Atlanta United take on Western Conference franchise LA Galaxy this weekend in what should be an entertaining clash between two of the strongest sides Major League Soccer has to offer. Atlanta come into this game after playing out a 4-3 classic against the Galaxy’s rivals LAFC who are leading the way in MLS this season. Frank de Boer’s side opened the scoring through Mo Adams before LAFC took the initiative and built a 4-1 lead. The Five Stripes brought it back to 4-3, but they didn’t quite have enough in the tank to bring themselves back level and earn a point.
In LA Galaxy’s last match, they were well beaten and outclassed away from home against the Portland Timbers as they fell to a 4-0 defeat as goals came from Cristhian Paredes (2), Diego Valeri and Jeremy Ebobisse.
Atlanta and the LA Galaxy have only met twice before, and it is the side from the ATL who have dominated proceedings by winning on both occasions. The last meeting came back in April 2018 when the Five Stripes earned a 2-0 win away at Dignity Health Sports Park thanks to goals from Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron who now finds himself at Newcastle United. Technically speaking, Atlanta United have never conceded a goal against LA Galaxy.
Defender Leandro Gonzalez-Pirez will sit this game out as he is suspended through yellow card accumulation, Mikey Ambrose could also be out but he has an injury. The injured trio of Tito Villalba, Kevin Kratz and George Bello have all returned to training recently, but it is believed that this weekend will be too soon for them to return. It’s a different story for Ezequiel Barco who returns after featuring in the MLS All-Star game against Atletico Madrid.
LA Galaxy lost their cool during their 4-0 defeat against the Portland Timbers last time out and now they will miss a few players through suspension. Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be out through yellow card accumulation, whereas Diego Polenta and Efrain Alvarez picked up red cards and will also sit out against Atlanta.
Atlanta United’s form at home is genuinely incredible and it is difficult for any side in Major League Soccer to travel to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with the expectation of winning. The Five Stripes have only lost once in 25 MLS games at home and they have won eight of their last nine. I would be backing Atlanta United to win this weekend, but I would probably include over 1.5 goals within that to get a bit of extra value. The Five Stripes have won both their meetings against the Galaxy by 2-0 and 4-0 score lines.
The best value bet I like the look of ahead of this Saturday’s game is both teams to score ‘No’. Atlanta have kept back-to-back clean sheets at home against Houston Dynamo and DC United, winning those games by an aggregate of 7-0. They have kept seven clean sheets in their last nine games at home and that is very, very impressive. It is also worth noting that LA Galaxy have failed to find the net in three of their last four away from home, and they have never managed to score when coming up against Atlanta, albeit it has only happened a couple of times.