LA Galaxy v San Jose, Saturday July 13, 04:00 BST
After a couple of seasons in the doldrums, LA Galaxy are once again leading contenders for the Major League Soccer title, and they will be hoping to continue their good form against San Jose.
An Entertaining Rivalry
The rivalry between the Galaxy and the Earthquakes is one of the oldest in MLS. Known as the California Clasico, it has been keenly fought since the first season back in 1996, and was at its peak between 2001 and 2005, when the two franchises won four titles between them.
The recent head-to-head record shows that there is still little to choose between them. Galaxy have won four of their last ten, with San Jose winning three and three draws. And those games have tended to be high scoring affairs, producing an average of 3.67 in their last six meetings.
The star of the show for Galaxy is evergreen former Sweden international Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who has added his name to the cast of stars who have shone in Los Angeles since MLS began. He has once again led the way this season, with 13 goals and 3 assists and finding a way to stop him will be the main task for the Earthquakes at the Dignity Health Sports Park.
Despite his strong form, however, Galaxy have been a bit hit and miss in recent weeks, and although they remain second in the West, they have lost six of their last ten.
The Earthquakes had a slow start to the season, losing five of the first six, but they’ve found their form since, and have only lost two of their last thirteen. That run of form included a confidence boosting 3-0 victory over these rivals at the end of June and has enabled them to close the gap on Galaxy to just six points. With the prospect of both doing the double and boosting their own play-off hopes, there will be no lack of motivation for the Earthquakes this weekend, who are rated an 11/4 chance.
LA Galaxy are Evens favourites according to bookmakers, but the history of this volatile local rivalry suggests that we could be in for an unpredictable derby, with plenty of goalmouth action.