|Moneyline (Regular Time)|
|Insights Backheeled Insights proprietary algorithm combines a variety of factors, using machine learning to weigh variables. It is solely focused on MLS data.||32.6%||25.5%||42.0%|
|Over/Under (Regular Time)|
|O 2.5||U 2.5||BTTS|
|Insights Backheeled Insights proprietary algorithm combines a variety of factors, using machine learning to weigh variables. It is solely focused on MLS data.||51.5%||48.5%||55.3%|
What The Book Sees
The line suggests that LAG are 23 xGD weaker than LAFC over a full season; assuming LAFC are the top team in the league, this measures the Galaxy as roughly the 10th best team in the league.
What Insights Sees
The BI model seems a nearly identical gap as the Book between the teams. LAFC maintain their spot at the top of the ratings, while the Galaxy are high mid-table.
What we reasonably expect...
The Galaxy will try to use the ball, playing through midfield with methodical and intentional positioning and rotations. As they move into the final third, there will be a huge emphasis on Riqui Puig to get between the lines and play an unlocking pass to create a chance (usually the pass that leads to the final pass).
The Galaxy tend to look competent in Progression phases but poor/disinterested in every other phase. LAFC, conversely, are above-average in every phase. They will try to use the ball to create chances, playing through Ilie as a the pivot and finding the feet of the attackers in the pockets between the lines with the fullbacks arriving late into the wide channels. Their main advantage, though, is their ability to force turnovers in good spots and their speed/efficiency on attacking transitins.
The high-leverage variable will likely be...
The individual defending of Jalen Neal and Raheem Edwards.
This is one of the few MLS games in which it feels like we know how the game will play out; the Galaxy will look like LAFC's equal when the Galaxy are in possession. But LAFC will dominate the other phases and while the game looks even or slanted in the Galaxy's favor, LAFC will have more and higher quality chances.
The key moments will come when LAFC forces a turnover or recovers the ball in the middle third and plays the first pass to the front three; LAFC are ruthless when their mobile, smooth dribbling, confident attackers can run at defenders. It's almost certainly going to happen, and we can generally assume the level of LAFC's players. Our main variable, then, will be the performance of the Galaxy's defenders in those moments, specifically the more mobile and higher-upside Neal and Edwards. The Galaxy will llikely use a 3CB set in Progression moments, with Edwards holding as the left CB and Neal as the right CB. Both Neal and Edwards have the mobility, center of gravity, and instinct to deal with the open-space moments... on their best days.
So the main decision point, in what seems to be a well-priced game, is whether Neal and Edwards can win the 5-ish key moments when they are isolated in space against LAFC's attackers.