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Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York City FC – prediction, team news, lineups



Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. New York City FC – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles Galaxy and New York City FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

New York City FC can hand the Los Angeles Galaxy their first home defeat of the 2024 MLS campaign when they visit Dignity Health Sports Park for the first time in over two years on Wednesday.

Over the weekend, the Galaxy defeated Sporting Kansas City 4-2, while the Boys in Blue were narrowly beaten 3-2 by the Columbus Crew.

Match preview

© Reuters

The LA losing streak did not last long, as the Galaxy won for the third time in their last four regular-season contests on Saturday.

Their 2-1 loss against the Chicago Fire at the beginning of June is the only time since the start of May that they had gone pointless in a domestic fixture.

In eight league contests at Dignity Health Sports Park this year, LA have yet to lose, while only one of their previous 18 regular-season home games have ended in defeat (4-1 versus Dallas in October 2023).

Greg Vanney‘s men had sky-high expectations at the beginning of the campaign, and to date, his players have delivered, claiming 31 points after 18 MLS encounters, 16 more than they had at this stage a year ago, putting them third in the Western Conference table.

While they have yet to lose at home in 2024, the Galaxy have experienced some close calls, netting a stoppage-time equaliser in two league contests at Dignity Health Sports Park.

Los Angeles have not lost to an Eastern Conference opponent at home in this competition since May 2023 (1-0 versus Charlotte FC).

Hannes Wolf in action for New York City FC in June 2024© Imago

A spirited back-and-forth contest on Friday night did not go the way of New York City, as their five-match MLS winning run came to an end.

That dropped them down to fourth place in the Eastern Conference table, with the Pigeons conceding three goals in an MLS encounter for the first time since August 2023 (3-0 defeat versus FC Cincinnati).

After losing their first three league fixtures away from home by a combined margin of 4-0, Nick Cushing‘s men have points in four consecutive domestic matches as the visitors.

With three away victories domestically in 2024, New York City have as many road wins in this competition as they had in between August 2022 and the end of April 2024.

If they can secure at least a point in midweek, they will be one game away from equalling a club record set in 2019 for the longest unbeaten run away from home in a single regular season (six matches).

Although they lost their previous visit to Dignity Health Sports Park in 2022 (1-0), NYCFC have won four of their last five meetings against the Galaxy, two of which were clean sheets for them away from home.

Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer form:

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Joseph Paintsil© Reuters

On Saturday, the Galaxy were missing star playmaker Riqui Puig because of a sore groin, and Gaston Brugman sat out with a knee injury.

Ahead of their match with Sporting, they transferred Daniel Aguirre to Liga MX side Chivas just a few days after allowing Markus Ferkranus to sign with Brisbane Road in the Australian top flight.

Goals from Dejan Joveljic, Gabriel Pec, Joseph Paintsil and Miguel Berry were enough to give the Galaxy a comfortable triumph on Saturday.

Rio Hope-Gund was unavailable for NYCFC this past weekend due to a leg injury, Thiago Martins sat out with leg tightness, Kevin O’Toole did not feature due to a knock, while Maxi Moralez came on as a substitute.

Mitja Ilenic received a straight red card against the Crew and will miss this match, while Tayvon Gray is with the Jamaican national team for the Copa America.

Agustin Ojeda gave the Pigeons a 1-0 lead late in the opening half on Friday, while Santiago Rodriguez netted his team-leading seventh of the campaign late in half number two, which ultimately was not enough.

Los Angeles Galaxy possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Yamane, Neal, Yoshida, Aude; Cerrillo, Delgado; Pec, Fagundez, Paintsil; Joveljic

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Freese; Tanasijevic, Risa, Haak, McFarlane; Sands, Parks; Wolf, Rodriguez, Fernandez; Martinez

SM words green background

We say: Los Angeles Galaxy 3-1 New York City FC

The Pigeons will be shorthanded at the back with Ilenic and Gray unavailable, and facing a side with so much attacking depth with or without Puig might be too much for an inexperienced backline to handle.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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