We’re back where we started. Atlanta United had the chance to put some distance between it and the playoff line last week, but the Five Stripes’ case of the butter-fingers in regards to playoff spots once again reared its head. Atlanta finds itself uncomfortably close to the red line once more and is even in threat of slipping below it when it takes a midweek trip Inter Miami, it’s fourth clash of the season against the expansion side.
Miami has been in the basement of the league for much of the season, but a recent turnaround in form has kept it very much alive and just one point out of the playoffs. Diego Alonso’s side is on a two game winning streak and may finally be playing with the quality you’d expect from the sum of its parts. Gonzalo Higuain’s arrival has kickstarted the Floridian outfit since his move from Juventus, notching a goal and an assist in four appearances. His impact has been felt deeper than just the scoresheet, though. The Argentine spearheads an attack that needed all the help it could get and provides another dimension for opposing backlines to worry about. This has all been without the help of DP Rodolfo Pizarro who is away on international duty. Scottish winger Lewis Morgan has filled in quite nicely however, notching three goals and one assist in his last four.
Atlanta’s unbeaten streak came to an end before it was even worthy of being labeled a streak. A first regular season win over the Red Bulls remains illusive, but even more worrying is the Five Stripes table position. Stephen Glass’ side is now in 10th, but level on points with Nashville and just one ahead of Miami. Wednesday’s fixture could prove decisive come November, as its the last head-to-head meeting between that trio. Even if Atlanta’s perfect postseason run does comes to an end, there’s at least one bright spot to look forward to each game. Marcelino Moreno. The Argentine may be here for some time and hopefully as his minutes grow so will our optimism for 2021.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter Miami 2-1 Atlanta United
This comment following the New York loss prompted further research, and the results are, uh, less than ideal. Each of the four games I’ve predicted to be an Atlanta win have instead resulted in losses.
*Grimaces. Glances around guiltily.*
I’ll go ahead and see myself out.