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Sep 16, 2021 at 3.30am UK
LA GalaxyLos Angeles Galaxy
1-1
HoustonHouston Dynamo
Hernandez (61')
dos Santos (69')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Picault (13')
Vera (51'), Ceren (65'), Valentin (80'), Quintero (86'), Garcia (90+4')

Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston Dynamo, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Los Angeles Galaxy can take a big stride towards finishing in the playoff positions with victory against Thursday's visitors Houston Dynamo heading into the final 10 games in the Western Conference.

Greg Vanney's side currently sit fourth and will have top spot in their sights , but they will need to end the season very strongly to make up that eight-point gap to league leaders Seattle Sounders, while Houston are focusing on not finishing bottom of the Western Conference.


Match preview

LA Galaxy are not in the type of form which will help them make a late charge for top spot, only winning once in their last six outings, and on Saturday they recorded their second draw in a row.

With 10 minutes left to play against Colorado Rapids, Vanney's team were heading for defeat, but second-half substitute Samuel Grandsir made sure of a point for Galaxy when he levelled the scoreline to 1-1 after 80 minutes.

The biggest boost from that game was the return of striker Javier Hernandez, who started for the first time since the end of June, and he will be looking to finish the season as well as he started it, when he netted 10 times in 11 appearances.

Galaxy's defensive stats have not helped their title charge this campaign, conceding 36 goals in 23 games and only managing four clean sheets throughout, but they will be confident that they can add to their clean sheet tally this Thursday as Houston have not been very prolific in front of goal.

Also, LA Galaxy's home defensive record is much better than their away stats, with the side conceding eight more goals in one less game away from Dignity Health Sports Park.

Houston will not be too confident when travelling to California as they have not won a game away from home all season. Although, they did register an important win last time out in the fight to avoid bottom spot.

Austin FC visited the BBVA Stadium on Sunday and it was a comfortable outing for Houston, who were 2-0 ahead at half time thanks to an early strike from Griffin Dorsey and Fabrice Picault.

Picault produced a brace in that game and scored his eighth goal of the campaign in the second half, securing a 3-0 victory for Tab Ramos's side - their first win since May 23.

However, Thursday's challenge against LA Galaxy is not going to be as straightforward, and perhaps Dynamo will be looking for a point to take home with them considering their away form is poor this season.

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

Houston Dynamo Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Vanney has a fully fit squad to pick from on Thursday, which the manager will be delighted with and hope that his players can stay injury-free until the end of the season to build momentum, potentially heading into the final series playoffs.

LA Galaxy played a back three last time out against Colorado Rapids, but Vanney is expected to revert back to his favoured defensive four, consisting of Niko Hamalainen, Derrick Williams, Sega Coulibaly and Julian Araujo.

Hernandez will lead the line for the home side, and he will be aiming to complete more of the 90 minutes than he managed on his first game back, when he was substituted after 62 minutes.

Houston continue to be without attacker Corey Baird and youngster Nico Lemoine but Picault has bettered his stats from last season and has become Dynamo's biggest threat at the top end of the pitch.

The visitors will line up with a back four, consisting of Adam Lundqvist, Teenage Hadebe, Tim Parker and Zarek Valentin, with that unit being a quite consistently chosen defence by Ramos.

Los Angeles Galaxy possible starting lineup:
Bond; Hamalainen, Williams, Coulibaly, Araujo; Ravelson, Dos Santos; Cabral, Vazquez, Lletget; Hernandez

Houston Dynamo possible starting lineup:
Nelson; Lundqvist, Hadebe, Parker, Valentin; Corona, Vera; Picault, Quintero, Pasher; Urruti


We say: Los Angeles Galaxy 2-0 Houston Dynamo

LA Galaxy are strong favourites for this tie, especially with the return of Hernandez, who will be keen to get back on the scoresheet, and in a home fixture against a side which is towards the bottom of the table.

Houston have not won away from home all season, and that is unlikely to change this week given the strength of LA Galaxy's squad, who will want to return to winning ways and secure their place in the playoffs.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City24115844281638
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112929026
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318
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