MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: 2018 MLS All-Star Game Preview and Prediction

2018 MLS All-Star Game: MLS All-Stars vs Juventus

Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta – Wednesday, August 1st 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Main Event

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Preview

The best in MLS will take on Italy’s finest club side in the 2018 MLS All-Star Game in Atlanta on Wednesday. This will be the 23rd annual All-Star game and could break the attendance record with a full house expected at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The current All-Star attendance record is 70,728, set back in 2010 when fans packed into Houston’s Reliant Stadium to watch the MLS All-Stars take on Manchester United.

The MLS All-Stars are looking to win the game for the first time in three years after losing on penalties to Real Madrid this time last year. Prior to that, they fell 2-1 to Arsenal. The All-Stars last won the game in 2015, beating Spurs 2-1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

This year’s All-Star team is stacked with attacking talent, even after Zlatan Ibrahimovic and David Villa have had to pull out. The likes of Atlanta’s own Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron and Ezequiel Barco will look to link up with fellow attackers Carlos Vela, Bradley Wright-Phillips and former Juventus star Sebastian Giovinco.

Head coach Tata Martino will set his side up to attack Juventus – a team renowned for their defensive prowess The Bianconeri have added a monumental attacking threat of their own this summer in Cristiano Ronaldo but the 33-year-old will not be ready to make his debut on Wednesday.

Juve are busy preparing for the 2018/19 Serie A season as they will look to retain their league title for the eighth successive year. They are also the reigning Coppa Italia champions and only the second Serie A side to ever take on the All-Stars, following AS Roma in 2013 – a game the All-Stars lost 3-1.

This will be the third of four Juventus preseason games in the United States. They have played two of their three International Champions Cup matches, beating Bayern Munich 2-0 before drawing 1-1 with Benfica, a game they won 4-2 on penalties. They will round off their ICC games when they face Real Madrid on Saturday but all focus is on the All-Star game ahead of that.

Ibrahimovic pulled out of the All-Star game on Sunday night after scoring his first hat-trick for LA Galaxy. That was as a result of playing three matches in a week. David Villa also misses out with injury. Minnesota United’s Darwin Quintero and New York Red Bulls’ Tyler Adams are the replacements.

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Team News

MLS All-Stars

Position 2018 MLS All-Star Squad
Goalkeepers Brad Guzan (Atlanta United), Zack Steffen (Columbus Crew)
Defenders Francisco Calvo (Minnesota United), Laurent Ciman (LAFC), Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Aaron Long (New York Red Bulls), Michael Murillo (New York Red Bulls), Michael Parkhurst (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
Midfielders Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Miguel Almiron (Atlanta United), Ezequiel Barco (Atlanta United), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Jonathan Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Alberth Elis (Houston Dynamo), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact), Alexander Ring (New York City FC), Ilie Sanchez (Sporting Kansas City), Diego Valeri (Portland Timbers), Yoshimar Yotún (Orlando City SC), Wilfried Zahibo (New England Revolution)
Forwards Giovani Dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), Josef Martinez (Atlanta United), Darwin Quintero (Minnesota United), Carlos Vela (LAFC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)Juventus

Juventus

Position 2018 Juventus Preseason Squad
Goalkeepers Wojciech Szczesny, Mattia Perin, Carlo Pinsoglio, Mattia Del Favero
Defenders Mattia De Sciglio, Giorgio Chiellini, Mehdi Benatia, Alex Sandro, Mattia Caldara, Andrea Barzagli, Joao Cancelo, Daniele Rugani, Pietro Beruatto, Roman Macek, Grigoris Kastanos
Midfielders Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Emre Can, Leandro Fernandes, Matheus Pereira da Silva, Alessandro Di Pardo, Nicolo Fagioli
Forwards Federico Bernardeschi, Luca Clemenza, Stefano Beltrame, Andrea Favilli

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Key Stats

MLS All-Stars’ last five: L/L/W/L/D

Juventus’ preseason form: W/D

Key stat: Both sides have scored in each of the past six MLS All-Star games. There have been 29 goals scored in the past eight editions of the match – an average of 3.6 per game.

