Atlanta United he did enough to go through away games against Chicago and Orlando unbeaten, but that was where the good news ended. Typical Five Stripes shortcomings were on full display in both away trips, with two draws easily ending in two defeats with a few rebounds in the other direction. Nevertheless, Atlanta has somehow stayed close to the top of the East and may further cement its status with Wednesday night’s injury-ravaged revolution in New England.
The Revs are third in the Eastern Conference with 25 points, but while they were in first place just a few weeks ago, Cincinatti (33 points) and Nashville (28) are ahead of them. Bruce Arena’s team started the season with 6 wins in their first 9 games, but have only one win in their last six games and are winless in four. A big reason for the decline in form is the current injury crisis in New England, with regular starters Dylan Borrero (out of the season), Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil and Henry Kessler unavailable, along with several pieces of the bench. Gil (3 goals, 1 assist), Bou (2g, 1a) and Borrero (2g) were key cogs in New England’s attack, the fourth best in the East with 22 goals scored. Without these three, Giacomo Vrioni (3g) and Bobby Wood (4g, 3a) in particular caught the slack, but there was still a significant drop. It was the same on defense, and while New England still boast the fifth-highest number of goals in the East, they have conceded three in two straight games and even moved from Arena’s favorite 4-2-3-1/4-4-2 to three-pointers against Chicago last weekend – albeit unsuccessfully after a wild 3-3 draw.
Despite only one win in the last six, only Nashville and Philadelphia have surpassed Atlanta’s score of 23 points, enough for 5th place and 3 clear of 7th place. At this point in the season, it’s pretty clear what the Five Stripes cap is, and all extreme forms aside, it’s about where they’ll be for the foreseeable future. Atlanta’s last away leg was another example of this, and perhaps the biggest takeaway was the emergence of Tyler Wolff as a potential starter thanks to a clutch equalizer against Orlando. Combined with the return of Luiz Araujo from suspension, Pineda will have almost everyone available in attack, minus Caleb Wiley.
Atlanta holds a 5W-3D-3L lead in the all-time series against the Revs, although New England have won three of their last four, while the good guys haven’t taken three points since 2019.
Expected initial XI
Prediction: Atlanta United 2-1 Revolution in New England
The Revs’ serious injury problems will be a big boost for Atlanta, who are winning 2-1 thanks to Giakoumakis’ brace, although defending worries from the Five Stripes will not ensure a stress-free evening thanks to Bobby Wood’s strike.