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Aug 7, 2022 at 3am UK at Rio Tinto Stadium
Salt Lake
1 - 4
Los Angeles
Cordova (12')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Arango (9', 60'), Acosta (17'), Bale (87')
Acosta (40'), Chiellini (69')

Preview: Real Salt Lake vs. Los Angeles FC - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Real Salt Lake host Los Angeles FC in the MLS Western Conference on Saturday.

The visitors top the table after an excellent season so far, with Salt Lake three points clear inside the playoff positions.


Match preview

After reaching the Conference Finals in last season's MLS playoffs, where they were beaten 2-0 by Portland Timbers, Claret and Cobalt fans will be expecting their side to reach the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

Head coach Pablo Mastroeni, who is coming up to a year in charge of the club, has largely had a positive impact since being promoted from assistant coach, boasting a 41% win rate from 41 matches in charge so far.

However, just one win from seven games heading into Saturday's tough encounter against table-toppers Los Angeles has seen the 65-time USA international come under some pressure, especially with other sides closing the gap on them inside the playoff positions.

Indeed, should results go against them and Los Angeles win as expected, Mastroeni's side could find themselves outside of the playoff positions by the end of the weekend.

Los Angeles were pipped to a playoff position by their forthcoming opponents last season, but they are almost certain to qualify this time around.

Steve Cherundolo's side have lost just four of their 22 league matches so far this season, having put together a four-match winning streak ahead of the weekend's trip to Salt Lake City.

Having splashed out on the likes of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini, there is real pressure on the 87-capped USA international to deliver the club's first MLS Cup since they were formed in 2014.

The 43-year-old will only hope his side have not peaked too early, but with more to come from Bale as his match fitness increases, that seems an unlikely proposition.

Real Salt Lake Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

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


Team News

Salt Lake will be without their captain Damir Kreilach, as the midfielder recovers from a back injury.

Forward Bobby Wood and left-back Zack Farnsworth are also on the treatment table.

Mastroeni may select the same XI which showed great spirit to twice come from behind and claim a 2-2 draw away to San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday, with Jefferson Savarino's equaliser deep in injury-time sparking wild celebrations.

Los Angeles, meanwhile, will travel without Erik Duenas, as the right-back continues his rehabilitation from a cruciate ligament rupture.

Otherwise, though, Cherundolo appears to have a clean bill of health to select from, with Bale likely to continue building his match fitness from the bench.

Captain Carlos Vela will start from the right flank after bagging the winner against Seattle Sounders last time out.

Real Salt Lake possible starting lineup:
MacMath; Herrera, Glad, Silva, Brody; Chang, Besler, Loffelsend, Meram; Cordova, Savarino

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Escobar, Murillo, Chiellini, Palacios; Cifuentes, Ilie, Blessing; Vela, Arango, Opoku


We say: Real Salt Lake 1-2 Los Angeles FC

We expect the visitors to continue their winning run, with Bale potentially making a decisive impact from the bench.

Salt Lake have not been in a good run of form lately and may find the pressure of potentially falling outside of the play-off spots a little much to bare.


For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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.Over 2.5:data

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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022
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