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Match Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs Atlanta United

Atlanta looks to continue their good form against a western conference playoff opponent.

Atlanta United will go on the road to play LA Galaxy on Sunday at 9:30 PM.

After only earning four points from a possible nine at home, Atlanta United has some catching up to do if it's going to make the playoffs this season. It is currently three points behind a playoff spot with a game in hand, but there are four other clubs battling to get above the line.

LA Galaxy (8-3-9) are seventh in the West with 27 points. The Galaxy is on par with Atlanta in goal-creating actions (44) and goal-creating actions per 90 (2.20) but surpasses Atlanta in total expected goals 35.1 to 30.3. The players to watch for on the attack are Dejan Joveljić (8 goals, 2 assists), Javier "Chicharito" Hernández (7 goals), Rayan Raveloson (3 goals, 2 assists), and Samuel Grandsir (1 goal, 3 assists).

Atlanta has won all three times that it has faced the Galaxy scoring a total of nine goals without conceding. Ever.

The Galaxy has conceded eight goals in its past three games and seems to be very poor defensively in its own box. Many of the goals it concedes are a result of silly mistakes: a bad mark, a bad pass, losing a runner in the box, etc. Its recent defensive performances have looked lethargic and uninspiring. Sound familiar?

LA Galaxy Predicted XI

Atlanta United Predicted XI

How does Atlanta win?

With how poorly the Galaxy is inside their box, the key is to put in penetrating passes to the players up top. This is a game where Thiago Almada with his inch-perfect balls into the box and Aiden McFadden's fantastic crossing abilities will be key. With the pace of attackers like Luiz Araújo and Ronaldo Cisneros, Atlanta can capitalize on any mistakes and cash in. Of course, Atlanta will have to be careful not to give anything away at the back as Los Angeles packs some dangerous attacking talent. Once again, it's important for Atlanta to score first. Their record when conceding first is 6-45-16, so the times they have been able to come back are few and far between.

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