MLS All-Stars vs Juventus: Prediction

MLS All-Stars 3-2 Juventus: This has all the makings of being a spectacle. The All-Stars have an abundance of attacking talent and will have to set up to attack the Italian giants. However, that could lead to an open game and Juventus have more than enough weapons themselves to unleash. Either way, this should be full of goals and we think the All-Stars have enough to edge it. Don’t be surprised to see former Juve man Giovinco score the decisive goal…

Advertisements

In pictures: Atlanta United forced to settle for a point in 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders

Atlanta United couldn’t reward their record crowd of 72,243 with a win, as Seattle Sounders battled to earn a 1-1 draw at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday night.

Atlanta will rue missed opportunities in what was a fiery contest between the two sides. The Sounders will be happy with the road point as they look to build some momentum ahead of their traditional late-season surge towards the playoffs.

It was the visitors who took the lead, right on the stroke of half-time. Harry Shipp’s shot was blocked by Franco Escobar but after going to Video Review, referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the penalty spot.

Nicolas Lodeiro converted and Seattle went into half-time 1-0 up. But it wouldn’t stay that way for very long. Atlanta United came out fighting in the second-half and got the equaliser in the 48th minute.

Josef Martinez was able to beat Kim Kee-Hee to Julian Gressel’s floated cross and steered his header over Stefan Frei. But that was the last time Atlanta were able to get the better of the Sounders goalkeeper.

Frei came up big to keep the score at 1-1 and earned his side a valuable point. Seattle had to play the final half an hour with ten men after Jordan McCrary was sent off, but Atlanta couldn’t capitalise.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer, Denise McCooey:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

MLS Attacking Player of the Week: Week 6 – Atlanta winger stars in dominant win

For every week of the 2018 MLS season, MLSGB will award two Player of the Week accolades to the previous gameweek’s standout performers. We will highlight one star attacking player, as well as the leading defensive performer from the last round of fixtures. The Attacking Player of the Week award can be won by strikers, wingers and advanced midfielders. While the Defensive Player of the Week award can be won by goalkeepers, defenders and defensive midfielders.

Week 6 saw plenty of action as 24 goals were scored across eight fixtures. Atlanta United made sure they played their part in contributing to that number, as they beat new boys LAFC 5-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. At the heart of that performance was Julian Gressel. The winger put in an impressive display, scoring the opener and providing an assist – which is why he is MLSGB Attacking Player of the Week. 

It took Gressel just 17 minutes to break the deadlock. The game remained relatively even from that point onwards, up until just shy of the 70-minute mark when Gressel dinked in a perfect cross for Josef Martinez to make it 2-0. The second goal all but sealed it for Atlanta before they went on a three goal-spree in nine minutes at the end of the game.

Much like Atlanta’s performance, Gressel was efficient. He needed just one shot on target to score his goal, while his one chance created was taken by Martinez. His pass accuracy wasn’t overly impressive, however that won’t be seen as much of an issue by the Atlanta faithful.

From the statistical graphic below you can see just how busy Gressel was during the game. A vast majority of his failed passes (red arrows) were either balls into the box or from within his own half – which shows his desire to look to create chances and get his team moving forward. His assist came from a phase of play which every good winger is expected to provide from, getting down to the byline and delivering.

A detailed look at Julian Gressel’s display in the 5-0 win over LAFC (Stats via @StatsZone)

The 24 year old has been a regular in Tata Martino’s side this season, starting all five games. He will be hoping to continue to contribute, although his strike in the 5-0 win was his first goal of the season, he already has three assists, justifying his place in the starting XI.

Don’t miss: MLS Defensive Player of the Week: Week 6

Next up for Atlanta is a huge game at the top of the Eastern Conference, as they host NYCFC on Sunday evening. Gressel will be looking to continue his good run of early season form and help his side go top of the standings.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Wednesday, September 20 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Atlanta 4/9 – Draw 15/4 – LA Galaxy 5/1

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Atlanta United take on LA Galaxy for the first time ever on Wednesday night, in a game that could essentially end the Galaxy’s 2017 season.

