The Quakes won the first game in the California Clasico this season, 2-1 back in August, but LA are ahead of them in the Western Conference standings by three points heading into this match.
Less than three days after squandering a two-goal lead and coming away empty-handed in a 4-3 loss to Real Salt Lake, Matias Almeyda saw his side overcome three deficits versus Austin FC, coming out on the right side of a 4-3 result.
Last week, the Goonies reverted to their old habits, which cost them so many games early on this year, making many collective mistakes and missing out on a valuable three points against Claret and Cobalt.
Even though they are showing some tremendous upside offensively with seven goals in their last two games, the Quakes have been exposed on the counter, allowing far too many scoring chances, conceding 23 shots on target in their previous two matches.
You would think that playing more games down the stretch in front of your fans would be ideal, but for San Jose, earning three points at PayPal Park has been a struggle, going winless in their last four games there, and being shut out on two of those occasions.
It will be interesting to see how they approach their final nine matches of the regular season because the Earthquakes are by no means out of the playoff race, sitting four points back of Minnesota United, but Almeyda has brought in several academy products and also emphasised the importance of forming an identity and going through a slow process.
The Argentine coach certainly makes a lot of sense when it comes to building a culture with this club, but you should also be pushing to make the postseason and if they want to do that, they need to speed up the process and start winning more often.
After being blown out numerous times against the Black-and-Gold in their first few encounters, things are starting to even out a little, with the Quakes coming out on top in their previous three fixtures against their California rivals.
We have said this several times throughout the year, but it bears repeating yet again, as LAFC missed another opportunity to climb into a playoff position last Sunday, dropping a 2-1 decision to the Portland Timbers.
It was their fifth loss in their last six games, and at this stage of the season, Bob Bradley has to wonder how to get his side to maintain the high level of energy needed in these games that matter.
His team have gotten themselves back into the playoff conversation, with three consecutive wins before their defeat last weekend, but it is in these matches when a victory can put them over the playoff line where they struggle, and thus they are forced to play catch-up in the weeks following.
This year, they have yet to beat any of their California rivals, losing once to the Goonies and the Los Angeles Galaxy while also squandering a 3-2 lead to LA late last month in a 3-3 draw.
This season has been such an up-and-down one for LAFC that it might be best to simplify things by just winning and getting into a top-seven position by any means necessary and then figure things out from there.
They have some key absences and no doubt that can impact your rhythm and chemistry, but even so, LA should not be in the predicament that they currently find themselves in.
Sitting only one point back of a playoff spot, there is certainly no need to panic and overthink their strategies but instead focus on one game at a time, as they do not need to win all nine fixtures remaining, but they need a little more consistency.
Quakes striker Jeremy Ebobisse has a concussion, while Shea Salinas and Siad Haji are questionable with undisclosed injuries, and Tommy Thompson started on defence versus the Verde-and-Black, his first appearance since June 22.
Defender Marcos Lopez notched his first goal of the season last weekend and only the third of his MLS career, Javier Lopez scored the equaliser and the winner against Austin, his team-leading ninth and 10th of the campaign, while Carlos Fierro picked up his first assist of the season.
Quakes striker Chris Wondolowski has three goals in the California Clasico, Judson is third in the league in tackles won with 43, just one behind Yuya Kubo of FC Cincinnati and four back of the Timbers Claudio Bravo.
Jose Cifuentes will be looking for a bit of redemption after he made a critical mistake last week on the winning goal for Portland scored by George Fochive, while Cristian Arango moved into a tie for the team lead in goals with his sixth, the same as Diego Rossi who is currently on loan with Fenerbahce.
Kwadwo Opoku and Erik Duenas have left knee issues, Eddie Segura is having problems with his right knee, Pablo Sisniega is out with a nose injury, Eduard Atuesta has a right ankle issue, Carlos Vela is nursing a right quad injury, Julian Gaines has a pelvic stress fracture, Alvaro Quezada is out with a chest injury and Tristan Blackmon remains on the sidelines with a left adductor strain.
Last week the Black-and-Gold signed former Chelsea keeper Jamal Blackman, who has spent several seasons on loan with a number of English clubs, in addition to a stint with Vitesse in the Dutch Eredivisie.
San Jose Earthquakes possible starting lineup:
Marcinkowski; M. Lopez, Beason, Judson, Marie; Yueill, Remedi, Skahan; Cowell, J. Lopez, Espinoza
Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Romero; Kim, Murillo, Ibeagha, Palacios; Edwards, Crisostomo, Duke, Cifuentes; Rodriguez, Arango
We say: San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Los Angeles FC
Even though the Quakes have been poor defensively of late, they can probably afford to play more wide open against their state rivals, who seem to squander a lot of great scoring opportunities and are still without some of their top attacking options.