Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs LAFC
Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Saturday, April 7th 2018 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST)
UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football
Atlanta United vs LAFC: Preview
Atlanta United take on LAFC on Saturday evening in what is surely of the most anticipated fixtures of the season. They are two of the most attacking sides in the league and will go head-to-head in front of a sell-out crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in their first ever meeting.
Atlanta have bounced back from a shock 4-0 opening day defeat at Houston by winning three-straight games. They now sit third in the Eastern Conference and are looking set to challenge at the very top of the standings this season.
Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Minnesota showed a different side to Atlanta. They are known for blowing teams away with their skillful play and attacking intent. But Leandro Gonzalez Pirez was sent off after 38 minutes, so Atlanta had to dig deep to hold onto their 1-0 lead for almost an hour.
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) April 2, 2018
LAFC could have done with some of that defensive quality after leading 3-0 away at LA Galaxy in the first Los Angeles derby between the new rivals. But inexperience and the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic saw LAFC concede four goals in 30 minutes to suffer their first MLS defeat.
They looked well on track to keep their 100% record intact after leading 3-0 but Bob Bradley will undoubtedly be concerned with the way his team fell apart, especially in a game of that magnitude.
— LAFC (@LAFC) April 5, 2018
LAFC have the chance to bounce back in another showcase game here, but that will be a real tough task. The Five Stripes have scored seven goals in their two home games so far this season and will be looking to exploit the LAFC defence after last week’s collapse.
Atlanta United vs LAFC: Team News
❌ Suspensions: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez (red card).
❓ Doubts: Jeff Larentowicz (ankle).
🚑 Out: Ezequiel Barco (quad strain), Franco Escobar (head), Jose Hernandez (quad strain), Mitch Hildebrandt (left knee), Andrew Carleton (upper respiratory infection).
❌ Suspensions: None.
❓ Doubts: None.
🚑 Out: Luis Lopez (right leg fracture), Omar Gaber (right knee sprain).
Atlanta United vs LAFC: Key Stats
Atlanta United’s MLS form: L/W/W/W
Los Angeles FC’s MLS form: W/W/L
Key stat: Atlanta United have scored at least two goals in each of their past ten regular season games at home. They have still never failed to score at home in a regular season game.
Atlanta United vs LAFC: Prediction
Atlanta United 4-3 LAFC: Goals, goals, goals. These two sides love to attack and will surely set up to try and outscore each other. If either side can get on the scoresheet early, it will open the game up, so expect this one to be one of the games of the weekend. LAFC’s collapse at the Galaxy last week showed they are vulnerable when the pressure ramps up and the atmosphere in Atlanta should give the home side a slight edge.