Preview: Atlanta United vs. Nashville SC – prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between Atlanta United and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Still licking their wounds from their 2023 Leagues Cup final defeat, Nashville SC visit the Mercedes-Benz Stadium to take on Atlanta United in the MLS on Saturday.

Having failed to win any of the last seven meetings between the sides, the Five Stripes will head into the weekend looking to get one over the visitors.

Match preview

Atlanta United midfielder Thiago Almada (23) celebrates with teammates on July 30, 2023© Reuters

Atlanta United returned to action in the MLS last Monday as they picked up a comfortable 2-0 victory over Seattle Sounders when the sides squared off at Lumen Field.

Former Celtic striker Giorgos Giakoumakis turned in a performance of the highest quality as he scored in both halves to condemn the Sounders to a third straight defeat.

Prior to that, Atlanta United were on a four-match losing streak across all competition, a run which saw them suffer a disappointing group-stage exit from the 2023 Leagues Cup.

While Gonzalo Pineda‘s men will be looking to pick up where they dropped off against Seattle Sounders, this weekend’s game pits them against an opposing side who are unbeaten in their last seven meetings, claiming four wins and three draws since a 2-0 loss in August 2020.

Nashville SC midfielder Hany Mukhtar (10) celebrates with teammates on June 18, 2023© Reuters

Nashville’s dreams of clinching a first-ever Leagues Cup title came to an end last Sunday when they fell to a penalty-shootout loss against a Lionel Messi-inspired Inter Miami side.

After Messi netted his 10th goal of the competition to break the deadlock in the 23rd minute, Drake Callender scored a 57th-minute own goal to force extra time, and with nothing to separate the sides, the game went to penalties, where the Herons picked up a 10-9 victory.

Gary Smith‘s men now turn their attention to the MLS, where they have lost five of their most recent six matches, with a 2-0 victory over DC United on July 2 being the exception.

However, following a solid Leagues Cup campaign, Nashville will return to league action with sky-high confidence as they look to strengthen their position in the top half of the table.

With 38 points from 24 matches, the Boys in Gold are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference standings, level on points with Saturday’s hosts, albeit with one game in hand.

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:

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Team News

Atlanta United head coach Gonzalo Pineda directs on July 2, 2023© Reuters

Fresh off the back of a comfortable victory, Pineda could name a similar starting side this weekend, with Brooks Lennon, Miles Robinson, Luis Abram and Caleb Wiley forming the back four once again.

With his brace in the aforementioned game, Giakoumakis now has 12 goals in 18 league appearances and should spearhead the Five Stripes’ attack, with Xande Silva and Edwin Mosquera providing support from the flanks.

At the centre of the park, Matheus Rossetto and Tristan Muyumba should form the midfield pivot, while Thiago Almada, who boasts 18 goal involvements this season, should retain his role in the more advanced midfield position.

American defender Jack Maher missed the Leagues Cup final against Inter Miami through an abdominal problem but could make his return to action this weekend.

Fellow defender Nick DePuy is yet to feature this year as he continues his recovery from an Achilles tendon injury and will play no part in Saturday’s game.

With 13 goals to his name this season, Hany Mukhtar currently leads the MLS scoring chart and the German striker will certainly be one to look out for.

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Lennon, Robinson, Abram, Wiley; Muyumba, Rossetto; Mosquera, Almada, Silva; Giakoumakis

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; MacNaughton, Zimmerman, Bauer, Lovitz; Muyl, McCarty, Anunga; Leal, Mukhtar, Bunbury

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We say: Atlanta United 2-2 Nashville SC

Atlanta United and Nashville have enjoyed a decent campaign so far and find themselves level on points in the Eastern Conference. Both sides are evenly matched on paper and we predict they will cancel out each other’s efforts and settle for a share of the spoils.

How to watch

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Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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