MLS Cup Playoffs preview: Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy

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October 22nd, 2019

In one of the most anticipated matchups in the MLS Cup Playoffs, El Tráfico takes center stage Thursday night, when the LA Galaxy travel 20 minutes north to face Los Angeles FC in the Western Conference semifinals. This will be a must-watch match!

Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy, Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN

Los Angeles FCDrawLA Galaxy

LAFC needs a big performance from Carlos Vela

LAFC comes into the match well rested after its opening-round bye, the result of being the top seed in the Western Conference and the Supporters’ Shield winner. The club is led by MVP favorite Carlos Vela, who will need to put on a masterful performance in front of the home crowd. LAFC's defense has to be on point, as well, as that has been where it has lost control against the Galaxy in the past. Walker Zimmerman needs to command the back line to help keep the ball out of the net.

All eyes will be on Zlatan

The LA Galaxy reached this point with a 2-1 road defeat of Minnesota United on Sunday night. The Galaxy now has to beat its rival in an intense environment to make the Western Conference finals. The focus will be on Zlatan Ibrahimović, who has come up huge in each match between these two teams. However, Christian Pavón and Jonathan Dos Santos will have to be electric in the midfield for the Galaxy, as well. The Galaxy's main question also will be on defense. Almost all of the previous matchups between these two teams have been shootouts, and the Galaxy needs to do more to keep guys like Vela and Diego Rossi out of the box.

Prediction: Draw after 90 minutes (+395)

This is the sixth match in the El Tráfico series, and LAFC has gone winless in the previous five. Each match that has taken place at Banc of California Stadium has ended in a draw. This match will be so electric that it will require more than 90 minutes to determine a winner. Look for El Tráfico to be a 2-2 draw (+1200) after 90 minutes, with the Galaxy stealing the match in extra time to send the Supporters’ Shield winner home early.

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