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FC Cincinnati v. Atlanta United Betting Preview
After a rough loss over the weekend in Canada, FC Cincinnati returns home to take on a team without a coach in the middle game of their three-game week. The Orange and Blue will take on Atlanta United in their first game since firing Gabriel Heinze on Monday. Kickoff is set for 8:00 p.m. ET Wednesday at TQL Stadium in Cincinnati and will be televised on FS1.
These teams have met five times in MLS action since FCC joined the league, and Atlanta leads the series 3-1-1 with two wins last year. Atlanta won 2-1 at home on March 7, 2020, in front of 69,301 fans in Atlanta before the pandemic hit. FCC won 1-0 at the MLS is Back Tournament group stage in July and Atlanta won 2-0 at home in November.
Good Offense, Bad Defense for FCC
Brazilian Brenner finally had a big game as he scored twice against Montreal on Saturday. Unfortunately for FCC, the defense that had improved over the last six weeks reared its ugly head in reverting to bad habits. As a result, FCC saw 2-0 and 4-2 leads evaporate in the 5-4 loss.
The good news is that the attacking third continues to improve. Even with Allan Cruz and Ronald Matarria at the Gold Cup with Costa Rica, the Orange and Blue put five of seven shots on goal Saturday. Three different goal scorers found the back of the net before FCC allowed three goals in 15 minutes after leading 4-2 in the 72nd minute.
The possession problem continued for Jaap Stam’s side. On the season, they’ve had just 46 percent of the ball. That was even worse against Montreal when they were out-possessed 67-33. As a result, they were outshot 16-7, and Montreal had 13 corners while FCC didn’t have any.
Another New Era in Atlanta
It seems like forever since Atlanta United won the 2019 MLS Cup in Frank de Boer’s first season on the sideline. Since that win 19 months ago, the Five Stripes are on their fourth manager. De Boer was fired after a 1-0 loss to FC Cincinnati last July, his interim coach Stephen Glass lasted four months, and Heinze was let go after 13games.
Heinze lost his job on Monday after he lost the team’s best-attacking player. Former MLS MVP Josef Martinez was sent away from the team to train on his own after he didn’t play on a “coach’s decision” earlier this month. The situation is very similar to that of Toronto FC, where Jozy Altidore left to train on his own after a falling out with manager Chris Armas, who eventually was fired.
Altidore returned over the weekend and scored in his return. Martinez will look to do the same and add on to his tally of 79 goals and 11 assists in 91 career league games. The Venezuelan missed 2020 with an ACL injury and has scored twice this season despite not playing since May 29 when he left for Copa America.
Atlanta will be without defender Miles Robinson and goalie Brad Guzan who are both with the USMNT at the Gold Cup. Assistant coach Rob Valentino will be in charge on the sidelines.
FC Cincinnati ML +115. -0.5 goals (+100)
Atlanta United ML +240. +0.5 goals (-140)
Total Goals 2.5. Over -110. Under -110.
First team to score: FCC -135, Atlanta United +125
Atlanta United has an eight-match winless streak, and this is a must-win for FC Cincinnati. They have to be devastated to have not grabbed a result last Saturday while losing the momentum they had with a four-match point streak. Atlanta is a team in chaos and prime for another defeat as FCC rights the ship.
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