John Todd/ISI Photos for Getty Images. Pictured: San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski, left, and teammate Judson.
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That is the storyline heading into Sunday’s showdown between San Jose and the Los Angeles Galaxy, highlighting Major League Soccer’s busy card.
The Earthquakes hit rock bottom in their season Thursday, suffering an unreal 7-1 shellacking against Seattle. San Jose, which had a nice showing at the MLS is Back tournament earlier in the summer, trailed 5-0 at the half and never got back in the match.
In contrast, Los Angeles has been one of the hottest clubs in the entire league. The Galaxy are unbeaten since the restart after the Orlando showcase event.
Most recently, the storied franchise earned another El Trafico win — a 3-0 rout of Los Angeles Football Club — to continue its tear through its Western Conference schedule.
Looking at the data and statistics, San Jose is one of the worst clubs in the entire league with 6.6 expected goals and a brutal 15.6 expected goals against for a -9.0 xGDiff number, along with a -1.50 xGDiff/90 minutes.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
On the other side, Los Angeles is obviously much better than its counterpart in all categories (8.9 xGF/6.8 xGA for +2.1 xGDiff and +0.46 xGDiff/90), which means it could get ugly tonight at Avaya Stadium in San Jose.
With that all in mind, I think this match is going to be loaded with scoring chances for each team. These clubs faced each other Aug. 29 and combined for five goals in the Galaxy’s 3-2 home victory. Three of the last four matches have seen a combined total of four goals or more, and I see the offenses continuing their recent dominance in the series.
The total is sitting at 3.5 goals, but I am going to take it down to three goals at -165 and play it with confidence. If you want to roll the dice and try getting a slightly better number in the -125/-130 neighborhood, give it a shot.
I’m also going to sprinkle a little on Chris Wondolowski to score any time. The San Jose veteran and league’s all-time leading scorer has to be embarrassed after Thursday’s debacle, which is going to have him fired up for this contest.
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