Atlanta United vs. New York City FC
|Date & Time||Saturday June 9, 2018, 12:30 PM (EDT)|
The Line: NYCFC +105 / Draw +265 / Atlanta +240 -- Over/Under: 3
ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada), FOX Sports South, YES
One of the more intriguing MLS matchups on Saturday comes to us from Yankee Stadium as the top two teams in the Eastern Conference go head-to-head when New York City FC host Atlanta United.
New York City FC come into this one looking to build on a 3-0 victory over Orlando City in their last outing. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi opened the scoring for NYCFC 35 minutes in, before adding a 2nd tally in the 79th minute doubling the lead and Maximiliano Morales added a 3rd in the 87th minute to seal the victory. NYCFC had 48% possession while outshooting Orlando 16-11 with 5 shots on target to Orlando’s 2. David Villa leads NYCFC in scoring with 8 goals this season, while Tajouri-Shradi is right behind with 7 goals and Moralez is 3rd with 6 tallies this season. Villa leads the team with 37 shots and 16 on target, while also tied for the team lead in assists with Moralez with 3 assists this season.
Atlanta United will look for a big road win to maintain their hold atop the Eastern Conference standings after a 3-1 victory over Philadelphia Union in their last outing. Atlanta found themselves with an early two man advantage after Philadelphia had two players sent off in the 19th minute. Josef Martinez was the man of the match, tied the MLS record for career hat tricks, playing just 34 career matches. Martinez opened his scoring account by scoring from the penalty spot 21 minutes in, before notching his 2nd in the 49th and covering another penalty in the 83rd minute to complete the hat trick. Martinez now leads Atlanta with 12 goals this season, while Miguel Almiron leads Atlanta with 6 assists and is the MLS leader with 82 shots, 58 off target and 24 on goal this season.
The three all time meetings between these two teams have favoured the home team, winning two and drawing one, with the most recent meeting being a 2-2 draw back in April. An interesting side note, each of the three meetings have seen four combined goals.
Even as the first game of the day, this has potential to be the match of the week in MLS. With that said, I remember backing the draw when these two first clashed in April as I didn’t see much to separate the two teams, and I’m in the same boat here, so I’d side with the draw as my top pick. Furthermore, punters who don’t want to take a chance on the draw can side with the over as I think we see some fireworks and a fourth straight meeting with at least four goals.