Atlanta have lost two in a row, currently trailing FC Cincinnati for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by six points, while the Reds are just a point ahead of the Five Stripes but have played one more game.
Internal issues within the Atlanta camp have reared their ugly head once again, as the club suspended record goalscorer Josef Martinez for one game because of an alleged locker room altercation with manager Gonzalo Pineda.
As if that was not bad enough, injured defender Miles Robinson was arrested over the weekend and charged with one misdemeanour count, allegedly for refusing to pay for a $5 shot that he had taken off a drink tray.
With so much turmoil, one can only imagine what headspace these players are in, as this group have been littered with injuries and more infighting within the organization.
Throughout most of the campaign, the Five Stripes have lacked cohesion and consistency, and it appears that they will miss the postseason for the second time in club history unless something changes in a hurry.
They may be one of the best teams in MLS regarding ball movement, leading the league in key passes (329), but without consistent finishing in the attacking third.
To avoid setting a new franchise record for the fewest goals scored in an MLS campaign, Atlanta need to score at least five times in their final five games, with three of those matches being at home, where they have only been shut out on two occasions this year.
Toronto continue to shoot themselves in the foot as a summer full of optimism has been replaced with disappointment so far this fall.
Bob Bradley has seen his side in a position to win each of their previous two encounters, failing to close the deal both times against the Los Angeles Galaxy (2-2) and CF Montreal (4-3).
Last weekend they let an early two-goal lead at home to Montreal slip away, allowing four unanswered tallies, before ultimately losing by a single goal.
While their newcomers have made some massive contributions to this team's attack, with the Reds scoring in eight of their last nine games, the Achilles heel for TFC all year has been a lack of organization on the back end, conceding the second-most goals in the Eastern Conference (53).
That defeat last Sunday in the Canadian Classique was the first time that Toronto had gone pointless at BMO Field in six games.
Three of their final four regular-season affairs will be on the road, where TFC have won two of their last three games, though they have failed to find the back of the net on six occasions away from home this season.
In five previous visits to Mercedes-Benz, Stadium, Toronto have never claimed victory over the Five Stripes, drawing them on three occasions.
The Five Stripes will be missing the presence of Martinez this weekend, who has goals in back-to-back home games, while Ronaldo Cisneros, currently second on the team with eight strikes has not tallied in his last six matches.
Araujo had the only goal for his side when they lost 2-1 to Toronto earlier this year, with Franco Ibarra picking up an assist, his only one to this point of the regular season.
Robinson, Brad Guzan and Dylan Castanheira are all out for the year with Achilles injuries, Emerson Hyndman has a strained quad, Osvaldo Alonso is finished for the season because of a torn ACL and Matheus Rossetto is questionable because of a sore ankle.
Federico Bernardeschi extended his goalscoring streak for Toronto to three straight games, notching his seventh of the campaign last weekend, moving into third on the team, ahead of Lorenzo Insigne, who scored a brace versus Montreal.
Former TFC midfielder Ralph Priso, who is now with the Colorado Rapids, had the winning goal for the home side in their previous meeting with Atlanta earlier in the campaign.
The man who he was traded for, Mark-Anthony Kaye, came on as a substitute versus Montreal after previously missing time with a lower-body issue, something Deandre Kerr is still struggling with, while Jonathan Osorio sat out of the match last Sunday because of an upper-body injury.
Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Gudino; Gutman, Franco, DeJohn, Lennon; Almada, Sosa, Ibarra; Chol, Cisneros, Araujo
Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Laryea, MacNaughton, Mavinga, Criscito; Kaye, Bradley; Insigne; Bernardeschi, Akinola, Nelson
We say: Atlanta United 1-3 Toronto
Making the playoffs for both of these sides will be a long shot regardless of how this match ends up, though Toronto look consistently potent at the moment, showing a lot more quality in the final third than their opponents.
Combine that with the off-field distractions plaguing Atlanta, and it is hard to envision them playing with the kind of focus you need in a match like this, not to mention trying to shut down an in form Toronto attack.
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