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Behind Enemy Lines: Scouting L.A. Galaxy

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FC Dallas hosts league leading L.A. Galaxy on Sunday with a chance at clinching a playoff spot

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Last week, FC Dallas had the chance to clinch its playoff berth but failed to do so against Vancouver Whitecaps.

The Hoops will have the chance to redeem themselves Sunday when they host one of the league's hottest teams right now, LA Galaxy.

Injury Report

L.A. is only suffering from one long-term injury heading into Sunday's match at Toyota Stadium. However, it is questionable if one of their midfielders will see minutes against FCD after an injury from last week.

Out: D Todd Dunivant (left groin tear)

Questionable: M Robbie Rogers (sore left hamstring)

International Duty

Injuries will not be the downfall for the Galaxy. It will be the amount of players absent due to international duty. Landon Donovan should be able to make it back to the lineup for Sunday's game after playing his last match with the U.S. Men's National Team. Omar Gonzalez, however, is questionable with Tuesday's game against Honduras in hindsight. USMNT Jurgen Klinnsman has not approved L.A.'s request for Gonzalez's return to the squad for its match against FCD. The Galaxy will also miss Oscar Sorto who is playing with the U-23 USMNT. Moreover, L.A. will not see star forward Robbie Keane who is with his Irish squad for EURO qualifiers.

Probable Lineup

Former USMNT Bruce Arena has stuck with the 4-4-2 formation for his squad, and it has proved keen for Galaxy's push toward the Supporters Shield. Defender Dan Gargan got the clear to return to full training and should a start against FCD.

GK: Jaime Penedo; LB: A.J. DeLaGarza; CB: Leonardo, Tommy Meyer; RB: Dan Gargan; LM: Landon Donovan; CM: Juninho, Baggio Husidic; RM: Stefan Ishikazi; F: Gyasi Zardes, Alan Gordon

Key Matchup

Michel vs. Juninho - With midfielder Marcel Sarvas out due to caution accumulation, Juninho will have a lot more responsibility in the central midfield for his team. Sarvas has 11 assists on the season while Juninho only has four. Michel will need to continue to hinder Juninho's performance and not allow him to have a big game and find Zardes upfront.

Keys to Three Points

Stopping Zardes. The young forward will be getting a lot of the balls that would be intended for Keane upfront. If L.A. wants the Shield, the Galaxy will need the three points in Frisco through Zardes finishing chances. Matt Hedges should be able to hold the backline and not let Zardes get in behind.

Controlling the flanks. The Galaxy has been dangerous down the sides in recent matches. Stringing together passes down the sides for early crosses or balls into the corner have worked well for the squad. Kellyn Acosta will have a fun time trying to contain Donovan and even AJ DeLaGarza. Luckily, Keane will not be on the receiving end of those crosses, but Zardes and Gordon can still easily finish any ball.

Make use of Akindele. After a strong summer, Tesho Akindele's name has not been mentioned too often since. With Blas Perez away with Panama, Akindele will have too fill those missing boots in the attacking third. Akindele applied for U.S. citizenship back in early September. Playing against one of the best players in U.S. history, Akindele should have a performance that shows why he should be playing alongside players of Donovan's caliber nationally.