hosts come into this fixture without a win in three MLS games, while they have now won just one of their last five, two of which were lost. Since losing on the road in Kansas City, Bradley Carnell’s men have steadied the ship, drawing against both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo, which should leave them feeling at least mildly confident ahead of this big clash.

The men from Los Angeles who wear black were enduring something of a bad run of their own prior to the LA derby at the weekend. They had gone three games without a win, losing each of those three, scoring just two goals and conceding seven in the process. Such form did not exactly point towards them beating their city rivals by scoring four goals, but such is the crazy nature of Major League Soccer. After that uplifting victory, in which top-scorer and key player Denis Bouanga made a timely return to form with a brace, the visitors should fancy themselves to leave their mark.

St Louis City strong at home

Sure, Saturday’s hosts haven’t been in flying form of late, while they’ve certainly struggled for consistency, but there can be no denying just how menacing Carnell’s men can be when surrounded by the comforts of home. At CityPark, they have won each of their last four and have done so in rather dazzling style.

That run of home wins started with them scoring twice (without reply) against the Colorado Rapids and they have since shifted through the gears, scoring three goals against Inter Miami, before hammering home six against Austin FC. They were not in quite such glittering form last time out at this venue, though they still managed to notch twice in a win against FC Dallas. It means that they have not just won four in a row at home but have scored two or more in four consecutive home games.

Away-day worries for LAFC

The visitors do come into this fixture off the back of a big win last time out. They played well, and the fact that they thrived playing on the break certainly bodes well ahead of a match against a high-intensity St Louis side that will certainly look to dominate on home soil. However, LAFC once again lacked both structure and sturdiness at the back, conceding twice.

What is also worrying is their recent away record. Steve Cherundolo’s men are without a win on the road since June, which means that they have gone five Major League Soccer fixtures without picking up maximum points, losing four of those five. They have also conceded two or more in four of those five, which hardly bodes well given just how dangerous the hosts can be at home.

Hosts St Louis to hit their offensive stride

These are the top two teams in the Western Conference, both in terms of points accumulated this season and goal difference, while both teams also rank inside the top three in the east for goals scored. Therefore, this isn’t an easy game to call, which is why the pair are relatively closely matched on the moneyline. Given the superior home form of the hosts, you could argue that the home win represents value for money here and perhaps it does, though the best way to play this one may just be ‘St. Louis City to Score Over 1.5 Goals’, which given the home form of the hosts is perhaps generously priced at early odds with the main online sports betting websites of +100 (evens).

We know that this team can score goals in their own backyard and they can score goals against anyone. Sure, they have blitzed some teams that are currently outside of the playoff places in recent times. They have also scored multiple goals at home against teams near the top, such as the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Houston Dynamo and the San Jose Earthquakes.

The hosts will also be boosted by the return of forward Samuel Adeniran, who missed the previous outing thanks to a one-game suspension following his dismissal against the Los Angeles Galaxy. Before that absence, Adeniran was looking like a man in form, scoring two in two and notching four goals in his last five. He adds to the threat of Joao Klauss and it’s fair to say that the hosts have no shortage of offensive power, what with Nicolas Gioacchini, who has scored ten goals this term, to call on too.

This preview should not ignore the fact that LAFC have made a habit of conceding goals too. They shipped twice against their city rivals last time out, while they have now conceded at least two goals in each of their last four MLS games. Moreover, they have not kept a clean sheet on the road in MLS since May and have conceded at least twice in five of their last seven road games.

Ultimately, as a team that scores a rather impressive average of 2.64 goals per home game, as well as averaging 1.53 expected goals for, odds of evens (+100) seem a little generous and are thus worth exploiting. So for the betting picks and predictions for this St Louis City SC vs LAFC preview, we offer up this one:

  • Louis City to Score Over 1.5 Goals @ +100 with BetOnline. Next best is -102 with Bovada.