Atlanta United will be buoyed ahead of their clash with NYCFC after reaching the final of the US Open Cup during the week thanks to a 2-0 win away from home against their bitter rivals Orlando City. Eric Remedi and Emerson Hyndman found the goals for Atlanta and they will now host the final against Minnesota United at the end of this month.
Before that though, Atlanta’s attention will move back to MLS as they get set to take on NYCFC and look to put the pressure on Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia Union. Atlanta sit second behind the Union, so a win over New York City would be huge. Atlanta’s last MLS outing was a 3-0 win over the LA Galaxy at the Mercedes-Benz where it’s proving impossible for the Five Stripes to do anything but win. That is now nine wins from their last ten, and they have won their last three on home turf by an aggregate score of 10-0. NYCFC head to Atlanta after a big win at home during the week against the Houston Dynamo. City fell 2-1 behind against 10-man Dynamo before pulling a goal back and then going on to find the winner in stoppage time. It was a huge test of character and they passed it with flying colours.
The last meeting between Atlanta and NYCFC came back in November 2018 and it was a meeting in the post-season play-offs before Atlanta went on to lift the MLS Cup. The Five Stripes ran out as comfortable 3-1 winners thanks to goals from Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron. Atlanta have seriously dominated the head-to-head records.
Atlanta United have some injury concerns coming into this match, some which won’t affect too much and another which is a big loss. Brek Shea and Kevin Kratz remain side lined and will miss this match through injury, as well as Brandon Vazquez. The biggest loss for Atlanta United is that they could be without star man Josef Martinez who is currently on a nine-game scoring streak in MLS. He missed the semi-final of the US Open Cup in Orlando during the week, and is a doubt ahead of the weekend.
The visitors will be without forward Ismael Tajouri-Shradi who is absent with an ankle injury. They will also be without Ben Sweat who has picked up a back injury.
Atlanta United are unbeaten in their last five matches against NYCFC and they have scored at least twice in each meeting that they have hosted. 1.72 looks like ridiculously good value for Atlanta United to win considering how brutally strong they are at home. Again, they have won nine of their last ten at the Mercedes-Benz stadium and they are only getting stronger. Atlanta have only lost once at the Benz since May 2018.
If you like an extra bit of value, then I would go for Atlanta United to win and over 1.5 goals in the match at 1.90. Atlanta have currently won three home games on the spin with the score lines being 5-0, 2-0 and 3-0. It’s just impossible to keep Atlanta out on their turf as they have managed to score in 27 home games in succession.
Josef Martinez will be missed but Atlanta have the squad depth available to them to be able to deal with an absentee as big as this. I still fancy them to get the job done with other players like Ezequiel Barco and Pity Martinez stepping up to the plate.