MX23RW : Monday, September 20 22:36:52| >> :600:392256:392256:

Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Real Salt Lake will look to continue their climb up the Major League Soccer Eastern Conference standings on Thursday, when they make the trip to take on Los Angeles Galaxy.

RSL have enjoyed a rise up to seventh spot in recent weeks, while Thursday's hosts remain comfortably inside the playoff places despite a somewhat inconsistent run of form.


Match preview

Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021© Reuters

Los Angeles Galaxy kicked off their season in style, winning seven of their first 10 league games to establish themselves at the top end of the Western Conference with 21 points.

A slightly inconsistent run has since followed, with Greg Vanney's men collecting just seven points from the last six MLS outings.

While they had previously gone through a three-game winless run, culminating in a 4-0 thrashing at the hands of FC Dallas, Galaxy do come into Thursday's game on the back of a victory, having comfortably defeated Portland Timbers on home turf last time out.

A Jeremy Ebobisse goal for the visitors levelled the game immediately after Rayan Raveloson had opened the scoring, but the Los Angeles outfit quickly regained the lead through Victor Vazquez before goals from Sacha Kljestan and Samuel Grandsir put the game out of sight inside the first 15 minutes of the second half.

That could be the confidence boost that Vanney's men need in order to return to the form that they displayed at the start of the season, allowing them to remain at the top end of the table in third place, just four points behind Conference leaders Seattle Sounders with a game in hand.

If they are to pile further pressure on the team at the summit, Galaxy will have to get past a Real Salt Lake side in high spirits after a rise up the table.

Real Salt Lake head coach Freddy Juarez, directs his team during the first half against the New York Red Bulls at Rio Tinto Stadium pictured in March 2020© Reuters

After winning their first two matches of the season, Thursday's visitors would go on to claim just one victory from the following eight league outings, quickly dropping out of the playoff picture as a result.

However, a 4-0 thrashing of Vancouver Whitecaps may have been the trigger for a turnaround, as Damir Kreilach hit a brace alongside goals from Albert Rusnak and Anderson Julio in a resounding win.

While they did narrowly lose the following game to Los Angeles FC, Freddy Juarez's men again bounced back, earning a commendable point in a 2-2 draw with Thursday's opponents before thrashing Colorado Rapids 3-0 thanks to goals from Bobby Wood and Rubio Rubin after they took the lead through a William Yarbrough own goal.

That positive run of results saw Real Salt Lake move up into seventh spot, occupying a playoff place for the first time since their two victories to start the season, and they would fend off one of the chasing pack with a goalless draw against Houston Dynamo last time out.

The recent upturn in form should fill Juarez's men with confidence, as they look to put another positive result on the board and cement themselves in the top seven.

Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • D



Team News

Real Salt Lake midfielder Damir Kreilach reacts after his first half goal May 30, 2021© Reuters

Los Angeles Galaxy remain hit by several selection concerns, with star striker Javier Hernandez continuing to miss out through injury after hitting 10 goals in the first 10 MLS games of the season.

Meanwhile, his Mexican compatriots Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez both went to the CONCACAF Gold Cup with their national team and are unlikely to return in time for Thursday's game, having reached the final and lost to USA on Monday.

Defender Sega Coulibaly did return from his injury to come off the bench last time out, although Nick DePuy and Derrick Williams looked strong in his absence, meaning Coulibaly may have to wait before he is brought back into the XI.

Real Salt Lake come into Thursday's game without important centre-back Justen Glad, who was sent off in the dying minutes of the draw with Houston Dynamo.

In his absence, Erik Holt will likely step into the heart of the back line alongside Marcelo Silva.

That suspension only adds to their troubles at the back, with defenders Andrew Brody, Toni Datkovic and Zackery Farnsworth also out of contention.

Exciting winger Anderson Julio will hope for a return to the starting XI after being reduced to a substitute appearance last time out, having already hit three MLS goals this season in limited minutes.

Los Angeles Galaxy possible starting lineup:
Bond; Araujo, DePuy, Williams, Villafana; Gransdir, Kljestan, Raveloson, Cabral; Zubak, Vazquez

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
MacMath; Herrera, Silva, Holt, Morgan; Besler, Kreilach; Julio, Rusnak, Meram; Wood


SM words green background

We say: Los Angeles Galaxy 1-1 Real Salt Lake

Given the mixed form of the two sides and Galaxy's several notable absentees, we can again see this clash finishing level, similarly to the draw in July.

RSL have seen a major improvement in recent weeks, and their momentum should carry them to another impressive result on Thursday, even considering the hosts' dominant victory last time out.

ID:457886:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11433:
Collect / Create New Data
Share this article now:
Did you know...?
Minnesota United midfielder Adrien Hunou celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021
Read Next:
Saturday's MLS predictions including Minnesota United vs. Portland Timbers
>
Sports Mole Logo
Enter your email address to subscribe to Sports Mole's free match previews newsletter! Updates are sent twice a week.

rhs 2.0
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!