The Five Stripes are in good form and have enjoyed a stellar debut season in Major League Soccer. They can move a step closer to confirming their playoff spot with a win here, while probably ending the Galaxy’s hopes in the process.

Atlanta have gone unbeaten through four games, scoring 15 goals in the process. Their move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium has proved seamless too. They’ve not lost at their new home and Wednesday’s match will be the fourth of six consecutive home games.

Embed from Getty Images

Victory on Wednesday would see Atlanta move ahead of Columbus Crew and into fourth place in the East. That would leave them on course to secure homefield advantage in the playoffs – something Tata Martino will be hoping to confirm.

The LA Galaxy team held a behind-closed-doors meeting after Saturday’s heavy defeat. That only happens when a team is in crisis. And make no mistake about it, the Galaxy are in a crisis. Jobs are on the line and players will be axed at the end of the campaign if they don’t improve.

Sigi Schmid’s job was to turn their fortunes around and get them into a playoff position come the end of the regular season. But he has not been able to do that, even with the expensive DP addition of Jonathan Dos Santos.

LA have gone 1-5-2 since Schmid took over the reigns. They are nine points outside the playoff spots in the West and don’t look like a team on the up.

Defeat to Atlanta on Wednesday night would essentially end the Galaxy’s season. It would leave them with a nine-point gap to make up over their final five games. But they still have to travel to Sporting KC, Houston and FC Dallas on the final day.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Atlanta United will welcome back centre-back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez after he served his one-game suspension. Zach Loyd is out for the season. Greg Garza is listed as questionable after missing Saturday’s match with a hamstring problem.

LA Galaxy will once again be able to call on Jermaine Jones after he served his suspension. He will expect to come into a side that could be drastically changed after Saturday’s crushing loss to Toronto. Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Pele Van Aanholt are all out for the season. Bradley Diallo left Sunday’s game in the first half with a hamstring injury and won’t feature here. Daniel Steres is also expected to miss out.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Key Points

Atlanta United’s last five: L/D/W/W/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: Atlanta have scored 13 goals in three games since moving to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That’s the same amount as LA Galaxy have scored in their last 12 MLS outings in total.

Key Player: Josef Martinez – The Venezuelan striker is hot right now. He has scored back-to-back hat-tricks for Atlanta and has seven in his last three games. His treble against Orlando on Saturday took his season total to 16 in 14 matches. He’s only three goals off David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot and will hope to close that gap further with another strong display here.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Atlanta United 3-1 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy need to respond from Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 home loss. However, they couldn’t have really picked a worse place to have to go than Atlanta. The Five Stripes have been scoring for fun and should pick apart a Galaxy defence that can’t stop conceding. You would assume LA will show some spirit as they aim to impress Sigi Schmid enough to keep their jobs into next season. But this one looks like it should end in a home win, with Atlanta set to move up to fourth in the East.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs New England Revolution

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs New England Revolution

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Wednesday, September 13 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Atlanta 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – New England 4/1

Atlanta United vs New England Revolution: Preview

Atlanta United face New England Revolution at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday night, in what is a pivotal battle for the Eastern Conference’s playoff picture.

The hosts started life in their new stadium with a convincing 3-0 win over FC Dallas on Sunday night. The venue may have changed but the Five Stripes’ impressive home record continues. They have not lost in seven at home, scoring in every single home match this season.

Tata Martino will have been especially delighted with Sunday’s win as it ended a run of four games without victory. Atlanta sit sixth coming into Wednesday’s game, with this being one of their games in hand over the sides above them.

They are four points ahead of the Revolution in eighth place. But New England have played two games more so this is a huge game for the visitors.

The glaring problem for the Revs is that they haven’t won an away game all season. They are the only MLS team that can say that this year, not that you’ll hear New England fans voicing that fact with anything but a sense of despair.

But as things stand heading into the final stretch, the Revolution are still in a position to make the playoffs. Their home form is strong and they have put together a good run of form in recent weeks, winning five of their last eight.

