MX23RW : Thursday, June 30 01:26:34| >> :600:106638:106638:
[monks data]
Apr 16, 2022 at 11pm UK at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Atlanta
0 - 0
Cincinnati

Almada (8'), Sejdic (42'), Campbell (84')
FT

Hagglund (44'), Kubo (45'), Badji (90+4')
Hagglund (77')

Preview: Atlanta United vs. FC Cincinnati - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Atlanta United and FC Cincinnati, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A pair of Eastern Conference teams coming off narrow defeats in their previous games will resume their Major League Soccer campaigns on Saturday as FC Cincinnati battle Atlanta United at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Five Stripes saw their three-game winning streak snapped last week, losing 1-0 to Charlotte FC, while the Orange and Blue had the week off after beginning this month with a 4-3 defeat at home to CF Montreal.


Match preview

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda on the bench against CF Montréal during the second half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 19, 2022© Reuters

After an up and down road trip for Gonzalo Pineda and his squad in which they won one game 1-0, but lost their second match by that same scoreline, they will be excited about returning home for this fixture.

Atlanta are undefeated at Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season and have not gone pointless in the Peach State since falling 2-0 to Nashville SC in August of last year.

Overall, the Five Stripes have been able to create more scoring opportunities consistently this season, but there are still issues surrounding their movement off the ball; an area that they struggled with last week in North Carolina.

When you possess the most expensive roster in MLS, the expectations are sky-high, and to this point, we have not seen them play a solid 90 minutes.

Some high-priced individuals have carried them into fourth place in the Eastern Conference, though it remains to be seen if that formula can continue to be successful long term for a team seeking another MLS Cup.

They have had to contend with a bunch of players in and out of the lineup, so their continuity may not always be what we expect, as they have really struggled to handle other teams who throw a lot of numbers into their penalty area.

FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez (19) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against CF Montreal in the first half at TQL Stadium on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Cincinnati had an extra week of preparation to ponder what went wrong in their previous encounter in which they squandered two one-goal leads, dropping a second consecutive contest.

As has been the case since entering the league in 2019, the Orange and Blue have not been able to contain opposing attacks once again this year, conceding 14 goals after six matches, the second-most in MLS.

If you are a neutral supporter, you probably enjoy watching this team play, as they are not short on excitement, with multiple goals scored in all but one of their regular-season contests so far this year, though manager Pat Noonan would like to see them show a little more urgency off the ball to fend off the oppositions press.

All year long, Cincy have played with a vertical attacking style, with the aim of transitioning quickly up the field, while some of their elite players have helped that approach be successful.

Conceding first seems to knock the stuffing out of them, as they look like a different team when chasing a game, without a win in that scenario since a narrow 2-1 triumph over CF Montreal back in May 2021.

Historically, the Orange and Blue have never beaten Atlanta and have struggled against them on the road, losing the last three encounters there by a combined score of 7-1.

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L

FC Cincinnati Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L



Team News

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) (left) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against CF Montreal during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 19, 2022© Reuters

The injury news in Atlanta seems to get worse every week, as they will be without leading goalscorer Josef Martinez for 6-8 weeks so that he can clean out debris in his right knee.

Osvaldo Alonso is also out long term with an ACL tear, Matheus Rossetto will miss at least another two weeks with a left hamstring injury and Emerson Hyndman continues to recover from a torn ACL.

Luiz Araujo and MLS record signing Thiago Almada will both be sidelined for the foreseeable future because of hamstring issues.

Brad Guzan is hoping for a bounce-back performance after the Atlanta goalkeeper misjudged a curling corner kick from Jordy Alcivar last week, which was all Charlotte needed to emerge with the victory.

Brandon Vazquez has been the unquestioned go-to guy in Cincinnati, scoring five goals this season, putting him in a tie with Chicharito and Jesus Ferreira in the Golden Boot race.

Luciano Acosta has 23 key passes, putting him even with Lucas Zelarayan of the Columbus Crew for the league lead, while Yuya Kubo has done a tremendous job at winning balls in the midfield with 14 tackles so far this year.

Defenders Geoff Cameron and Nick Hagglund each made their 150th MLS appearance in their previous encounter, Alvas Powell could reach that mark should he see the field on Saturday and earlier this week the club signed Obina Nwobodo as a Designated Player from Goztepe S.K. in Turkey.

It appears as though Cincinnati's top goalscorer from a season ago is not happy with his position on the team, with sources around the league reporting that the club rejected a transfer offer for Brenner from Internacional in the Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A.

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Campbell, Franco, M. Robinson, Hernandez; Gutman, Sosa, Sejdic; Ibarra, M. Moreno; Dwyer

FC Cincinnati possible starting lineup:
Kann; Hagglund, Cameron, Blackett; Powell, Kubo, J. Moreno, Gaddis; Acosta; Barreal, Vazquez


SM words green background

We say: Atlanta United 3-2 FC Cincinnati

The Five Stripes have been decimated on the injury front, but they have been able to control the pace of most of their encounters, and scoring goals against a Cincy backline who are still struggling to get it together should not be a problem even without the presence of Josef Martinez.


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How you voted: Atlanta vs Cincinnati

Atlanta United
84.2%
Draw
10.5%
FC Cincinnati
5.3%
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia1678122121029
2New York City FCNY City1583427131427
3New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls177552619726
4CF MontrealMontreal168263028226
5Orlando City177462023-325
6New England RevolutionNew England176652726124
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati167272326-323
8Inter MiamiInter Miami166371725-821
9Charlotte FCCharlotte FC176291721-420
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta155462322119
11Columbus Crew154651817118
12Toronto165382330-718
13Chicago Fire163581422-814
14DC United154291827-914

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia1678122121029
2New York City FCNY City1583427131427
3New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls177552619726
4CF MontrealMontreal168263028226
5Orlando City177462023-325
6New England RevolutionNew England176652726124
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati167272326-323
8Inter MiamiInter Miami166371725-821
9Charlotte FCCharlotte FC176291721-420
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta155462322119
11Columbus Crew154651817118
12Toronto165382330-718
13Chicago Fire163581422-814
14DC United154291827-914

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