The home of sports games

The home of sports games

Los Angeles FC vs New York Red Bulls: MLS preview, tips and team news

Two of US soccer's best teams go head-to-head this weekend as MLS leaders Los Angeles FC welcome the New York Red Bulls to the Banc of California Stadium.

The hosts have claimed seven points from their last three league outings and lead the way in the combined conference table, while the Red Bulls are seeking to end a troubling run of form away from home.

RealSport101's Harry Smith is on hand to provide you with a comprehensive preview of this clash of the titans, complete with team news, betting tips and predicted lineups.

Los Angeles FC vs New York Red Bulls team news

Steven Cherundolo will finally be able to welcome star man and top scorer Carlos Vela back into the starting XI this weekend. The Mexican winger was been nursed back into the matchday squad against the Seattle Sounders and will be fit enough to feature from the off here.

The LAFC boss will likely stick with the 4-3-3 system after switching from the 3-4-1-2 that helped claim wins against Columbus Crew and San Jose Earthquakes, despite only claiming a draw last time out. One further change is expected from the home side though, with midfielder Kellyn Acosta in line for a recall.

Gerhard Struber will once again send his Red Bulls team out in a 3-4-2-1 system following a convincing win against Toronto FC last weekend. The visitors will be without star striker Patryk Klimala once again, but Tom Barlow could be the man to lead the line against LAFC after Omir Fernandez failed to impress last time out.

The Red Bulls have four confirmed absentees for the trip to Los Angeles with Serge Ngoma, Lucas Monzon and Andres Reyes joining Klimala on the injury list for Sunday's encounter.

Confirmed Absentees

Los Angeles FC: Diego Palacios, Julian Gaines, Erik Duenas

New York Red Bulls: Patryk Klimala, Serge Ngoma, Lucas Monzon, Andres Reyes

Predicted Lineups

Los Angeles FC (4-3-3): Crepeau; Hollingshead, Ibeagha, Palacios; Acosta, Cifuentes, Sanchez, Acosta; Vela, Arango, Opoku

New York Red Bulls (3-4-2-1): Coronel; Long, S.Nealis, Edwards; D.Nealis, Amaya, Casseres Jr, Tolkin; Luquinhas, Morgan; Barlow

Los Angeles FC vs New York Red Bulls score prediction

Los Angeles FC extended their unbeaten run to three MLS games last weekend after Cristian Arango's late goal helped the Black and Gold rescue a point from their trip to Seattle. LAFC have recovered well from a mid-season blip to maintain a two-point lead at the top of the Western Conference with a game in hand on second-placed Real Salt Lake.

Steven Cherundolo's side is top of the combined MLS table so far this season, largely thanks to some immense home form that has seen them lose just one of their eight MLS games at the Banc of California Stadium. No side in MLS has scored more goals than Los Angeles FC (30) this season.

Their visitors are no pushover themselves, withstanding a test from Bob Bradley's Toronto FC to claim a 2-0 home win. Gerhard Struber's side are currently sitting second in the Eastern Conference but will head into this game on a shaky run having won just two of their last seven league games.

The Red Bulls won each of their opening five away MLS games this season, but have since struggled on the road, claiming just a single point from their last three on their travels. This will represent a major test of Struber's side's credentials as they take on the best team in MLS this season.

Score Prediction: Los Angeles FC 2-1 New York Red Bulls

Harry Smith's Tip: LAFC First Team To Score

For more articles like this, take a look at our Sports page.