The reigning MLS champions travel to the Pacific Northwest on Saturday for an important clash, as LAFC visit the Seattle Sounders.
Both teams have already claimed a pair of victories in the league, although Seattle has played an extra match in which it suffered defeat. The Sounders are dealing with some injury issues in the forward line, which could be bad news against an LAFC side loaded with talent.
Can they overcome those issues and get another big win at home, or will the visitors continue their dominant start to the campaign? We find out in our Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC picks and predictions for Saturday, March 18.
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC best odds
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC picks and predictions
For casual fans, this matchup is one of the best you’ll see all season. Two teams loaded with talent will be going at it for 90-plus minutes with the goal of getting all three points. Seattle’s fans are rabid, making Lumen Field a difficult place for any team to play.
In fact, it’s been a nightmare for the visiting side at times. Prior to last year’s 1-1 draw between these two, LAFC had lost four straight visits to the Emerald City. They were held without a goal in two of those matches, conceding at least two in all four outings.
There should’ve been more goals than just the two we saw last year, with the teams combining to take 24 shots, half of which were on target. A combined 10 saves made on the day between Stefan Frei and Maxime Crepeau denied fans bigger numbers on the scoreboard.
Match fatigue could be an issue for LAFC. The Seattle match marks their fourth fixture in 10 days, and legs could be a tad bit weary, especially in defense. That said, LAFC have depth at every position, and as they showed with seven goals in their opening two matches in the league, they’ve got plenty of firepower as well.
Seattle failed to score in its first away match of the season, a 1-0 defeat at Cincinnati, despite having a man advantage over the final 10 minutes. But it’s also capable of putting up big numbers, with Jordan Morris already finding the back of the net three times this season.
Both teams rank in the Top 4 in MLS in expected goals, which makes sense given their ability to score. They’ve also allowed only three goals between them over five matches. However, neither team has faced a real goal-scoring threat this season, with their five combined opponents having put just 11 shots on goal.
That won’t be the case on Saturday. Neither of these teams is in the business of bunkering down and focusing on defending, and both squads have the quality in midfield and the pace in attack to turn this into an up-and-down affair.
That’s why I’m skipping the juiced line on the Over 2.5 and attacking the Asian total. Back the Over 2.75 as your best bet, in a match that could easily see four goals between these two teams.
My best bet: Over 2.75 Asian total (-110 at DraftKings)
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Seattle Sounders vs LAFC side analysis
It’s difficult to go against Seattle at home, even when the opponent is as powerful as LAFC, but last season Lumen Field wasn’t the fortress it typically has been. The Sounders managed just 1.76 points per contest at home, which was only 12th in MLS. They averaged nearly two goals a match, outscoring their opponents by 10 goals over the course of the season.
LAFC’s 1.53 points per match away from home was topped by only two teams a year ago, and while it wasn’t in MLS, their only away match in 2023 saw them defeat LD Alajuelense 3-0 last week in CONCACAF Champions League.
LAFC’s only defeat in four across all competitions came a few days ago, when the Liga MX side won 2-1 at LAFC but the hosts didn’t go all-out given their advantage in the tie. Seattle is unbeaten in two at home but is coming off a whimper of a performance against Cincinnati in which it lost away.
Seattle is favored with LAFC being the second choice, and a draw being the least expected outcome. That said, I think the draw may actually have the best value of the 3-way line. I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see a share of the spoils between two sides drew this same fixture a season ago.
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC Over/Under analysis
Of LAFC’s four matches in all competitions this season, none have seen fewer than three goals scored and two have gone past that mark.
LAFC themselves have scored at least twice in each of their last five matches in MLS, dating back to last season, and all five have gone Over the 2.5 mark as well.
Seattle has scored six goals over its two home fixtures this season. The Sounders are averaging better than 15 shots per contest, although the loss of Heber to injury could hurt a bit as he’s already scored twice.
LAFC’s 17 away matches a year ago, including the playoffs, saw an average of 2.94 goals scored. Meanwhile, 2.82 goals were scored on average in Seattle’s 17 home tilts.
Four of the last six meetings between these two at Lumen Field have featured at least three goals. Four of those six have also seen both teams score.
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC game info
|Location:||Lumen Field, Seattle, WA|
|Date:||Saturday, March 18, 2023|
|Time:||4:00 p.m. ET|
|TV:||FOX, Apple TV+|
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC key injuries
Seattle Sounders: Raul Ruidiaz F (Doubtful), Obed Vargas M (Out), Heber F (Out).
LAFC: Maxime Crepeau GK (Out), Ryan Hollingshead D (Out).
Seattle Sounders vs LAFC weather
When the match kicks off Saturday afternoon, it’ll be a beautiful day in Seattle. No rain is expected, and temperatures will be in the mid-60s with plenty of sunshine.