There is one match left in the MLS 2023 weekend and it comes along on Sunday evening where the champions Los Angeles FC play host to Real Salt Lake in a match in which second spot in the Western Conference is on the line.
Whoever wins this match will end the weekend in second spot and looking good for home matches in two of the three first round of the playoffs games. The losers will just have a bit of work to do to secure that status.
Where to watch
Regular readers will know it is Apple TV if you want full coverage of this match. You only need an Apple TV subscription to watch as it is available for all subscribers. The build-up begins at 1am ahead of a 1.25am kick off. Bookmaker streams will also show the game.
Los Angeles FC
The champions Los Angeles FC will have their character tested in this match because they go into it off the back of a penalty shootout loss to Tigres in the Campeones Cup in midweek, a competition they would have felt they could win but were unable to get over the line in it. Having passed up the Champions League in the final earlier in the campaign this year is in danger of being a so near but yet so far entity. LAFC will be looking to retain their MLS title and finishing as high up as possible will help with that.
Having big matches one after the other is nothing new for Los Angeles FC this term given how deep they went in the Champions League so physically I don’t see this one being a problem but emotionally there is only so much in reserve and that might be why their side gets freshened up, if indeed it does get freshened. LAFC are exciting in attack but have drawn their last two games 0-0 so a convincing display will be welcome here.
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Real Salt Lake
It feels like the season for the Real Salt Lake has fallen away from where it could have been but then you look at the league table and they sit in fifth and will move up to second with a win here. That is very much to their credit because although they have a recognisable name in this competition, they are not one of the biggest sides in the Western Conference. They are one of the better ones when it all clicks though and they have the chance to lay a bit of a marker down for what might be to come here.
In many ways Real Salt Lake are similar to Los Angeles FC in that they have an attack to be feared regardless of which combination gets called upon but at the same time there is always a feeling that you can have some joy when you go at their defence. Real Salt Lake had a good win over Vancouver last week which was important because they had lost four of their last five prior to that. Unlike some in MLS, RSL are able to win on the road with only Orlando having more wins on their travels this season.
While I respect Real Salt Lake on the road probably more than any other team in MLS, there is clearly something about playing Los Angeles FC that doesn’t agree with them. Los Angeles are still a relatively new team in MLS so these two sides have only met on 15 occasions competitively Real Salt Lake have won just one of those and have lost the last 12 between the two. There an argument that they get LAFC at a good time here but that was the case in the reverse meeting.
That came when LAFC were rotating regularly as they juggled a Champions League campaign with MLS action and the US Open Cup and still Real Salt Lake were beaten 3-0. LAFC upgraded that by a goal in their most recent battle in the Leagues Cup when they won 4-0 and whether they do or don’t change players here I think they have RSL covered. I’m a little surprised you can get a -1 Asian line on LAFC here. That means if that run of 12 straight wins between the two gets extended the worst you can do is get your money back but the last three Los Angeles wins have been by two or more so there is every chance you get the win from that bet.
Back Los Angeles FC (-1AH) to beat Real Salt Lake for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with Bet365
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