Preview: DC United vs. Atlanta United – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between DC United and Atlanta United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After suffering back-to-back defeats, DC United will be aiming to return to winning ways, when they welcome Atlanta United to Audi Field on Saturday.

The visitors, meanwhile, have lost just one of their opening four matches, leaving them one point better off than Saturday’s hosts.

Match preview

DC United head coach Hernan Losada watches the play during the first half against Toronto FC at BMO Field on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Hernan Losada could not have asked for a better start to the season, with his side winning their first two matches without conceding a goal.

However, they have been unable to add to their points tally since the 1-0 victory over Cincinnati, with both of their last two outings ending in defeat.

DC United’s first loss of the season came at home against Chicago Fire before Toronto came from a goal down to beat Losada’s side in their most recent fixture.

Russell Canouse gave DC United an early lead against the Canadian outfit, but goals from Alejandro Pozuelo and Jonathan Osorio condemned Canouse and his team-mates to their first away defeat of the season.

Despite suffering consecutive losses, DC United occupy a playoff place after four games of the MLS season and a win on Saturday would lift them above their opponents in the Eastern Conference.

Atlanta United forward Josef Martinez (7) (left) reacts with teammates after scoring a goal against CF Montreal during the first half at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Atlanta, meanwhile, got off to a flyer with an opening day win over Sporting Kansas City, but they were quickly brought down to earth in their next outing.

A 3-0 away defeat against Colorado Rapids would have caused concern in the Atlanta dressing room, but the Five Stripes showed great resolve to collect four points from their last two matches.

Consecutive home victories was secured thanks to a late winner from Jake Mulraney in the sixth minute of stoppage time, which helped the Five Stripes to a 2-1 win over Charlotte FC.

More late goals were needed in their last outing, with 10-men Atlanta coming from 3-1 down to pick up a point against CF Montreal, with Thiago Almada and Brooks Lennon scoring in the closing stages to ensure their side are yet to lose at home this season.

Although a number of late goals highlights Atlanta’s resilience, Gonzalo Pineda will be frustrated with his team’s ill-discipline, having seen two of his players sent off in the opening four games.

DC United Major League Soccer form:

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:

Team News

DC United midfielder Russell Canouse (6) celebrates scoring a goal with his teammates during the first half against Toronto FC at BMO Field on March 19, 2022© Reuters

Despite losing their last two matches, DC United are expected to utilise a back three once again, with Andy Najar, Steven Birnbaum and Brendan Hines-Ike expected to line up in the defensive line.

Julien Gressel has started every game this season, and he is set to face his former side on Saturday.

Losada could make a change in the forward line, with Ecuador international Michael Estrada expected to replace Nigel Robertha.

As for Saturday, they are still set to be without Franco Ibarra, Luiz Araujo, Machop Chol and Emerson Hyndman, who are out with injuries.

Dom Dwyer is suspended for the encounter after he was sent off just three minutes into a substitute appearance against Montreal.

Almada and Mulraney were also brought on in the 3-3 draw last time out, but they are set to be given starting berths for Saturday’s contest.

DC United possible starting lineup:
Hamid; Najar, Birnbaum, Hines-Ike; Gressel, Canouse, Djeffal, Smith; Flores, Kamara, Estrada

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Hernandez, Franco, Robinson, Gutman; Rossetto, Alonso; Lennon, Almada, Mulraney; Martinez

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We say: DC United 1-2 Atlanta United

DC United will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive defeat, but after losing four of their last five meetings against Atlanta United, we think the Five Stripes will edge out their hosts to clinch victory on Saturday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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