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Preview: Atlanta United vs. DC United

Preview: Atlanta United vs. DC United

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

DC United will be aiming to make it successive victories in the MLS Eastern Conference when they continue their campaign away to Atlanta United on Saturday night.

The visitors are currently seventh in the table, two points behind fifth-placed Atlanta, and they will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 victory over Inter Miami last time out.

Match preview

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda reacts on May 13, 2023© Reuters

Atlanta finished second in the Eastern Conference in the 2018 and 2019 campaigns, but they have been 12th, fifth and 11th in their last three seasons, while they were 23rd overall in the MLS last term.

Gonzalo Pineda‘s side were not expected to make a particularly strong impression in the division this season, but they are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference, picking up 25 points from 17 matches, boasting a record of six wins, seven draws and four defeats during an encouraging start.

Atlanta will bring a five-game unbeaten run into this match, which started with a 4-0 success over Colorado Rapids on May 18, but they have drawn each of their last four league fixtures.

The Five Stripes will enter this game off the back of a goalless draw with Los Angeles FC on Wednesday, and they only have two more league games in June, welcoming New York City and travelling to New York Red Bulls in their two matches after this one.

DC United head coach Wayne Rooney on April 2, 2023© Reuters

DC United, meanwhile, will enter this match off the back of a 2-1 success over Inter Miami, who have since sacked Phil Neville as head coach and announced the arrival of a certain Lionel Messi.

Donovan Pines and Christian Benteke were on the scoresheet for Wayne Rooney‘s side last time out, and the victory moved the team onto 23 points from 17 matches, leaving them in seventh spot in the table.

DC United finished 14th in the Eastern Conference last season, but they are only four points behind fourth-placed New England Revolution at this stage, which represents an encouraging start.

The Black and Reds have picked up 11 points from their nine games on their travels this season, but they will be heading to an Atlanta side that have a strong record at home, collecting 17 points from eight matches.

DC United have lost each of their last four MLS matches against Atlanta, meanwhile, including a 3-2 defeat when the two sides last locked horns in August 2022.

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:

DC United Major League Soccer form:

Team News

DC United player Christian Benteke reacts before a pre-season MLS game against Charlotte FC at Empire Polo Club on February 1, 2023© Reuters

Atlanta will be without the services of three players for Saturday’s contest, with Amir Sejdic, Erik Lopez and Osvaldo Alonso on the sidelines.

Georgios Giakoumakis has been the team’s main source of goals this season, finding the back of the net on nine occasions, and he will continue in the final third of the field.

Thiago Almada has also been in strong form this term, netting seven goals, and a 4-2-3-1 formation should again see the Argentine feature in the number 10 position in this contest.

DC United, meanwhile, have a lengthy injury list at this moment in time, with Luis Zamudio, Russell Canouse, Luan, Mohanad Jeahze, Nigel Robertha and Martin Rodriguez all out of action.

Head coach Rooney could decide to name the same XI that took to the field for the first whistle against Inter Miami last time out, with Mateusz Klich continuing in the number 10 position.

Former Premier League forward Benteke has scored eight times in 16 appearances this season, meanwhile, and the 32-year-old will again lead the line for the Black and Reds.

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Lennon, Robinson, Purata, Gutman; Rossetto, Ibarra; Araujo, Almada, Etienne; Giakoumakis

DC United possible starting lineup:
Miller; Pines, Birnbaum, Williams; Najar, Durkin, Palsson, Santos; Klich; Benteke, Fountas

SM words green background

We say: Atlanta United 1-1 DC United

Atlanta have been strong at home this season, winning five of their eight matches, but DC United have picked up points in five of their nine games on their travels, and we just have a feeling that a tight game on Saturday will finish with the points being shared.

How to watch

You can watch Atlanta United vs. DC United and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

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

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 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 2.5:data

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