Atlanta United face Chicago Fire on Saturday evening at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Five Stripes are currently in much better form than they started the season with. Although they have lost two of their last three, Atlanta have won six of their last eight matches in MLS and it was a 3-0 home win over Minnesota United last time out during the week.
Chicago Fire played out a 3-3 thriller with DC United in midweek and they will have been satisfied with the point. The Fire went 2-0 up in the capital and ended up 3-2 down before snatching an equaliser and stealing a point in stoppage time. However, Chicago boss Veljko Paunovic will be extremely frustrated as his side threw away a 2-0 lead because it was a good opportunity to put an end to their atrocious away form. They are on a run of 19 road games without a win and it honestly doesn’t look like coming to an end.
These two sides last met in October and it was Atlanta who ran out 2-1 winners. The head to head is fairly even as Atlanta have won three of the last five meetings and the Fire won the other two with one being away from home. However, given their current shocking run of form on the road, it’s impossible to give them a chance of picking up a win in Atlanta this weekend.
Atlanta United have a few injury problems ahead of Saturday as George Bello, Hector Villalba and Brandon Vazquez are all ruled out. They’re also going to miss a key player in Ezequiel Barco who is currently participating and representing Argentina in the U20 World Cup. Chicago Fire will have one absentee for the match and it is a painful one as the experienced Nicolas Gaitan tries to overcome a thigh injury.
Atlanta are the favourites going into the match and it’s self-explanatory as to why. The defending MLS champions are a much stronger side all over the park and they’re performing much better and have improved after a shaky start under the leadership of Frank de Boer. The Five Stripes have won their last four at the Mercedes-Benz without conceding a goal. As well as that, Chicago Fire are on a horrendous run of 19 away games without a win, the last time they won on the road was a 2-1 win in Orlando back in May 2018.
Josef Martinez is the man behind a lot of Atlanta’s success over the last couple of years thanks to his formidable goalscoring. The Venezuelan has broke records in MLS thanks to his impressive goal tallies and he has already scored eight goals in 14 appearances so far in 2019. Martinez is priced at 1.83 to score anytime against the Chicago Fire who vulnerable away from home and have conceded seven in their last two on the road.
Atlanta have won their last four at home without conceding a goal, and Chicago Fire have failed to score in three of their last five away. Therefore, both teams to score – no, looks like excellent value at 2.20
Atlanta United to win @ 1.61
Josef Martinez to score @ 1.83
Both teams to score – NO @ 2.20