After a run of poor results, Atlanta United FC will look to turn the tide when they entertain FC Dallas at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Wednesday evening (7pm ET). In contrast, the visitors will be hoping to extend what is fast becoming an impressive winning run.
Read on for our Atlanta vs FC Dallas predictions, full preview & betting picks.
Five Stripes struggling
The 2020 campaign has thrown up a different Atlanta side, there can be no getting away from that. Gone is the Atlanta that dazzled the crowds, gone is the Atlanta that dominated opponents, and gone is the Atlanta that so brilliantly won the 201 MLS Cup. Now, we’re seeing an Atlanta side that is struggling at every turn.
A poor MLS Is Back tournament saw the end of Frank De Boer’s tenure as manager, though switching things up is yet to bring about improvement. Under the temporary stewardship of Stephen Glass, the Five Stripes have won just once. Since beating Nashville in August, Wednesday’s hosts have lost four and drawn two.
A loss of attacking strength has obviously blighted the Five Stripes, who greatly miss the injured Josef Martínez, and who never properly replaced the creativity and guile of Miguel Almirón. However, right now, their biggest problem is in defence. Atlanta come into this fixture having conceded at least two goals in each of their last three matches, all of which have ended in defeat, while they have kept just one clean sheet in their last six. Only two teams have conceded more goals than Atlanta in the Eastern Conference this term.
Toros flying high
While Atlanta struggle to keep themselves afloat, Dallas have been swimming along nicely of late. Wednesday’s visitors arrive at this juncture off the back of three successive victories, beating SKC, Colorado and Houston, scoring a pleasing nine goals in the process. Their recent run of wins has propelled The Toros to 3rd in the Western Conference. They are now just a point shy of SKC, while they are only two points behind division leaders Seattle.
Dallas have the upper hand
As far as this fixture is concerned, Dallas currently have the upper hand having won two of the previous three renewals. When the pair met for the first time back in 2017, Atlanta won by three goals to nil, but they have since failed to dominate. Dallas have won each of the last two meetings, winning by two goals to one at this venue back in 2019.
Home providing little comfort
There was a time not that long ago when Mercedes-Benz Arena struck fear into the hearts of visiting sides, though that no longer seems the case. Atlanta have failed to win any of their last three at home, two of which they have lost. Glass’ men have also scored a measly two goals in their last three at home too, which given their defensive exploits, is nowhere near enough.
In fact, getting forward and making it happen in the final third is something that Atlanta have not done anywhere near well enough at home of late. In their last four matches at Mercedes-Benz Arena, they have posted expected goals for figures of 1.1, 0.6, 0.4 and 0.8. This tells us that in only one of their last four have they created enough chances fully to warrant finding the net. These numbers need to improve and by some margin if Atlanta are to turn things around.
How do the pair compare numerically?
If we look at the underlying figures, then Atlanta’s problems are clear. They are not creating enough, while they’re also giving far too much away. In their four regular season matches at home since the resumption of MLS action, the Five Stripes have posted an average of just 0.57 expected goals for. They’ve conceded an average of 1.85, meaning that, on average, they’ve conceded -1.28 expected goals more than they’ve created. Such numbers should make worrying reading for Atlanta fans.
In their recent away matches, Dallas haven’t exactly scaled the heights in terms of creativity, though they have still done a better job than Atlanta in that respect, posting an average of 1.06 expected goals for per 90. At the other end, they’ve surrendered an average of 1.04. This shows that they are essentially creating, on average, as much as they’re conceding, which is certainly not something that can be said for The Five Stripes at this moment in time.
Hosts too short in the betting
The early odds with the online, offshore USA sports betting sites ahead of this one point towards a home win, though it is not easy to go along with that. Atlanta have been struggling at both ends of the pitch, particularly in recent home matches. With Martínez still out and with Pity having left for pastures new, it’s tough to say who will come up with the goods for them offensively, while it is equally hard to envisage them keeping things tight at the back after recent showings.
In contrast, FC Dallas, whose numbers are far more appealing than Atlanta’s, have ground out some decent results of late. Off the back of tasting victory on the road last time, the visitors are worth supporting to make it four wins on the spin.
So the conclusion of our Atlanta vs FC Dallas predictions is this one betting pick:
- Take FC Dallas to win on the moneyline @ best odds of +199 with BetOnline.