Atlanta United welcome DC United to Georgia on Sunday for what looks very much like a rehearsal for the Eastern Conference final. While these two sides occupy the top two places in the Eastern Conference, though, neither has been in the best of form in recent weeks. Atlanta recorded only their second victory in their last six games with their 5-0 trouncing of Houston Dynamos on Thursday. DC also won only their second game in six when they won 4-1 away at FC Cincinnati on Friday.
Although victories have been rare in recent weeks, both of these teams showed some goalscoring form in their games this week, and their supporters will have been pleased to see a return to attacking sharpness as the business end of the season approaches.
Atlanta United vs DC United Prediction: Atlanta 2-2 DC United
Our prediction for this game is that it will be an exciting game for the spectators, with plenty of excitement and incident. Both sides scored plenty of goals in their previous games earlier this week, but have not been in great form recently. That lack of form suggests that confidence might be somewhat brittle amongst the players in both squads. That lack of confidence makes us suspect that this game will end in a score draw, with both teams scoring at least twice. It should be an exciting occasion for the fans.
Our recommended tip: Draw, both score
Our featured tip for this game comes from William Hill, who are offering odds of 15/4 on the game ending in a draw with both teams scoring. We think that this is a good bet for a number of reasons, not least because the odds on offer provide punters with great value. This is a hard game for the bookies to call, though they have made Atlanta slight favourites. Our prediction is that the game will end in a 2-2 draw, so this bet gives you some flexibility when it comes the precise final scoreline whilst also matching our prediction perfectly.
Out of the last five MLS meetings between these teams, DC have won three and Atlanta twice. The home team tends to do well in this fixtures, with those last five encounters all being won by the home side. The last meeting between the sides was in March earlier this year, with DC winning 2-0 in Washington, thanks to goals from Paul Arriola and Luciano Acosta.
In 2018, the teams met three times, twice in Atlanta and once in Washington, DC. The games went the way of the home side in all three, with Atlanta winning 3-1 in their two home games and DC triumphing by the same scoreline in theirs.
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Players to watch: Josef Martinez & Wayne Rooney
Venezuelan striker Josef Martinez has been an important player for Atlanta in 2019. The forward struck two goals in the 5-0 home win over Houston Dynamo in midweek, taking his tally for the whole MLS campaign to 15 goals from 18 matches. He has also provided two assists for his team-mates in MLS games this season. If DC United want to win the game this weekend, they will need to keep a close eye on Martinez.
Former Everton, Manchester United and England forward Wayne Rooney may not be in the Premier League anymore, but he is still making a valuable contribution to DC United’s cause in the MLS. Rooney weighed in with a goal in the 4-1 win at FC Cincinnati in midweek, taking his total for the MLS season to 11 in 21 matches, only one less than his tally of 12 last season. He has also provided six assists to team-mates.