They know they must start winning on the road to give themselves a realistic chance of making the postseason. But doing so at Atlanta United’s shiny new home, with over 40,000 fans roaring on poses an even trickier task than usual for the visitors.

This will be the first ever clash between the two sides. They will meet at Gillette Stadium in the reverse fixture on September 30. That will be Atlanta’s first road game after their current six-match home stretch ends in a few weeks.

Atlanta United vs New England Revolution: Team News

Atlanta United remain without goalkeeper Alec Kann. Kenwyne Jones remains a doubt with a knee problem. Tata Martino might make a few changes to his starting lineup, with Saturday’s game against Orlando City in mind.

New England Revolution remain without Kelyn Rowe. Lee Nguyen and Diego Fagundez recovered from knocks in time to face Montreal on Saturday and should be ready to go again here.

Atlanta United vs New England Revolution: Key Points

Atlanta United’s last five: D/D/L/D/W

New England Revolution’s last five: W/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: New England Revolution are the team in MLS yet to win an away game this season. They have gone 0-10-3 away from Gillette Stadium in 2017.

Key Player: Josef Martinez – The pacey Atlanta forward has struggled to get a consistent run of games as a result of injuries all season. But when he’s played, he’s looked dangerous. He has ten goals and one assist in 12 games this term and will look to hurt the Revs defence, so long as he plays here.

Atlanta United vs New England Revolution: Prediction

Atlanta United 2-0 New England Revolution – While the Revolution have looked like a solid outfit in recent weeks, their terrible road record looks unlikely to end here. The Five Stripes are in high spirits. They’ve got an incredible new stadium to play in and will be looking to put on a show here. A win on Wednesday would put them into a seriously strong position, as far as playoff hopes go. That’s how we see it going. Home win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs FC Dallas

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs FC Dallas

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Sunday, September 10 – 15:30 ET (20:30 BST)

Match Odds: Atlanta United 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – FC Dallas 9/4

Atlanta United vs FC Dallas: Preview

The first ever soccer game is due to take place at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday. Atlanta United welcome FC Dallas to their new £1.38bn home ground in what promises to be a landmark occasion.

Atalanta have picked up just one win in their last five games. However, they have only lost one of those five, so they just need to find a way to turn draws into wins.

This is the first of six home games in a row for Atlanta. If they pick up three points they could start a run of form to see them comfortably into the playoffs.

FC Dallas come into this one without a win in five. They have lost their last three games on the road but are still in the top six in the Western Conference.

Oscar Pareja knows the pressure is on Atlanta to deliver, however that isn’t necessarily a good thing for his side. Dallas may well have to contend with an adrenaline fuelled Atlanta.

Worryingly for FC Dallas, they have conceded at least two goals in six of their last seven games (MLS). The last thing they need to be doing is handing out gifts to Atlanta.

Atlanta United vs FC Dallas

Atlanta United vs FC Dallas: Team News

The home side could be without three as Alec Kann is out. While there are concerns over the fitness of Kenwyne Jones and Mark Bloom.

FC Dallas have a clean-bill of health ahead of this tie.

Atlanta United vs FC Dallas: Key Points

Atlanta United’s last five: W/D/D/L/D

FC Dallas’ last five: D/L/D/L/D

Key Stat: FC Dallas have not won an away game in their last three attempts.

Key Player: Michael Parkhurst – The Atlanta captain will no doubt find this one of the biggest honours of his career. Any captain would be proud to lead their side out for the first time at a new stadium. He will be hoping to lead Atlanta to their first three points in their new home as they’ll look to start as they mean to go on.

Embed from Getty Images

Atlanta United vs FC Dallas: Prediction

Atlanta United 2-1 FC Dallas – Given that just one point separates these two in the Supporters’ Shield standings ahead of the game, it has the makings of a tight one. There is the added rush for Atlanta of the new stadium and the fans will certainly play their part to make for a memorable occasion. This is going to be an entertaining one to watch unfold.