Preview: Los Angeles FC vs Minnesota United – predictions, team news, lineups

Los Angeles FC (LAFC) head coach Steve Cherundolo before the match on February 25, 2024

Sports Mole previews Thursday’s Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles FC and Minnesota United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Fourth Los Angeles FC take second place Minnesota United Thursday in a shock at the top of the Western Conference standings.

The hosts trail their opponents by just one point after 14 matches, but the visitors still have a game in hand to play.

Match Preview

© Reuters

Los Angeles has been off to a hot start since joining Major League Soccer as an expansion team in 2018, already earning third place for most Supporters’ Shields with its first-place finishes in 2019 and 2022.

They also won their first MLS Cup trophy in 2022 and nearly went back to back when reaching the final last season, ultimately losing 2-1 to Columbus Crew.

While they appear to be out of the race for a third Supporters’ Shield with Inter Miami CF and FC Cincinnati already holding 10 and 9 points leads respectively, Los Angeles is in a good position to qualify and challenge for a second Cup MLS.

Steven Cherundolowho has been in charge since January 2022, has his team fourth in the Western Conference heading into this match and a win could see them move into second place, ahead of Minnesota Utd.

A difficult start to the season has seen them win just three of their opening nine games, but a recent run of five straight wins in all competitions has them in great shape for this one.

Los Angeles have already lost to Minnesota Utd this year, a 2-0 defeat in their fourth game, but they have yet to lose at home this season, which will give them plenty of confidence here.

As for the visitors, they joined the division just a year before the hosts, but had a slightly more difficult time breaking into the league.

They have failed to qualify for the MLS Cup playoffs in three of the seven seasons they have competed in MLS thus far, recording their worst finish ever by finishing 2023 in 11th place in the conference.

Despite this, this season they have progressed enormously as they occupy second place in the Western Conference, four points behind leaders Real Salt Lake, but with the advantage of two games in hand over those around them.

A slight slip-up saw them lose two and draw between matchdays five and seven, but they quickly got back on track with four wins and two draws in the next six meetings.

They lead the Western Conference in away results, even though they have only played six times on the road, with every team from second to 12th playing between seven and nine times away.

The 11 matches between Minnesota Utd and Los Angeles were extremely difficult to arrange, with each team recording a win on three occasions and the other five ending in draws.

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:

Minnesota United Major League Soccer form:

Team News

© Reuters

The hosts will be without the services of five players for this clash with second-placed Minnesota Utd.

Ilie Sánchez, David Martinez, Kei Kamara And Lorenzo Dellavalle all missed the 1-0 win over Atlanta United in their previous outing and are not expected to feature in this one.

Edward Atuesta was sent off during that match for two yellow cards, leaving the 19-year-old Eric Duenas as a potential replacement in the middle of the park.

As for the visitors, Eric Ramsay will not be able to call upon the services of a maximum of three members of their squad.

Moses Nyeman remains a doubt for Minnesota Utd, while Hugo Bacharach is not expected to return from his injury until the end of next month.

Emmanuel Reynoso He is also not expected to play due to a series of off-field issues.

Possible Los Angeles FC starting lineup:
Lloris ; Murillo, Chanot, Long; Palencia, Tillman, Dueñas, Campos; Olivera, Bogusz, Bouanga

Possible Minnesota United starting lineup:
Sainte-Claire; Taylor, Arriaga, Boxall, Padelford, Rosales; Lod, Trapp, Harvey, Jeong; Oluwaseyi

We say: Los Angeles FC 1-1 Minnesota United

These two teams come into this match extremely evenly matched in all departments and with five of their 11 meetings ending in draws, we expect this one to follow that trend and finish tied.

For data analysis of most likely outcomes, scores and more for this match, please click here.

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