Preview: Nashville SC vs Atlanta United FC

After a bounce back win over CF Montreal, Nashville SC are at GEODIS Park once again. The Coyotes will take on Atlanta United, a side they defeated just 11 days ago in the US Open Cup. Can Nashville continue their unbeaten streak at home? They’ll get their chance in another edition of El Ribereño.

Nashville SC

Current standing: 6th (West) | 5-3-4 | 0 GD
Power Rankings: 12th (5.49)

Injuries

OUT: Teal Bunbury (knee), Robert Castellanos (ankle), Koze Donasiyano (adductor), Randall Leal (ankle)

Nashville are getting closer to health again, and it comes at an ideal time. The Boys In Gold are on a stretch of eight games in 28 days, including a US Open Cup trip to Louisville next week.

While Randall Leal is out a couple more weeks, Aníbal Godoy made his return to the pitch midweek and Ahmed Longmire is out of the Covid protocols.

Brian Anunga and Dax McCarty started against Montreal, and were both incredibly effective in the press. With a heavy slate of games, I expect Sean Davis and Godoy to give them a rest and start in the center of midfield together.

A big question comes on the front line. With Leal out, Luke Haakenson started midweek. While he certainly wasn’t poor, he didn’t offer the same attacking production. Aké Loba didn’t even see the field against Houston. Does he come into the lineup to try in a more aggressive move? The Ivorian striker certainly hasn’t lived up to his nearly $7 million price tag so far. Will he get another chance today?

Atlanta United FC

Current standing: 7th (East) | 4-3-4 | +1 GD
Power Rankings: 14th (4.00)

Injuries

QUESTIONABLE: Caleb Wiley (lower body), Josef Martínez (knee), Santiago Sosa (adductor)
OUT: Machop Chol (leg), Ozzie Alonso (torn ACL), Dylan Castanheira (achilles), Brad Guzan (achilles), Miles Robinson (achilles)

If it wasn’t obvious, Atlanta are incredibly banged up. Josef Martínez has never looked like his old self after tearing his ACL in Nashville in February 2020. He’s played sporadically this season, and is questionable with another knee injury.

MLS veteran Ozzie Alonso was signed as a free agent this season and looked to play a key part in midfield, but tore his ACL early in the year. Brad Guzan and Miles Robinson both tore their achilles, with the latter set to miss the 2022 World Cup after turning into a mainstay last year. It’s less than ideal for the Five Stripes.

They nearly pulled off a significant win in Nashville last time out, going up 2-0 before conceding a 92nd minute equalizer and losing in extra time. That loss will certainly sting, missing the chance to be the first team to win on the road in Nashville in over 500 games.

Even with injuries, Atlanta have a wealth of attacking talent, and clearly caused Nashville’s typically solid defense plenty of issues last time out. They also had a full week off, while Nashville played an intense match just four days ago. Will Atlanta’s extra rest give them the boost they need to end Nashville’s home unbeaten streak?

Pod picks

Andy Simmons

Score: Nashville 1 – 0 Atlanta
Scores: C.J. Sapong
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: Nashville grabs the lead at the end of the first half

Lucas Panzica

Score: Nashville 3 – 1 Atlanta
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Ethan Zubak, Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Mukhtar scores his best individual goal of the season.

Jonathan Slape

Score: Nashville 2 – 0 Atlanta
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Aníbal Godoy
MOTM: Hany Mukhtar
Bold Prediction: Godoy returns to the starting lineup and scores a goal.

Chris Ivey

Score: Nashville 3 – 1 Atlanta
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, C.J. Sapong, Walker Zimmerman
MOTM: Walker Zimmerman
Bold Prediction: NSC gets out in front with two in the first half, settle into a defensive posture in the second, only to concede a goal, then score on a Zimmerman header on a corner kick.

Ben Wright

Score: Nashville 2 – 1 Atlanta
Scorers: Hany Mukhtar, Dan Lovitz
MOTM: Sean Davis
Bold Prediction: Sean Davis completes 80+% of his passes and picks up a secondary assist.

Fan Forecast

Kit matchup

Match Info

Teams: Nashville SC vs Atlanta United FC
Odds: Nashville (+105), Draw (+220), Nashville (+260) via BetMGM
Date: Saturday, May 21
Time: 6:30 PM Central, GEODIS Park, Nashville, Tennessee
TV: FOX
Radio: iHeartRadio Online (English); El Jefe 96.7 (Spanish)
Forecast: 94°/69°. Partly Cloudy 20% chance of rain. 47% humidity

Leave a Reply