After a thrilling 2-2 draw against NYCFC, Atlanta United turns its attention to the Los Angeles Zlatans(yes I made this joke before but it just keeps on giving). Ezequiel Barco and Franco Escobar are both being eased back into the team after long-term injuries and Tito Villalba has only trained for a portion of this week. What does that mean for this prediction? Well, a lot of assumptions are going to be made. We’re winging it.
Here is the definite, surefire lineup for April 21.*
*I’m probably wrong.
Formation: 3-5-2. Until Atlanta is completely healthy, they probably aren’t going back to the 4-3-3.
Goalkeeper: Brad Guzan.
Center Back #1: Chris McCann. Tata Martino made it pretty clear to the media this week that they are being cautious with Escobar. Expect him to be available off the bench though.
Center Back #2: Michael Parkhurst. Ol’ Reliable.
Center Back #3: Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. When playing at home this season, he’s been one of the best defenders in MLS. On the road however, LGP has played a total of 77 minutes in two matches after picking up a hip injury against the Houston Dynamo and a red card at Minnesota United. Let’s see if his fortune changes this time around.
Left Wingback: Greg Garza. He has a torn labrum and apparently that’s no big deal. Go soccer!
Right Wingback: Julian Gressel.
Central Midfielder #1: Jeff Larentowicz.
Central Midfielder #2: Darlington Nagbe.
Attacking Midfielder: Kevin Kratz. The real question here is whether or not Barco starts. That essentially affects the rest of the attacking portion of the lineup. If he does, Barco likely starts up top with Josef Martinez, and Miguel Almiron can return to his usual CAM position.
However, Martino made it seem like Barco isn’t ready to start just yet.
Striker #1: Josef Martinez. He can be enraged all he wants. Just score goals. I don’t really care about “body language” or whatever miserable excuse miserable people come up with to judge one of the most prolific scorers this league has ever seen.
Striker #2: Miguel Almiron. Does Villalba start after not training alongside the team for half the week? It typically doesn’t happen. I thought Almiron did really well in this position last weekend though.
To recap, here’s the projected lineup against the LA Galaxy.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.