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Atlanta United
Major League Soccer
Sep 11, 2022 at 12.30am UK
Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Toronto FC
4 - 2
Sanchez (47', 62', 88'), Almada (74')
Hernandez (39'), Almada (45+1'), Mosquera (76'), Cisneros (90+3')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Akinola (52'), Bernardeschi (67' pen.)
Criscito (45+4'), Nelson (53'), Laryea (77')

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

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

The MLS playoff hopes of Atlanta United and Toronto are hanging by a thread as both sides meet on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a critical match for each team.

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.

Match preview

Atlanta United boss Gonzalo Pineda on August 13, 2022© Reuters

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.

Federico Bernardeschi in action for Toronto FC on August 20, 2022© Reuters

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.

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

Toronto Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • 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 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.

Marcelino Moreno picked up his fifth assist of the season last Sunday, putting him in a tie for second on the team beside Luiz Araujo.

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.

Alex Bono has conceded six goals in his last two games, while leading goalscorer Jesus Jimenez has only tallied once in over two months.

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

SM words green background

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.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Game History

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Eastern Conference

1FC CincinnatiCincinnati382210664432176
2Columbus Crew392091080542669
3Orlando City37209857411669
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia3717101061431861
5New England RevolutionNew England361510115950955
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta3714121172611154
7Nashville SCNashville361310133934549
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls371211144245-347
9Charlotte FCCharlotte FC351013124757-1043
10New York City FCNY City34914113539-441
11CF MontrealMontreal34125173652-1641
12DC United341010144549-440
13Chicago Fire341010143951-1240
14Inter MiamiInter Miami3497184154-1334

Western Conference

1Los Angeles FCLos Angeles3818101063412264
2Houston DynamoHouston3916111256431359
3Seattle SoundersSeattle381611114536959
4St Louis City361751464511356
5Real Salt LakeSalt Lake371410135154-352
6Sporting Kansas CityKansas38149155454051
8Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver361212125754348
9San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes351015103943-445
10Portland TimbersPortland341110134658-1243
11Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd341011134651-541
12Austin FCAustin34109154955-639
13Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy34812145167-1636
14Colorado RapidsColorado34512172654-2827

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