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Atlanta United vs. Columbus Crew tactical preview

Dissecting the X’s and O’s ahead of tonight’s must-win match

Atlanta United will do its best to keep hope alive tonight as the team faces a must-win game against the mighty Columbus Crew — among the strongest looking teams so far in MLS is Back. We break it all down right here.

Frank de Boer is likely to stick with his 3-4-3 that hasn’t lived up to what the team had in mind at this point. It’s admittedly difficult to draw tactical conclusions from the team’s last match against FC Cincinnati due to Jake Mulraney’s early red card. Despite the loss to New York Red Bulls in the tournament opener, Atlanta created a fair amount of chances, though still lacking from the way the team was playing late last year with Josef Martinez in the side.

And for as many questions as Atlanta’s own play has introduced, even more will be asked of the team going against a quality opponent. Darlington Nagbe, a player who played almost 90 minutes in every single match for Atlanta the past two years, leads the way for the Crew in midfield. And Columbus’ newest signing in Lucas Zelarayan has been every bit the player that was purchased for a reported record fee of $8 million.

Can Atlanta’s fortunes reverse tonight?