Updated: Jul 28
Atlanta United is back home after a mediocre at best set of away draws at Chicago and Orlando. Today, Atlanta looks to beat a New England Revolution that is currently struggling with injuries that will sideline Dylan Borrero (ACL surgery), Brandon Bye (left shoulder), Nacho Gil (right leg), Henry Kessler (hamstring surgery), Maciel (left Achilles), and Tommy McNamara (left leg). In addition, Gustavo Bou is listed as questionable and Damian Rivera is out on international duty with the Costa Rica U-23s. This weakened Revs team puts the impetus on Atlanta to win all three points at home and climb up the Eastern Conference table.
Key Players to Watch
Each team has the potential to score which saw them both earn 3-3 draws against the Chicago Fire in the past two weeks. For the New England Revolution, this team is led in both goals and assists by Striker Bobby Wood. Their other notable players include Carles Gil who is always capable of creating danger and will most likely see some minutes, despite picking up a knock two games ago against Philadelphia, and Noel Buck who is a homegrown 18-year-old midfielder who scored their opening goal last game against Chicago. Atlanta will be led by World Cup-winner Thiago Almada and striker Giakoumakis who have registered a staggering 21 goal contributions combined. To put it another way, Atlanta United has scored 29 goals and 19 of those have been scored or assisted by Thiago Almada or Georgios Giakoumakis (2 of Gigi's goals were assisted by Almada).
History and Statistics
Atlanta United leads the matchup overall with a 5-3-3 record against the Revs. In the last 3 matches, however, Atlanta United is winless with a loss and two draws. In the last match, New England won 2-1 with an 85th-minute winner. Other notable statistics include Atlanta's slight advantage in goals per 90, averaging 1.9 goals per game while New England only averages 1.6. Atlanta also averages more possession with an average of 56.1% possession compared to New England's 50.6%. New England has more clean sheets, however, earning 5 in their 14 matches compared to Atlanta's 3 in 15 matches.
Caleb Wiley is still out with the U-20 national team at the U-20 World Cup in Argentina, so he isn't available. Normally Atlanta is injury plagues but for this game only Osvaldo Alonso, Erik Lopez, and Amar Sejdic are unavailable through injury. The only change in availability between last match and today is that Luiz Araujo is back from his red card so I predict he will return to the starting 11 and for Caleb Wiley's replacement I think Tyler Wolff earned a starting spot.
Atlanta United knows that they need to step it up and will put on a good performance at home against a far-from-full-strength New England Revolution. Giakoumakis will score in the 25th minute to open the scoring. Then Atlanta will switch off before half time and Wood will score to make it 1-1. Atlanta will score two more, though, the first of which will be an Almada free kick and then another Giakoumakis goal to cap the game in the 75th minute. Tank really wants to show Pineda why he shouldn't be taken off.
Final Score: 3-1 to Atlanta