Seattle Sounders vs Atlanta United Preview, Picks, Betting Predictions: Side With Goals

Gabriel HeinzeSeattle Sounders welcome Atlanta United to Lumen Field on Sunday, as they look to extend their winning run (4.30pm ET; TV: Live on FOX). The visitors will want to put together a victory streak of their own having regained the winning thread against Montreal last time out.

So how will this MLS clash play out? Hopefully this Seattle Sounders vs Atlanta United predictions and preview article will answer that, along with our concluding betting pick.

Strong Seattle

As we all expected, Seattle, who once again featured in MLS Cup final last season, have remained strong this term. Apart from the departure of Jordan Morris, who swapped Seattle for Swansea City, Brian Schmetzer’s squad has pretty much remained the same, so it’s no surprise to see success appear early on.

The Sounders currently top the Western Conference, winning five and drawing six. Impressively, they come into this fixture having kept back-to-back clean sheets, while they have conceded just two goals overall. We haven’t seen too much of Seattle ripping teams apart in recent weeks, scoring no more than twice in their last three matches, but they have certainly kept things tight at the back.

Five Stripes up for the fight

The Atlanta of a few years ago is well and truly gone, but from the flames, a phoenix has risen, and it looks as though it’s one that is tough to beat. With former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Argentina defender Gabriel Heinze at the helm, the Five Stripes have become a team that is not at all easy to get at. They have lost only one out of five MLS matches this term, two of which they’ve won.

Scoring goals with regularity doesn’t seem to be their thing, but they do seem capable of frustrating teams, even the game they lost, they only lost by a single goal. Atlanta United have conceded just four goals since the campaign begun, meaning that they have the second-best defensive record in the east. They’ve conceded more than once in just one of their five fixtures. Such defensive numbers bode well, especially ahead of a match against a home side that can certainly pose a fierce threat on their on their own patch.

Tight head-to-head

This will be the fifth renewal of this cross-conference MLS fixture. Of the previous four, Seattle have won one, as have Atlanta. When the pair last met here, back in 2019, Seattle edged a close-fought contest, by two goals to one. Sunday’s visitors are without a win in two visits to Lumen Field, though they did earn a point here in 2017 and have only shipped two goals in just over 180 minutes of football in Seattle’s backyard. Not too many teams can say that.

Basic stats hide the truth?

On the face of it, Atlanta have kept teams reasonably quiet, but if we dig a little deeper, it is not terribly difficult to conclude that some of their reasonably admirable results, especially on the road, have been a shade fortunate. For all they’ve conceded only three travelling goals, which is not too bad at all, they’ve conceded lots more chances, giving up a combined total of 6.1 expected goals in their three away matches, surrendering individual totals of 2.4, 2.5 and 1.2. This tells us that they’ve not done a great job of preventing teams from creating. The visitors also currently average 12 shots against on the road, which doesn’t exactly suggest that they are stopping teams from building up a head of steam.

Side with goals in the betting

As touched on already in this MLS game preview, Seattle haven’t gone mad in terms of goals for in recent weeks, but they remain a side that carries a huge attacking threat. What’s more, they do average three goals for per 90 minutes at Lumen Field this term. Combine this with the fact that Atlanta have been giving plenty of chances away, even if those chances haven’t always been converted, and it’s easy to envisage the hosts enjoying themselves offensively.

With this in mind, ‘Over 2.75 Goals’ appeals, especially when we consider that there has been an average of 3.06 expected goals produced in Seattle’s home matches this season, as well as an average of 3.16 in Atlanta United’s travelling fixtures. Such numbers point towards ‘Over 2.75 Goals’ being well worth a go. So, as we conclude our predictions, this is the sole pick this preview is advising at the sportsbooks: