Champions Atlanta United are certain to receive a hero’s welcome in their home opener and first league game back at Mercedes-Benz Stadium since winning it all. Still looking for their first points of the season, they face expansion squad FC Cincinnati. A recipe for getting things back on track.
It’s been a week to forget for Atlanta United. First, a season opening loss to DC United. Three days later in Mexico, Monterrey drubbed them 3-0 in leg 1 of 2 in CONCACAF Champions League play. Ironically, for a team with an offensive arsenal, they were shut out in both games, being the only MLS team not to score in week 1.
Despite the final result not being there against DC, they did play well, controlling the ball for 56% and showed a versatile attack from all angles. They just couldn’t finish. In all fairness, losing key cogs Miguel Almiron, Greg Garza, and Chris McCann, and bringing in Pity Martinez will require time to rebuild the chemistry.
Atlanta United Injury News
- Out: Defender Franco Escobar (fractured right clavicle)
- Questionable: Midfielder Julian Gressel (ankle)
Atlanta United Home MLS League Form
|09.12.2018||WIN||Atlanta United v Portland Timbers||2 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|25.11.2018||WIN||Atlanta United v New York Red Bulls||3 – 0 (HT 1 – 0)|
|11.11.2018||WIN||Atlanta United v NYC FC||3 – 1 (HT 2 – 1)|
|21.10.2018||WIN||Atlanta United v Chicago Fire||2 – 1 (HT 2 – 1)|
|06.10.2018||WIN||Atlanta United v New England Revolution||2 – 1 (HT 1 – 0)|
FC Cincinnati started off their inaugural campaign in style, a one-timer in the 13th minute off a defender clearance. A no doubter, pure laser by Leonardo Bertone. And that’s all she wrote for the new kids on the block. Seattle Sounders followed that up quickly with three scores in the first half, adding another in the second, taking the 4-1 win in front of their home crowd.
It won’t get any easier travelling to Atlanta to face a teed off squad looking to take out their frustrations on them. It will be interesting to see the adjustments they make. They took an overly aggressive pressing approach in Seattle and got burned. The key is to function as one, which they didn’t do in game one. They weren’t set up properly behind the press and if they are to do anything in Atlanta, they’ll need to do a better job of playing cohesive as a team.
FC Cincinnati Injury News
- Out: Midfielder Jimmy McLaughlin (right ACL surgery)
- Questionable: Defender Greg Garza (quad)
- Questionable: Forward Emery Welshman (hamstring)
FC Cincinnati Away League Form
|03.03.2019||LOSS||Seattle Sounders v FC Cincinnati||4 – 1 (HT 3 – 1)|
|14.10.2018||DRAW||Nashville SC v FC Cincinnati*||3 – 3 (HT 1 – 0)|
|07.10.2018||DRAW||Pittsburgh Riverhounds v FC Cincinnati*||0 – 0 (HT 0 – 0)|
|27.09.2018||WIN||Richmond Kickers v FC Cincinnati*||1 – 4 (HT 1 – 3)|
|23.09.2018||WIN||Penn FC v FC Cincinnati*||1 – 2 (HT 1 – 0)|
*USL Pro Division
Head to Head Statistics
There are no previous head to head statistics between these sides.
Here are how the odds to win the match look from the bookies ahead of the game.
Odds taken at 08:00 GMT 10/03/2019
Our Verdict and Best Bets
The champs are agitated, they smell blood, they’re salivating. They’ll take it all out on the newcomers and pick themselves up in front of their raucous home crowd to get back on track. Look for Josef Martinez to get his season going in this one.