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Predicting Atlanta United’s starting XI against Nashville SC

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Last one before the long international break.

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Seattle Sounders FC Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta United are a bit goal-starved, to say the least. Consider that it’s played 6 matches through the young MLS season and have scored a grand total of 7 goals. Out of those 6 matches—and for all 10 of its matches throughout all competitions—it’s scored more than 1 goal only once, the 3-1 win against Chicago Fire SC on April 24.

So this isn’t exactly the Atlanta United of 2017 and 2018. Fans can only hope that a) Josef Martinez continues to get back to his old self or that b) the club can either find someone else with a scoring touch from within or add to its roster. (If the latter happens, it won’t be with Paul McDonough in the front office as his role in the Inter Miami roster compliance fiasco saw him part ways with Atlanta coupled with his suspension from the league until the end of next season.)

That said, Atlanta will surely be looking for 3 points against Nashville SC with the FIFA international break looming. Here’s what I think its starting XI will look like in the latest edition of a Southeastern derby:

GK: Brad Guzan (c)

LWB: George Bello

CB: Miles Robinson

CB: Anton Walkes

RWB: Brooks Lennon

MF: Marcelino Moreno

MF: Emerson Hyndman

MF: Santiago Sosa

LW: Erik Lopez

RW: Jake Mulraney

ST: Josef Martinez

Obviously the big news is Ezequiel Barco being finally ready to go after missing the last several matches due to a lower body injury. But...I don’t particularly think he starts against Nashville, to be honest. The same with Alan Franco—Anton Walkes has done well alongside Miles Robinson at the centerback slot and should go on Saturday regardless of Franco’s availability.

The rest is (should be?) fairly straightforward, unless Gabriel Heinze throws a few curveballs our way.

As always, your thoughts are welcome in the comments.