On Saturday, Atlanta United host the Columbus Crew at Bobby Dodd Stadium for what will be the sixth-straight sellout crowd for the expansion side. Atlanta (5-6-3) are looking to make it three straight home victories, while Columbus (7-8-1) is trying to break a stretch of tough road results. Follow all the action starting at 7:00 p.m. EST on FOX Sports Southeast or via FOX Sports GO.
Ahead of this weekend’s Eastern Conference clash in the ATL, we broke down the Tools to the Match presented by Home Depot.
1) Energize the Crowd
Atlanta United are 3-2-0 when playing in the ATL this season and have won their last two pretty handily (4-1 over Houston, 3-1 over NYCFC). The expansion side have played the fewest home games in the league this year yet no MLS team has scored more than the Five Stripes tallying a total of 28 goals through 14 matches. They’ve scored first in every regular season victory this year, if they can knock one in before the Crew this weekend the momentum of the early goal and the energized sellout crowd will surely prove to be an advantage for the red, black and gold.
2) Switch it Up
Saturday will mark Atlanta’s third competition in eight days after a trip to Chicago last weekend and a midweek U.S. Open Cup debut against the Charleston Battery. Tata Martino’s high press system asks a lot of his players and while they dominate possession in most matches, the Crew are fond of keeping the ball as well. So Atlanta will need to be mindful of their own fatigue by perhaps rotating some fresh legs into the lineup, especially considering they have six matches ahead within the next three weeks.
3) Eyes on Higuain
While the Crew have many attacking assets, arguably none are more essential to their success than their number 10 Federico Higuain. Older brother of Juventus and Argentina star Gonzalo, Federico has become a household name in Columbus ever since joining the club in 2012. Pulling the strings in the center of the park, the crafty 32-year-old’s technical ability, vision and poise haven’t faded. The Argentine DP already has six goals and five assists to his name this season, and will certainly be a key player Atlanta will want to contain on Saturday if they want to earn a clean sheet at Bobby Dodd.
How to Follow the Match:
Kickoff is set for 7:00 p.m. ET, and the game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southeast and MLS Live. You can listen to the game on the Atlanta United app or through one of our radio partners: 92.9 The Game or, for Spanish-speaking listeners, La Mejor Atlanta. Click here for a full rundown of how to follow along with the game.