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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI at FC Motagua

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so it begins.

MLS: MLS Cup Playoffs-Semifinals-Philadelphia Union at Atlanta United FC John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United’s season finally kicks off in Honduras on Tuesday night against F.C Motagua in the Scotiabank CONCACAF Champions League. With the departure of many talented first-team players like Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Gressel, and Nagbe, Atlanta has a new look squad ready for the season (I hope).

Here is my predicted XI for the match Tuesday night:

In DeBoer’s press conference Monday, he mentioned that Atlanta is going to start the game with a back four considering the injuries and visa problems the club is having. The 4-4-2 (or call it a 4-2-3-1 if you want to classify Pity as an attacking midfielder) is the best possible solution that is going to help Atlanta United defend against Motagua’s pressing.

The backline was the hardest to predict with the injuries of Bello, Castillo, and Robinson and the visa troubles of Rossetto and Mulraney. Walkes and Larentowicz will play out of position, but both have enough experience in the left-back and center back positions to help Atlanta United any way they can.

The midfield block of four isn’t something Atlanta United isn’t accustomed to, but with injuries and lack of squad depth, the 4-4-2 needed to be introduced. Remedi and Hyndman is a usual midfield combination we are used to seeing. Lennon, on the other hand, will be playing a more advanced position on the right-hand side. Barco will start on the left-hand side but will have more of a ‘free roam’ around the pitch, helping out the attack wherever.

The two striker partnership of Josef and Pity is something familiar. Look for Pity to drop back a bit to receive the ball in the pocket and look for Josef’s runs.

Look for formation changes during the game. DeBoer loves his back three, so there’s a big chance he will change tactics to use it during the game. Also, pay attention to the response of any substitutes that come on during the game. Not everyone’s spot is secured on this team, and with injuries to the squad, there’s a lot of opportunities for players to prove themselves.

Let me know what your line up is and thoughts in the comments! There’s a lot of possibilities!