The playoff push continues against a team that's also competing for a spot.
Atlanta United will face the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday in what will be the Five Stripes' penultimate match of the 2022 MLS regular season and one that Atlanta absolutely needs to win to continue their miracle playoff push.
New England (9-11-12) is 11th in the East with 38 points in 32 games. Last year's Supporter's Shield champions were knocked off of their perch this year and have struggled this season. With Adam Buksa and Tajon Buchanan leaving the club by the summer transfer window, New England has found it hard to replicate last season's success. The Revs' have 41.7 total expected goals this season and 50.4 expected goals against - the sixth worst in the league. They also have a season average of 20.97 shot-creating actions per 90 (sixth most in the league) and 2.31 goal-creating actions per 90 (14th in the league). The heavy hitters in their attack are Carles Gil (7 goals, 8 assists), Gustavo Bou (7 goals, 2 assists), Brandon Bye (2 goals, 6 assists), and Tommy McNamara (4 goals, 3 assists).
New England Predicted XI:
Atlanta United Predicted XI:
How does Atlanta win?
By exploiting that weak back line. This game is critical for Atlanta's playoff hopes, but that doesn't mean that it should approach it any differently than the way it has the past few games. If the team can control the game and dictate the tempo of the game, be able to do what it does best - create chances. Hopefully, the urgency of the situation paired with the wave of morale that comes from carrying a three-game unbeaten streak will help the team put away more of those chances.
Defensively, Atlanta needs to be able to close down players like Gil and Bou while keeping a eye on players running in behind. Lost marks on runners into the box is what led to both New England goals when the Revs came to Atlanta earlier this season, so the Five Stripes will have to be EXTREMELY disciplined to not let this one slip.