St. Louis City v Los Angeles FC: Carnell hopes to continue ‘buzz’ around Citypark

St. Louis City v Los Angeles FC: Carnell hopes to continue 'buzz' around Citypark

St. Louis City head coach Bradley Carnell is aiming to continue the “buzz” around their Citypark home when Los Angeles FC visit for the midweek MLS clash.

Carnell’s side maintained their unbeaten run at home this campaign after sweeping aside Chicago Fire 3-1 in their last outing.

They have four wins and three draws at Citypark in the league this year – with Carnell desperate to keep that streak up.

“There’s a certain buzz and an energy in this stadium and a certain enjoyment and how we like to play,” Carnell said.

“I’m very happy with the way we are continuing to apply the principles, to apply the game plan, and very happy to have a response when we conceded the equalizer [against the Fire].”

St. Louis, who are ninth in the Western Conference standings, may fancy a third straight home win at Citypark but LAFC have also won their last three matches.

Steve Cherundolo’s men eased past Vancouver Whitecaps 3-0 on Sunday thanks to Cristian Olivera’s brace.

“It’s been a long road for Kike [Olivera] to become more prolific. He’s put a lot of individual work in the training field with coaches,” said head coach Cherundolo.

“He has the ability also to learn and get better. I think that’s what you’re seeing, so we’re very happy with his progression and his production.”

Full-back Sergi Palencia, who plays behind Olivera on the right flank, echoed Cherundolo’s sentiment.

“It’s just marvellous to see how hard this man works,” Palencia added. “We have to tell him to take it easy and slow down at training because this guy only goes one level and that’s full intensity.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Rasmus Alm

Rasmus Alm scored 84 seconds into St. Louis City’s 3-1 win over Chicago, the earliest goal in MLS play for City.

Alm’s strike was 28 metres from goal, the longest non-free-kick goal in club history – a warning sign that LAFC must heed from set-piece chances.

Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga

Denis Bouanga notched three assists against the Whitecaps, his sixth MLS game with three or more goal contributions since the beginning of last season.

No other MLS player has more than four such games in that time (Lionel Messi, Christian Benteke – four each).

MATCH PREDICTION – ST. LOUIS CITY WIN

St. Louis are the favourites for this clash, coming off the back of their 3-1 win over the Fire.

Carnell’s side are unbeaten in their last 19 MLS matches when not conceding multiple goals in a game, with that defensive solidity the key to St. Louis’ success.

Yet it is by no means a foregone conclusion for another home win here.

LAFC collected four points in two meetings with St. Louis City last season, winning 3-0 at home and playing a scoreless draw away, becoming only one of four teams to keep a clean sheet at Citypark in the regular season.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis City win – 44.5%

Los Angeles FC win – 28.1%

Draw – 27.4%

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