New England Revolution v LAFC, Sunday, August 4, 00:30
Runaway MLS leaders LAFC head east this weekend and are rated as strong favourites to get a win against one of the league’s in-form teams.
LAFC Happy on East Coast
This will be only the second meeting between these sides, following LAFC’s inclusion in MLS last season. Their previous meeting, at the Banc of California Stadium in September last year ended in a 1-1 draw thanks to a late equaliser by New England’s Brandon Bye. But Bob Bradley’s league leaders have a good record on the road against Eastern Conference contenders. So far this season they have drawn with NYCFC and beaten Columbus 3-0 and DC United 4-0.
LAFC have lost only three games in MLS so far this season, but their dominance was shaken by a 3-2 defeat to LA Galaxy, after which Bradley admitted that their rivals had shown more intensity. A return to winning form was required, and LAFC did just that in their next game, beating reigning MLS Cup holders Atlanta United 3-2 last weekend. That result means they go into this game eleven points clear of Seattle Sounders at the top of the Western Conference, and they have the luxury of playing seven of their remaining twelve games at home.
A Quiet Revolution
New England started the season with eight defeats in twelve games, which was enough to see off head coach Brad Friedel. The turnaround, under the experienced Bruce Arena, has been spectacular. Revolution are undefeated in eleven games, a streak that has included an impressive 2-1 away win against LA Galaxy and a brace of draws with DC United. They are up to seventh in the Eastern Conference table, but their ambition runs higher than that. They also go into this game on the back of three clinical victories over Vancouver, Cincinnati and Orlando.
Tough Trip for LAFC
Given their form so far this season, it is no surprise to see LAFC go into this game as strong favourites. They are rated as a 13/10 shot by many bookmakers, with New England priced up at around the 9/4 mark. But the relatively short price of the draw (5/2) reflects the fact that this could be a tight game between two in-form teams and LAFC could be in for a tough afternoon.