Welcome to my MLS Soccer picks, and with the season already well underway, there’s plenty of betting opportunities available for us all to make more money off the bookies.
There’s midweek action in the MLS starting with Los Angeles FC playing host to Real Salt Lake in a Western Conference encounter at the Banc of California Stadium…
LOS ANGELES FC
Despite sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference, Wednesday night’s hosts, Los Angeles FC are stuck in a bit of a rut as they head into this game without a win from their last five matches overall.
This recent five-game slump has resulted in defeats to Minnesota United 5-1 away, a 2-1 loss away at New York Red Bulls and a 2-0 defeat at home to Sporting Kansas. They’ve also drawn with Portland Timbers 0-0 and LA Galaxy 2-2.
This means that Bob Bradley’s team have gained just two points from the last possible 15 on the table, and they’ll no doubt be eager to set the record straight at their Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday night.
There is of course still the small matter of nailing down a Final Series play-off spot, and this recent downturn in form hasn’t exactly done Los Angeles many favours as they now have the likes of tonight’s opponents, Real Salt Lake, along with Vancouver Whitecaps and Seattle Sounders breathing down their necks.
Although the home side are without a win from their last five, the fact still remains that they’ve suffered just one defeat on home turf throughout this campaign to date which was their weekend loss to the aforementioned Sporting Kansas.
Home Form & Team News
This brings us nicely onto Los Angeles’s home form which has seen them lose just once on home soil all season which was on last weekend. With back-to-back stalemates in their previous matches at home to Portland Timbers and LA Galaxy respectively, this means the hosts are winless in their last three at home.
Los Angeles possess a home record that stands at 5-5-1 19/10 and way too many draws have held the home side back from holding down a top two spot in the Western Conference.
That said, despite the recent slump, they’re still only three points adrift of second placed Sporting Kansas, so Bradley shouldn’t need to motivate his players for this clash as the rewards are obvious.
There are no fresh injury concerns for Bob Bradley and his squad other than long-term absentees, goalkeeper Quillan Roberts and midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye which is some relief to Los Angeles.
Striker Adama Diomande (9 goals) is expected to spearhead the attack, and he’ll receive support from attacking personnel such as Carlos Vela (8 goals), Diego Rossi (7 goals, 4 assists) and Marco Urena (4 assists).
REAL SALT LAKE
Real Salt Lake sit just one league position and one point adrift of tonight’s hosts, Los Angels FC as they make their way to the Banc of California Stadium for this important Western Conference clash.
The visitors come into this encounter having put together a promising four-match unbeaten run of results which include a 2-1 home win over Chicago Fire.
As well as that win, they’ve been involved in three draws against Colorado Rapids, San Jose Earthquakes and Montreal Impact – but it should be noted that three of these recent four matches have been played at their Rio Tinto Stadium in Utah.
Real Salt Lake’s current league position of sixth in the Western Conference means they hold the last remaining Final Series play-off spot, and they too have teams chasing behind them in the Conference.
Real Salt Lake therefore need to get a result in tonight’s clash in Los Angeles but this could be easier said than done when looking at their results away from home so far this season.
Away Form & Team News
They bring a poor away record of 1-2-8 8/25 into this encounter as well as three defeats in their last four matches on their travels.
Defeats at LA Galaxy 3-0, Columbus Crew 2-1 and Minnesota United 3-2 were halted by a 0-0 draw at Western Conference basement dwellers, San Jose Earthquakes, but they’re expected to be facing much tougher opposition here this evening.
The only win that Real Salt Lake have been able to record on their travels so far this season was a 1-0 win at 8th placed Seattle Sounders, but the visitors’ problems away from home extend far beyond just this season.
Real Salt Lake have earned just one win out of their last 15 road trips, so they look to be up against it here to get a result that they need in order to maintain their claims for a play-off spot.
Goals have been hard to come by for the visitors who have scored just 8 on the road all season, with only Colorado Rapids (7 goals) scoring fewer than them away from home in the Western Conference.
Attacking midfielder Joao Plata ( 7 goals, 4 assists) looks to be Real Salt Lake’s most dangerous player, but there’s a whole host of injuries for manager Mike Petke to deal with ahead of this clash.
Petke has no fewer than seven players sidelined through injury including midfielders Luke Mulholland and Jordan Allen, defender David Horst and forward Ricky Lopez-Espin.
Although Los Angeles have endured a downturn in results in recent weeks, they have a fully fit squad to choose from and within their ranks they possess some dangerous attacking personnel.
Real Salt Lake are unbeaten in their last four, but they’ve been helped by three of these matches being played on home turf – however, they possess a poor record away from home and this could ultimately be their downfall in this encounter.