Atlanta United v. FC Cincinnati Betting Preview

July 16, 2020
Atlanta Soccer

Group E of the MLS is Back Tournament got off to a rough start for Eastern Conference favorites Atlanta Untied and FC Cincinnati on Saturday night as both teams were shutout after dealing with a lengthy weather delay. Thursday night they will be back on the Wide World of Sports pitch in Orlando with a chance to pick up some desperately needed points in group play.

The Thursday matchup will be the second of the season for Atlanta United and FC Cincinnati as the Five Stripes won at home 2-1 on March 7. Ezequiel Barco scored in the 21st minute and Emerson Hyndman made it 2-0 in the 55th minute before Yuya Kubo pegged one back for Cincinnati in the 64th minute. Cincinnati earned their first ever MLS point on March 10, 2019 against Atlanta with a 1-1 draw but lost in Georgia 2-0 last September.

Atlanta United Outlook: Bounce Back

Playing without injured Javi Martinez, Atlanta started slow on Saturday night after inclement weather delayed kickoff against New York Red Bulls by 45 minutes. The Five Stripes fell behind in the fourth minute and despite dominating play with 70% possession they were unable to score and lost 1-0. George Bello hit the cross bar in the 41st minute but Atlanta United finished the game without earning a point.

Atlanta United was the favorite to win Group E when the tournament began but now find themselves three points behind NYRB and Columbus Crew. They began the season with two wins back in March but lost the 2018 MLS MVP when Martinez tore his ACL. Barco and Hyndman each have two goals in three games this season and Atlanta needs someone else to step up while Martinez is out.

Last season Atlanta finished in second place in the East and made it to the Eastern Conference Finals where they fell to Toronto FC 2-1. Martinez led the way with 27 goals, four less than he scored as the MLS MVP when Atlanta won the MLS Cup over Portland in 2018. US National team goalkeeper Brad Guzan recorded 13 clean sheets in 2019 and eight in 2018

FC Cincinnati Outlook: Turn Things Arou

With new manager Jaap Stam on the sidelines for his MLS debut, the Orange and Blue looked completely lost Saturday night in a 4-0 thrashing from in-state rivals Columbus. Cincinnati had just 30% of the possession and managed three shots on goal while committing 14 fouls. Their new system will take some time to implement and it sure didn’t look good in the Hell is Real Derby.

Cincinnati began the season in March with a 3-2 loss to NYRB and a 2-1 loss to Atlanta with both games on the road. Allan Cruz and Jurgen Locadia joined Kubo as the goalscorers while Spencer Richey made five saves in those two games.

In their inaugural MLS season, Cincinnati accrued just six wins and six draws in 43 games while finishing last in the Eastern Conference. Cruz led the team with seven goals while the departed Emmanuel Ledesma had four assists. Cincinnati allowed 75 goals last year, eight more than the next worst defense.

Atlanta United/FC Cincinnati Betting Lines at Scoresandstats.com

Atlanta United -200 to win
FC Cincinnati +450 to win
Draw +350
Over/Under 3 goals (O -120, U -105)

The second group stage game for both teams is a 9:00 a.m. Eastern time kickoff on Thursday and both teams need to be ready from kickoff. It is hard to image Atlanta United taking this game lightly after losing the opener and facing Cincinnati should be just what they need to get things back on track.

FREE PICK: Atlanta United to Win (-200). Bet this at our favorite pay per head bookie site realbookies.com.
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