Tools to the Match

Tools to the Match: How Atlanta United continues the momentum against Nashville Saturday night 

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Atlanta United returns to Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend as the 5-Stripes get set to host Nashville SC on Saturday night in front of a full venue capacity crowd. Atlanta is coming off one of its most impressive performances of the season in a 2-0 win at Seattle. The win put Atlanta closer to the top-four in the Eastern Conference, as it now sits just two points behind third place. One of the teams the 5-Stripes are battling for playoff position is Saturday’s opponent Nashville. The squad from the Music City is returning to MLS play after reaching the final in the inaugural Leagues Cup before losing to Inter Miami CF in a penalty shootout. Atlanta will look to secure the three points and move past Nashville in the standings as the race towards the end of the season heats up. Let’s take a closer look at the Tools to the Match presented by The Home Depot against Nashville SC.

Giakoumakis continues goal scoring form

The Greek international returned to the scoresheet with a bang as he scored a brace in the 2-0 win last weekend at Seattle. Giakoumakis scored both goals with his head after creating separation in the box from his markers. The two goals lifted his season tally to 12 goals on the season, one behind the MLS Golden Boot leader Hany Mukhtar who plays for Nashville. Getting the striker on the scoresheet usually means good things in the results column for Atlanta United. In the 10 matches Giakoumakis has scored, Atlanta owns a 6-0-4 (W-L-T) record. Atlanta will look to keep that streak going on Saturday when Nashville comes to town.

Don’t get caught up in the Hany Mukhtar show

Nashville is making its return to league play this weekend after advancing all the way to the Leagues Cup 2023 Final, before falling to Inter Miami and Lionel Messi in an extraordinary penalty shootout. One of the star players on Nashville’s roster is reigning MLS MVP Hany Mukhtar. The German designated player leads the league this year with 13 goals and will be looking to mount another MVP run in the final stretch of the regular season. He leads Nashville’s team in almost all offensive categories. Atlanta’s defense, which is coming off a clean sheet in Seattle, will have to ensure that Mukhtar is not given the space in transition to operate. Nashville is a team that can hit you in transition quickly and doesn’t need a lot of scoring chances to find the back of the net.

If Atlanta can limit those transition moments and be patient and clean on the ball in possession, it will have a good opportunity to keep the three points at home Saturday.

Continue to develop chemistry with new summer signings

With the summer transfer window closed, Atlanta is looking to integrate all of its new signings into the team and system that head coach Gonzalo Pineda plays. Midfielder Tristan Muyumba has impressed in his two starts. Winger Xande Silva saw his first MLS action last week at Seattle and looked dangerous with three shots on target. Both Muyumba and Silva showcased their movement as well as technical ability on the ball to play through Seattle’s pressure. This week, Atlanta welcomed Saba Lobjanidze to training, another winger who brings vast experience in Europe with him. Atlanta will look to build chemistry quickly between the new signings and the team with only nine matches left in the regular season. All of the new signings could prove critical in the team’s quest to finish in the top-four in the Eastern Conference standings.

Fans can tune in nationally on MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app on Saturday night at 7:30pm ET when the action kicks off at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To hear the action on radio, tune into Sports Radio 92.9 The Game or La Mejor – AM 1600 (Spanish).

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