One of the most entertaining matches in the first round of MLS will be without a doubt a clash between DC United and Atlanta United, which will take place on March 4th at Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington.
DC United ended last season the best possible way, which turned their season upside down. In a good way. With a streak of wins in the last few games of the season, they catapulted themselves to the playoffs, where they sadly suffered an early exit, as they surprisingly lost to Columbus Crew in the knockout round. It was quite a disappointing exit for DC United, who looked promising towards the end of the season. Nonetheless, it’s a new season and a new chance for DC United to prove their worth to the world and other MLS teams. While there are some questions regarding the quality of the team after losing Asad, I believe they are still a powerhouse with players like Acosta and Rooney, who are both exceptional players.
On the other side, we have got the “almighty” Atlanta United, the reigning MLS champions who have got their eyes on yet another title this season, but I have my doubts about that. First of all, they have lost Miguel Almiron who left for England where he will play for Newcastle. With his absence alone, there is a huge gap to fill as he was the key playmaker of Atlanta United and a huge part of their success last season. Additionally, Atlanta United come into 2019 season with a new coach Frank De Boer, after the departure of Tata Martino. That I am not saying will be a setback for Atlanta, but then again we can not know for sure what it will amount to. Still a “testing period” is expected for the first couple of games, where Atlanta will not be as organised as last season. Nonetheless, I expect them to soon get into the rhythm of the new tactics Frank De Boer brought with him. As for the new signings, Atlanta United put a lot of hopes into Gonzalo Martinez, who has huge shoes to fill as a replacement for Almiron. Apart from that, Atlanta looks more or less the same as they did last season.
When two teams of such calibre meet each other, we are surely in for an entertaining match. With new additions to the club and quality they possess, I would be surprised if these two teams won’t end in the top spots in the league, however before we jump into conclusions, they first need to prove themselves in the first match of the 2019 season. Looking at the last three H2H matches between DC United and Atlanta, all of them ended with the same score; 3:1, two of which ended in Atlanta’s favour, while the last one belonged to DC United. Not to stretch this preview too long, let’s just jump into our prediction. Looking at odds offered on DC United and Atlanta, they are fairly equal. DC United unite are considered a slight favourite by bookmakers, but only by a marginal difference. That is not surprising as this is the first match of the season for two teams who had a fair share of changes in key positions, which is why I will avoid picking an outright winner. Instead, we will focus on over/under market, which offers high odds on Over 3 goals. This will be the first time this season these two teams will have a chance to show their strength, and with a lot of quality on both sides, especially in the attack, this one is bound to be a fast-paced and entertaining match which won’t lack any goals. Expect this match to end with at least 3 goals.
Prediction: Over 3.00 goals
Odds: 2.20 SBOBET