MX23RW : Monday, October 25 06:17:17| >> :600:501935:501935:
Sep 18, 2021 at 8.30pm UK at Mercedes-Benz Stadium
AtlantaAtlanta United
3-2
DC UnitedDC United
Barco (18'), Martinez (64'), Bello (87')
Franco (65'), Araujo (81')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Felipe (75'), Flores (90+4')
Brillant (27'), Moreno (34'), Paredes (50'), Alfaro (77')

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

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

Atlanta United welcome DC United to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday for a mid-table clash in the MLS Eastern Conference.

The hosts sit seventh in the table, just two positions and one point below their opponents in what could be a crucial match for both sides' playoff hopes.


Match preview

Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against DC United at Audi Field on August 24, 2021© Reuters

Atlanta have been on a charge since the start of August, racing up the table courtesy of six wins in their last seven games.

The latest of those came on Wednesday in an emphatic 4-0 victory at home against struggling FC Cincinnati.

Atlanta's newest signing Luiz Araujo scored his first goal for the club after just five minutes, before Josef Martinez added a brace and Ezequiel Barco put the finishing touch on a great performance with five minutes remaining.

Gonzalo Pineda has been in charge of the Five Stripes for just over a month now and is clearly witnessing the "more vertical, fast and fluid game, built on quick passing" that he said he was aiming for upon his appointment.

That is an aggregate score of 7-0 in their previous two games, and Pineda's men will be high on confidence as they head into a game where a victory could cement their place in the top seven.

DC United forward Nigel Robertha celebrates scoring with teammates on June 27, 2021© Reuters

After a brief blip in August, DC United have also produced some good results in the last few weeks.

They were quite fortunate to come away with a draw against the New York Red Bulls - where the referee controversially awarded DC a penalty for a debatable handball after a VAR check - but there was no luck involved in a comfortable 3-0 win during the week.

Hernan Losada's side took on the Chicago Fire at home, and a first-half hat-trick for Ola Kamara - his first for the club - sealed the victory early on.

DC will be looking to get revenge after their previous meeting with Atlanta, less than a month ago, saw an 82nd-minute Marcelino Moreno goal steal all three points for the other United.

Despite being seemingly evenly-matched, the pair never seem to draw, having each won three of their previous six meetings.

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

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



Team News

DC United head coach Hernan Losada smiles as he walks off the field after the against FC Cincinnati in the first half at TQL Stadium on July 31, 2021© Reuters

Atlanta will have Santiago Sosa back, the Argentine having served his suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards in the game against Cincinnati.

Martinez, Miles Robinson and Ronald Hernandez all returned from international duty in time for that game - with the first two starting - and, considering the strong result, they will surely retain their places in the XI.

Emerson Hyndman is out for the year with a torn ACL, though, and Franco Ibarra is not yet fully healed from his lower-body injury.

DC have more injury worries than their hosts - Adrien Perez and Brendan Hines-Ike are long-term absences with a broken ankle and hip respectively, whilst Chris Odoi-Atsem remains out with a muscle issue and Nigel Robertha is listed as doubtful.

Andy Najar returned to the starting lineup for the first time since August 28 against Chicago, but it remains to be seen if Losada thinks he did enough to remain in the team.

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Campbell, Franco, Robinson; Lennon, Sosa, Mulraney, Torres; Lopez, Martinez, Barco

DC United possible starting lineup:
Kempin; Paredes, Alfaro, Birnbaum, Pines; Reyna, Asad, Felipe; Arriola, Kamara, Yow


SM words green background

We say: Atlanta United 2-2 DC United

This is a tough one to call, with both teams certainly having the potential to win.

Despite the two sides' seeming inability to produce a draw in the past, we think it is the most likely outcome here, and expect there to be goals on the way.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Atlanta vs DC United

Atlanta United
71.0%
Draw
22.6%
DC United
6.5%
31
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Los Angeles Galaxy forward Javier Hernandez celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal on June 27, 2021
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La Liga
Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

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