Galaxy-Whitecaps FC Preview

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Marc Dos Santos will not leave anything to chance as Vancouver Whitecaps seek revenge in Saturday’s clash with LA Galaxy.

The Caps thought they had snatched a 92nd-minute equaliser in the previous meeting between the sides in June, only for Efrain Alvarez to earn Galaxy a 2-1 win a minute later.

Vancouver have failed to win any of their past eight games, including that narrow loss to Galaxy, but Dos Santos is confident in his team’s ability to return to winning ways.

“We’ve been in the video room preparing every detail for the Galaxy game,” he said. “It was a very close game here when we lost in injury time and we hope we can reverse that.

“They don’t press very high, it’s a midfield that has quality. Especially, when they find (Victor) Vazquez between lines, and then Vazquez looks for those players wide that are fast.

“But we also feel they have areas they keep struggling with during the season that we could exploit.”

Galaxy have been in good form in recent weeks, winning three of their last four matches to climb up to third in the Western Conference.

Greg Vanney’s side have three road games in a row, following up this match against the Caps with trips to Real Salt Lake and FC Dallas in the space of a week.

“We want to get off to a good start in the first of those,” Vanney said. “We know we’ll have to manage it a little bit.

“We have ideas and plans but we’ll have to see how the guys come out of each game, plus each result.

“There’s nothing concrete in place because anything concrete tends to fall apart anyway. We’ll look to adjust our shape and use different players in different ways.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Vancouver Whitecaps – Deiber Caicedo

Brian White and Lucas Cavallini started the previous encounter with Galaxy, but the latter is missing this weekend due to international commitments.Caicedo and Cristian Dajome flanked White against Real Salt Lake and will likely do so here. Caicedo had some promising moments in that game but failed to score from any of his four attempts.

LA Galaxy – Ethan Zubak

Javier Hernandez has once again been ruled out of Saturday’s match through injury, so Zubak is expected to lead the line.

The 23-year-old forward scored the third of Galaxy’s goals in their straightforward win against Dallas to get off the mark for the campaign in his 11th appearance.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– The Galaxy and Whitecaps have met 13 times since the start of the 2016 season with each side winning five times and playing three draws. The Galaxy have outscored Vancouver by one goal, 15-14, in those contests.

– The Whitecaps are winless in eight games (D2 L6) dating back to early May. Vancouver have allowed multiple goals in each of their last seven matches, including a 4-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in their last match.

– The Galaxy picked up their eighth win of the season in their last match, beating FC Dallas 3-1. The Galaxy have more points through 12 matches (24) than they collected in all 22 games during the 2020 season (22).

– Vancouver are the only team in MLS without a goal in the opening 15 minutes of matches this season, though they have scored six times in the opening 15 minutes of the second half, tied with the Red Bulls for most in that timeframe in the league.

– The Galaxy have won their last two matches away from Dignity Health Sports Park, including a 2-1 win over Vancouver in Sandy, Utah on June 23. Los Angeles had lost seven of their previous eight on the road before winning consecutive away games.

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