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LA Galaxy vs Minnesota United rounds off the Wednesday night action in a Major League Soccer Western Conference showdown in California. Greg Vanney’s side sit second from bottom but they still have a great chance of making the playoffs if they win their games in hand. Minnesota are one of the sides that could lose their spot if their poor run of form persists.
New signing Billy Sharp has been on song, the prolific scorer has already bagged three goals in his first five games. Minnesota’s Teemu Pukki and Emanuel Reynoso have been combining well up top.
It is an important game for the hosts to keep up their playoff charge. Here are the LA Galaxy vs Minnesota United predicted lineups.
LA Galaxy vs Minnesota United predicted lineups and news
Both sides have key players missing through long term injury, Javier “Chicharito” Hernández for the Galaxy and Finnish forward Robin Lod for the Loons.
LA Galaxy head into this match after a thrilling El Tráfico game, which ended in defeat and will have drained the players involved. Minnesota dominated their previous game versus Kansas, but lost to a single goal and suffered plenty of fouls.
Team news: LA Galaxy
The preferred formation has been a back four and Vanney has fielded his summer signing Maya Yoshida at every opportunity. His regular partner Chris Mavinga struggled against LAFC, and might be benched for Eriq Zavaleta.
New week. New focus. 🟢🟡🔴 pic.twitter.com/GqtCp473TH
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) September 18, 2023
Riqui Puig is the metronome in the middle that brings balance and rhythm to this team. Alongside him we could see Edwin Cerrillo return to the lineup having sat out the derby. Fans are hopeful for the return of Douglas Costa, he was another unused sub on Saturday.
Billy Sharp will continue to be the focal point in the forward line.
LA Galaxy predicted lineup: 4-3-3
Bond – Cuevas, Yoshida, Mavinga, Edwards – Puig, Rossell, Cerrillo – Costa, Sharp, Boyd
Team news: Minnesota United
The Loons lost their first match in seven against Kansas City, but they have still not been firing on all cylinders. Prior to that they had drawn three in four games, conceding in the first half in each of those matches. Adrian Heath might look to tinker with the team to make them more resistant in the opening stages.
— Minnesota United FC (@MNUFC) September 18, 2023
With that in mind we can expect to see Will Trapp slot back into central midfield to bring his experience. The 30 year old will be playing alongside Ján Gregus, recently acquired from Nashville, who has become a regular starter since his move.
Further up the pitch and the main man is former Premier League player Teemu Pukki, the Finn has scored in two of his last three away games. Argentinian playmaker Bebelo Reynoso will play just behind him, the former Boca Juniors star netted twice in this fixture last year. Playing wide we will likely see Hlongwane and Hassani Dotson who will also be asked to work off the ball.
Minnesota United predicted lineup: 4-2-3-1
Clair- Taylor, Boxall, Tapias, Rosales – Gregus, Trapp – Dotson, Reynoso, Hlongwane – Pukki
Will Douglas Costa play today?
The 33-year-old former Juventus and Bayern Munich winger was left unused on the bench against LAFC. The Brazilian, who wears number 10, hasn’t played a full ninety minutes since the Leagues Cup campaign. Fans will be desperate to see him return to form having recorded five assists in nine games between June and August.
The Galaxy’s form is much better when the right winger starts, they have lost just twice in the 10 games he has begun. At home the record is even stronger, Costa has started five, won three and drawn two in the Dignity Park Stadium.
The recent pattern has been for Vanney to use Costa more sparingly in away games than in home matches and we can expect that to continue. He had never been left on the bench for the duration of a game until the last match, far from being a snub it was a precautionary measure. Costa has started five of the last six home games, only missing the Houston Dynamo clash through injury. We expect to see him from the off on Wednesday night.
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