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Jul 29, 2021 at 3.30am UK
Los AngelesLos Angeles FC
2-2
Minnesota UtdMinnesota United
Vela (40'), Blackmon (77')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Reynoso (49'), Dotson (90+5')
Dibassy (59'), Trapp (67')

Preview: Los Angeles FC vs. Minnesota United - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Los Angeles FC will look to defeat Minnesota United for only the second time in franchise history when the two sides meet at Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday.

The Black-and-Gold erased a two-goal deficit this past weekend to draw the Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2, while the Loons scored two late goals to edge the Portland Timbers 2-1.


Match preview

From the international break at the end of May until now, Los Angeles FC have come a long way, losing only two of their eight fixtures in that space and sitting in a comfortable position in the Western Conference, in fifth place with 22 points after 15 matches.

They may be around the position that many of us had expected in the table, but manager Bob Bradley believes that his side are still making some critical errors which are hurting their results.

Last weekend, they started slowly against one of the teams near the bottom of the standings in the Vancouver Whitecaps, conceding two goals in the first 38 minutes before salvaging a point.

Starting matches poorly has been a problem area for Bradley and his team, who have conceded three first-half goals over their last two fixtures.

With their next two games against clubs who are currently in a playoff position out west (Minnesota and Sporting Kansas City), the hope is that they will be a lot sharper knowing the strength of their opponents in all facets of the game.

LAFC have only got one out of a possible six points over their last two games against sides who are on the outside of the playoff picture at the moment.

Minnesota United are a much different team than the one we saw begin this season with four defeats, as they come into this match having won two in a row and sitting in sixth, just a point back of LAFC.

In their last 10 games, the Loons have lost just once and collected 21 points in the process, thanks to many tweaks and adjustments made by manager Adrian Heath.

Over that stretch, the most notable thing that they have fixed is their leaky defence, which allowed 10 goals in their first four matches.

Since their four-match losing run, Heath has alternated between a 4-1-4-1, 4-2-3-1 and 4-4-2 formation and their defensive game has improved tremendously, allowing only seven goals over their last 10 games.

They may be the second-lowest scoring team in their conference, with only 15 goals scored so far, but over their previous 10 games, they have conceded less than a goal a game on average, maintaining five clean sheets in that span.

Their play late in matches has also come a long way, as they conceded six of their first 10 goals this season in the second half, but over their last 10 fixtures, four of their six game-winning goals were scored in the final 20 minutes.

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

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W



Team News

LA will be without striker Kwadwo Opoku who has a knee injury, while midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, who is still on international duty for Canada at the Gold Cup has been traded to the Colorado Rapids along with a 2022 first-round SuperDraft pick in exchange for $1 million in General Allocation money and a 2022 international roster slot.

Bradley made two changes to their starting back five this past weekend from their previous match, with Raheem Edwards starting at full-back instead of Diego Palacios, while Jesus Murillo replaced Eddie Segura.

Murillo is second in MLS in interceptions with 34, while midfielder Jose Cifuentes moved into a tie with his teammate Diego Rossi for the team lead in goals this season, notching the equaliser with 15 minutes remaining on Saturday, his fifth of this campaign.

Minnesota will be without a pair of centre-backs for this match, as Ike Opara has a concussion and Michael Boxall suffered a hamstring injury in mid-July.

Tyler Miller has been spectacular in goal for the Loons since taking the starting role away from Dayne St. Clair, with five clean sheets, which is good for third in MLS.

St. Clair is with the Canadian national team for the Gold Cup, while Robin Lod has scored a goal in each of his last two matches and Emanuel Reynoso has been a strong contributor in the midfield with 42 key passes for the Loons, second only to Revs midfielder Carles Gil.

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Sisniega; Kim, Blackmon, Segura, Murillo, Palacios; Blessing, Cifuentes, Baird; Vela, Rossi

Minnesota United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Metanire, Kallman, Dibassy, Gasper; Gregus, Reynoso, Trapp, Finlay; Lod, Hunou


We say: Los Angeles FC 1-1 Minnesota United

The Black-and-Gold have never lost at home this year and have scored in every one of their games at Banc of California Stadium, but their last three goals conceded at home were in the first half, which has forced them to abandon their original game plan.

At last Minnesota are in the form we all expected they would be, and they will be full of confidence, having handed Seattle their first defeat of the year and then putting forth a great effort against a strong side in Portland.



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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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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5MirandesMirandes6312108210
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8CartagenaCartagena630358-39
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11Huesca62138717
12Fuenlabrada61415417
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14GironaGirona621356-17
15Real Valladolid621357-27
16Burgos61325416
17Real Sociedad B613245-16
18LugoLugo613279-26
19Real ZaragozaZaragoza613246-26
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