Check out our analysis, team news, line-ups and see our prediction for this match.
It is considered a battle of the United States DC United take Atlanta United at Audi Field in the MLS Eastern Conference on Saturday evening.
Only three points separate the two teams, but the home side are in sixth place well in the playoffs, while their opponents are in ninth place.
Prediction for this match
In 2021, Hernan Losada has seen his team score more than once in eight games this year but have conceded too many goals to get anywhere near the top of the table, especially in the last two games.
After a sobering 5-2 loss to Nashville SC on Saturday, another scoring game against the Eastern Conference Leaders New England Revolution followed on Wednesday.
Paul Arriola gave DC an early lead, only to exit the game moments later with an apparent left hamstring injury.
Two quick New England goals within four minutes put them in the lead, and a third belated secured the win, despite a belated consolation from Ramon Abila to make it 3-2.
There is certainly no shame in losing to the front runner, but Losada needs to find a way to prevent his team’s goals conceded with such obvious ease and ameliorate their poor away record – these two recent road losses make it seven in total this season.
DC may be above the playoff line early in the second half of the season, but if they want to stay in the top 7 and potentially make a strong run in the postseason, they’ll have to score some points both on their travels and against the league’s stronger teams .
Neither of these issues can play a role in this particular game, however, as DC plays at home against a side from Atlanta that has had some issues this year.
The Five Stripes experienced a painful, winless series of 12 games between May and August after a relatively promising start to the season.
They seem to have turned things around, however, thanks in part to the appointment of a new manager Gonzalo Pineda, and scored three straight wins with a 1-0 triumph over Toronto on Wednesday.
Ezequiel Barco scored the winning goal after 20 minutes – with a little help from a distractor – and the former Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan kept the Reds in check for the rest of the game.
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As mentioned, Arriola is likely to be sidelined for a few games now with a hamstring problem – a re-run of an injury he faced last month’s Concacaf Gold Cup for the U.S. men’s national team.
He is just one of a long list of missing injured for DC Brendan Hines-Ike with a hip injury, Adrien Perez with foot problems and Russell Canouse with ankle problem.
Nigel Robertha, Bill Hamida and Donovan pines are also still on the sidelines.
Atlanta is not lacking in problems either; Franco Ibarra stays away with a muscle injury, as well as Mohammed Adams and Jake Mulraney.
Emerson Hyndman is a long-term absence with an ACL injury, but there are some positive aspects to both Brooks Lennon and Luis Araujo Returning for the game against Toronto.
DC United possible starting line-up:
Kempin; Odoi-Atsem, diamond, pear tree; Yow, Asad, Felipe, Skundrich, Mora; Reyna, Flores
Atlanta United possible starting line-up:
Guzan; Bello, Walkes, Franco, Robinson, Lennon; Moreno, Sosa, Araujo; Barco, Martinez
Probability: DC United 2-1 Atlanta United
There will have to be something – either DC’s strong home record or Atlanta’s current winning streak. We think that the bottom line is that DC will just have too much for the crowd, but it should be an interesting fight.
Best betting tip for this match
Our expert tipster partners at footpredictions.com forecast less than 3.5 goals in this game. Click here to see more football predictions to see what else they are predicting for this game and for more proven soccer tips.Under 3.5: data