Friday, July 12, 2024

Chicago Fire v LA Galaxy: Joveljic eyeing top spot as visitors target nine-point week

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Jun 2024

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Dejan Joveljic has his eyes on the Western Conference summit as LA Galaxy bid to make it a nine-point week on Saturday, when they face the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field.

The Galaxy have won back-to-back games against Houston Dynamo (2-1) and FC Dallas (3-1) and sit second in the West, just two points behind Real Salt Lake.

Greg Vanney’s team have now lost just one of their last nine matches (four wins, four draws), but Joveljic wants even more, starting in Chicago.

“We would like to win four or five games in a row,” the forward said. “But first, we have to win three and then we will see. We are in second place, so it’s good, but it could be better.

“In the playoffs, I would like to start with the first game at home. So, that means we have to be in the top four teams but, of course, our top goal is to be first.”

Chicago, meanwhile, are winless in nine MLS matches (four draws, five defeats) following their 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Wednesday.

Only the New England Revolution, with seven points, sit below them in the Eastern Conference standings. However, boss Frank Klopas has seen signs of improvement.

“I think in these last two games, we’ve changed how we wanted to play. We haven’t got the wins, but I feel we’re improving as a team,” he said.

“There’s a big belief in the group, but there’s also frustration, for sure. There are a lot of emotions because of where we are.

“We have to keep going. It’s great that we’re playing on Saturday again, it’s going to be a great crowd, and we have to come out with the same attitude against Galaxy.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers

Cuypers scored the Fire’s goal in their draw with Orlando on Wednesday.

The Belgian forward has now either scored (four) or assisted (one) five of Chicago’s last nine MLS goals.

LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig

While Gabriel Pec assisted Joveljic for Galaxy’s first goal on Wednesday, Puig scored the third (Joveljic netted the second from the penalty spot).

At least one of Pec or Puig have been involved in 12 of the Galaxy’s last 13 non-penalty goals in MLS, including the last nine in a row.

MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY

Galaxy are unbeaten in six straight MLS matches (two wins, four draws), including winning their last two in a row.

This is LA’s 18th two-match winning streak since the start of the 2021 season, but Galaxy have not won three straight matches in all competitions since a four-match streak between August and September 2020.

Galaxy have a great chance to achieve that feat this week, though, with Chicago winless in nine league games. They have gone 10 or more consecutive matches without a victory in a single regular season three times before, most recently between April and May 2022.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chicago Fire – 32.9%

LA Galaxy – 41.5%

Draw – 25.6%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.

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