The MLS Cup playoffs continue to heat up as LAFC and LA Galaxy prepare to clash in the most important El Trafico in history.
LAFC have had the benefit of a week off courtesy of the bye they received following the regular season. They dominated the competition in the Western Conference, leading many to believe that they are the clear and obvious favourites to win the whole thing. They did end the campaign fairly questionably, though, drawing four of their last six games against Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto and Minnesota. Their two wins came against Houston and Colorado, although their defensive issues need to be addressed.
They tend to fluctuate back and forth between the over and under 2.5 goals mark but when the big games start to appear, they rise up and let it be known that they aren’t here to play around. In many ways they remind us of France during last year’s World Cup, only hitting that next gear when they absolutely need to do so.
LA Galaxy (6/1)
LA Galaxy knew that they needed to end the season in a strong way because if they didn’t, there was a chance they may not even make the playoffs altogether. It was clear to see that they were at the top of their game and peaking when they battered Sporting KC 7-2, but they came back down to earth with two pretty narrow triumphs over Montreal and Real Salt Lake. They slipped up against Vancouver and Houston, conceding eight goals altogether in the two games, but they found the strength and courage to overcome Minnesota 2-1 in their first playoff game.
We would be utterly stunned if LA Galaxy doesn’t reach the over 2.5 goal mark just by themselves. When you’ve got such a chaotic line-up that includes defensive woes and great attacking stars, it should be anticipated.
This is going to be a game full of drama, and we should expect nothing less when it comes to these two sides. Los Angeles is one hell of a city but the old “this town ain’t big enough for the two of us” couldn’t be more accurate here. All forms of logic dictate LAFC should walk away with the win, but logic rarely factors into the games between these two. As such, we’re going to back LA Galaxy to cause the upset for their second straight playoff game, lifting them into the next round.
Goals are one thing that you can virtually guarantee when either of these teams is in action. Therefore, it makes all the sense in the world to predict that over 2.5 goals will be reached – so buckle up, because this could be one of the best games in the recent history of the MLS.
Verdict: Back the away win at odds of 6/1 and the over 2.5 goals scored at odds of 1/3. (All odds are taken from bet365).