Second-placed Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference take on Los Angeles FC in the first round of the MLS playoffs on Wednesday at 3:30am (UK time).
The Sounders are reigning champions and begin their playoff campaign against seventh-placed Los Angeles FC, a club against whom they have enjoyed relative success over in recent times, winning two of the previous three meetings this season.
In fact, this will be the fifth encounter between these clubs this campaign, with each side enjoying two wins apiece, but Brian Schmetzer will be the more confident of the two coaches heading into this contest, with his men having lost just once in the previous six games.
LAFC, meanwhile, are one of the division’s most inconsistent sides, currently sitting seventh in the Western Conference with only one win on the road, which does not bode well.
Where to watch Seattle Sounders vs LAFC on TV:
UK: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Football & FreeSports
Where to live stream Seattle Sounders vs LAFC:
UK: Bet365* are streaming this match live for account holders. Those without a Bet365 account already who are interested in streaming Seattle Sounders vs Los Angeles FC live can take advantage of this service by following the simple steps below.
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Seattle Sounders & Los Angeles FC’s previous line-ups:
Seattle Sounders (vs San Jose Earthquakes): Frei; Leerdam, Andrade, Arreaga, Tolo; Roldan, Paulo, Lodeiro, Jones, Morris; Ruidiaz.
Los Angeles FC (vs Portland Timbers): Vermeer; Segura, Blackmon, Murillo, Harvey; Atuesta, Cifuentes*, Blessing; Vela, Torres, Rossi*.
LAFC have not returned from the international break unscathed, with Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios all at serious risk of missing Wednesday’s match, which could lead to a huge reshuffle from Bob Bradley.
Players to watch:
Seattle Sounders: There is a reason the Washington-based club are currently second in the Western Conference, and that can largely be attributed to the performances of club captain Nicolas Lodeiro. The 60-capped Uruguay international has played for some top clubs across his career, including Ajax and Boca Juniors, but since 2016 the 31-year-old has been donning the green and blue colours of the Sounders, and has subsequently become a club icon. A traditional No 10 in every sense, the diminutive skipper’s creativity will be key to exposing LAFC’s soft defensive underbelly and creating chances aplenty for in-form marksman and fellow South American attacker, Raul Ruidiaz.
Los Angeles FC: The Sounders may boast a technically-astute forward in Lodeiro, but LAFC also possess their own talismanic force capable of deciding the outcome of games almost single-handedly. Former Arsenal forward Carlos Vela likewise wears the captain’s armband and comes with a repertoire of attacking riches. His creative ability surging forward will provide LAFC a menacing outlet in attacking transitions, while his movement and positional awareness should give the Sounders’ backline plenty of food for thought. This game could hinge on which skipper turns up on the day.
Scoreline prediction: Seattle Sounders 1-1 Los Angeles FC
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