Desperate Atlanta United meet with Columbus Crew, who also has its problems lately. The opening match of the MLS round 15 promises excitement, for one reason – both teams need to win here. The current situation is pressuring both United and the Crew to post three points; otherwise, any other result will be considered a failure. Atlanta changed its head coach in the meantime and is now turning a new leaf. As for Columbus, they aren’t losing too much recently but are far away from posting good results, which takes a toll on their place in the standings.
Atlanta United (+115) didn’t win in the last nine games, posting six draws and three losses during that time. This negative stretch was the main reason why Atlanta fired Gabriel Heinze, who was their manager, replacing the Argentinian with Rob Valentino.
At the moment, the Five Stripes are sitting 10th in the East, six points behind the last playoff seed in the standings, New York City. The most recent match was against FC Cincinnati, on the road, which ended 1-1.
What is problematic for Valentino is that his team didn’t score at home in the past two matches and that such a trend might extend because of many absent players. In four of the past six contests, Atlanta failed to net.
Columbus Crew (+250) is without a defeat in the previous five matches, but during that interval, this side managed to record only one victory. That happened seven days ago against NYC at home, 2-1, while four other games saw them taking just one point.
They are primarily a home-oriented team, with the majority of points collected at MAPFRE Stadium. The numbers are backing up that claim, as Crew recorded only one win in the previous six matches on the road, scoring in just two of them throughout that stretch.
A vast majority of their matches on the road ended with Under 2.5 goals and both teams not to score, so have that in mind when betting on this event.
Atlanta’s first goalkeeper, Brad Guzan, is with the USMNT at the Gold Cup, the same as George Bello, and Miles Robinson. Apart from that, they have four injured players, Emerson Hyndman, Franco Ibarra, Mo Adams, and Jurgen Damm.
A big hit for the guests is Gyasi Zardes’ absence, as he plays for the US team. Canada’s Liam Fraser is also at the Gold Cup.
Head to Head Games
Columbus has three wins in the past five games and three in a row at the moment. In all but one contest, over the previous five, Crew netted at least twice. The most recent one was in November 2020, when Crew beat United, 2-1 at home.
This is a tough one because both sides look pretty pale, with just a few good things in their game. We will go with both teams scoring because it is hard to believe that United won’t net in the third straight match in Georgia. Meanwhile, their defense is terrible, and because of that, the chances for Crew to score are very high as well.
Pick: Both Teams to Score
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.