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.

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Premier League Predictions: Week Six – Man City to continue goal rush, Spurs travel to West Ham for London Derby

Premier League Predictions: Week Six – Another action-packed weekend of Premier League football is upon us. West Ham take on Tottenham in what should be an entertaining London Derby to kick things off. A whole host of fixtures on Saturday should provide plenty of goals. Man City welcome struggling Crystal Palace, while Man Utd travel to Southampton. Leicester then face Liverpool in the Saturday evening fixture, just a few days after their Carabao Cup win over the Reds.

There’s just one game on Sunday as the battle of the promoted sides takes place, Brighton welcome Newcastle. Monday evening sees the last instalment of week six’s action, as Arsenal host West Brom. We’re looking forward to seeing it all unfold so read on for our Premier League predictions: Week six should produce goals.

West Ham 1-3 Tottenham

West Ham are unbeaten in three in all competitions. They should be in good spirits having scored three to advance in the EFL Cup in midweek. Last weekend was a frustrating one for them, however a point away at West Brom is still a solid result. Spurs are still yet to pick up a win at Wembley in the Premier League. They should be taking three points in this fixture. If Harry Kane & Co. hit the ground running it could be a long game for the West Ham faithful.

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Everton 2-1 Bournemouth

It comes as a surprise to see these two sides enter week six in the bottom three, but poor starts have left both with work to do. Bournemouth finally got their season up and running with a win over Brighton last time out. But Everton were hammered 4-0 at Man Utd. Both picked up home wins in the Carabao Cup during the week and will be looking to build now. The Toffees will be glad to come into a game as favourites but need to make sure they don’t underestimate the Cherries.

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Southampton 1-4 Man Utd 

The Saints, like just about every other Premier League club, will be bracing themselves for the ominous visit of Jose Mourinho’s side. Man Utd are in free scoring form and they have looked unstoppable at times already this season. However, Southampton have to have looked at how Stoke performed against The Red Devils and feel they can get a result this weekend. Expect goals.

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Stoke 1-2 Chelsea

Stoke have proven that they are set to be a real force at home once again this season from what we’ve seen so far. They beat Arsenal, then drew with Man Utd in their two home league games so far. Chelsea are next in store and will be hoping to continue their impressive form. The Blues haven’t lost since opening weekend but were frustrated by Arsenal last Sunday. An early Chelsea goal would force Stoke to come out, which won’t suit them. If anyone is going to edge it, it’s probably going to be the visitors.

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Burnley 1-1 Huddersfield

Huddersfield travel to Burnley on Saturday afternoon having picked up a respectable point against The Foxes last time out. Burnley frustrated Liverpool last weekend and will feel they have a great chance of making it four points from two games with a win here. Given both of these sides have not been freely scoring so far this season, 1-1 looks a likely result.

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Man City 5-0 Crystal Palace

Things couldn’t be going much worse for Crystal Palace. We’re only six weeks into the season and they’ve yet to win a game. They’ve yet to score a league goal. And they’ve already changed their manager. By contrast, City are scoring goals for fun. They’ve bagged 11 in their last two league outings and will look to put Palace to the sword here. It’s difficult to see anything other than a City win in what has to be the banker of the weekend.

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Swansea 2-2 Watford

Swansea will be feeling buoyant after they came away from Wembley with a point against Spurs last weekend. The Swans are sitting 14th but should be aiming to break into the top half sooner rather than later. Watford were hit for six last time out at home against Man City. A pretty sorry performance but they, like others have already experienced this season, were simply outclassed by City. Don’t expect them to be thumped two weeks on the spin.

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Leicester 2-2 Liverpool

Leicester proved they can still compete with the league’s top sides as they knocked the Reds out of the Carabao Cup on Tuesday night. Liverpool created the majority of the chances but were punished on the break by a positive Leicester team. Both will make changes here but the Reds remain without Sadio Mane. They simply don’t look the same without him and so we see the Foxes frustrating Jurgen Klopp’s men once again here.

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Brighton 1-3 Newcastle

Sunday’s standalone fixture is a battle from two promoted sides. Both have been giving a good account of themselves however it is Newcastle who have the points to show for it. Brighton come into this one having lost back-to-back games against Bournemouth, the latter eliminating them from the EFL Cup. Newcastle won again last weekend and are in the top four. They will be hoping to make it four wins in a row here, don’t be surprised to see them do so.

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Arsenal 3-1 West Brom

Arsenal have been impressive through the first three weeks of September after a terrible start to the season. Arsene Wenger’s men have won all four of their home games this term in all competitions and should be too strong for the Baggies on Monday. Tony Pulis will set his side up to frustrate the hosts, but ultimately Arsenal have too many attacking threats that can cause problems. West Brom haven’t won in four in all competitions so now is a good time for Arsenal to be playing them.

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