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Predicting Atlanta United’s lineup vs. Monterrey in Concacaf Champions League

...Hope for the best?

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Atlanta United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

It probably won’t be the biggest crowd at Mercedes-Benz Stadium as Atlanta United host Monterrey in the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League tie. A 3-0 deficit means that Atlanta really don’t have anything to lose this evening, so what will Frank de Boer have in mind?

The big question

Is 3-0 too much for this club? We saw Juventus turn a 0-2 deficit into 3-2 against Atletico Madrid in the UEFA Champions League. Then again, Atlanta aren’t Juve. But do you throw everything at the second leg of a tie that may be out the window already and compromise dropped points at the risk of picking up just 1 or 2 of a possible 9 through your first 3 matches?

On the other side of the coin, there’s some merit to the argument that as lackluster as Atlanta looked in Leg 1, it was a 1-0 match until late. That said, a comeback is not impossible, but...unlikely.

Predicted Atlanta United lineup vs. Monterrey in Concacaf Champions League

Formation: 3-4-3

  • Julian Gressel is back. That’s good. Just how much effect will he have on the match, though? If Frank de Boer is insistent on playing through the wings, we’ll need to see Gressel have the type of match he had in Leg 2 against Herediano in Kennesaw.
  • Does Tito Villalba even start tonight? I think if de Boer is serious about winning, No. 15 gets the call - if only to confirm that he still has a place in this system. Not playing him at all is inexcusable if he’s fit.
  • I actually think George Bello gives you an advantage over Brek Shea. Yes, Shea does have more international experience, but I’d say that performance-wise the youngster has shown better.

Thoughts? Questions? Let me know in the comments.