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Atlanta United FC vs. LAFC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Atlanta United FC vs. LAFC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 6
Mercedes-Benz Stadium 
– Atlanta
5:00 pm ET – April 7, 2018
WATCH: ESPN | MLS LIVE in DAZN

The stars, and another huge crowd, will be out at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday when two of Major League Soccer’s most attack-minded sides meet in a first-ever mouthwatering showdown between Atlanta United FC and LAFC.

The two teams are coming off vastly different results in Week 5, with Atlanta (3-1-0) claiming a hard-working victory on a frozen pitch in Minnesota, while LAFC saw a three-goal lead go up in smoke in a 4-3 loss to the LA Galaxy.

Atlanta United FC  

Was it the best win in Atlanta United’s short history? One thing is certain: a 1-0 victory a man down at Minnesota United FC was an important one because it showed that the Five Stripes can win a different way. A team known for its glamor and glitz can get down and dirty and grind out three points.

“I think it was a sense of determination, togetherness, fight and spirit,” goalkeeper Brad Guzan said after the game. “This is a big step forward for us. When people think of Atlanta United they think of pretty football and tonight we showed another side. We showed that we could compete and that we could battle.”

For his effort, central defender Michael Parkhurst was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 5.

  • Suspended: D - Leandro Gonzalez Pirez
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain), D - Franco Escobar (head), Jose Hernandez (quad strain), GK - Mitch Hildebrandt (left knee), F - Andrew Carleton (upper respiratory infection); QUESTIONABLE: M - Jeff Larentowicz (ankle)

Projected Starting XI
(3-4–1-2, right to left)
GK: Brad Guzan – Sal Zizzo, Michael Parkhurst, Chris McCann – Julian Gressel, Darlington Nagbe, Jeff Larentowicz, Greg Garza – Miguel Almiron — Hector Villalba, Josef Martinez

  • Notes: Josef Martinez has converted 30.4% of his shots (inc. blocks) into goals since the start of last season. Only one other player with 10+ goals a shot conversion rate above 23%. … Atlanta have won 12 of their last 16 home league games (1L-3D). They have never failed to score in an MLS home game and have averaged 2.9 goals per game at home.

LAFC     

LAFC (2-1-0) picked up where they left off 21 days earlier and took the game to the LA Galaxy in front of a sold out crowd at StubHub Center. Thanks to a a Carlos Vela brace, including a fifth-minute golazo and an own goal by Daniel Steres, Los Angeles’ newest team had a commanding 3-0 lead over the MLS original squad three minutes into the second half.

But it all fell apart after the hour mark as LAFC conceded four times – the final two goals coming from Zlatan Ibrahimovic – as the expansion side suffered defeat for the first time.

“The most important thing for us is that there are moments in football games where as a group you have to be resilient,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said after the game.

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture), D/M - Omar Gaber (right knee LCL sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller – Steven Beitashour, Dejan Jakovic, Laurent Ciman, Joao Moutinho – Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye – Latif Blessing, Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi – Marco Urena

  • Notes: LAFC are currently converting 22.5% of their shots (inc. blocks). Since the start of 2010, the single-season MLS high for a team conversion rate is Toronto’s 16.8% from last year. … Atlanta United (6.8) and Los Angeles FC (6.4) enter this weekend ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in expected goals (ex. penalties) this season.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first meeting between Atlanta United FC and LAFC

Referees

Referee: Ted Unkel
Assistant Referees: Joe Fletscher, Corey Parker
4th Official: Guido Gonzales Jr
VAR: Edvin Jurisevic

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Current Form

Atlanta
D
D
L
W
W
W
LAFC
W
W
L

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Atlanta United FCLos Angeles Football Club
4Games Played3
3Wins2
1Losses1
0Draws0
8Goals9
6Goals Conceded5
45Shots33
14Shots on Target18
40Fouls committed29
37Fouls suffered29
9Offside5
19Corners11

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
ATL1101182
LAFC0101193
01234+Avg
ATL000113.5
LAFC000000
01234+Avg
ATL110000.5
LAFC010113

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
ATL1200161.5
LAFC1100151.7
01234+Avg
ATL020001
LAFC000000
01234+Avg
ATL100012
LAFC110011.7
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