New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United FC: PREVIEW

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New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United FC
2017 MLS Regular Season
Red Bull Arena
Sunday, Oct. 15 (5 pm ET)

(Harrison, NJ)- The New York Red Bulls may have finally broken out of their slump with last week’s win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but they face a playoff caliber test against Atlanta United FC this Sunday. The Red Bulls come into this match having just regained their footing in MLS play, while Atlanta are just coming off a streak of awe-inspiring offense.

The last time these two teams met was the first match of the season, and Atlanta’s first ever MLS game. The Five Stripes opened up Bobby Dodd Stadium with a 2-1 loss to New York in come-from-behind fashion. Atlanta will certainly be looking for revenge on Sunday as the Red Bulls will want to kick their game up a notch heading into the postseason.

New York Red Bulls vs. Atlanta United FC: PREVIEW

Lineup

Jesse Marsch likes to go for it.

No matter the competition or the short rest, the Red Bulls’ head coach always seems to want the three points. Fans should expect more of the same from RBNY, and a linup they are quite accustomed to:


As for Atlanta, this is how fans can expect Tata Martino to line his men up:

Some notable injury-related absences include defender Greg Garza and star midfielder Miguel Almiron.

Revenge

Both New York and Atlanta are destined for the playoffs. One might ask what is really on the line in this match with the Eastern Conference playoff picture sorted out already. For fans down in Georgia its simple: revenge.

The Red Bulls visited Bobby Dodd Stadium on March 5th and ruined the home team’s house-warming party. Yamil Asad scored the first goal in franchise history and put the Five Stripes up 1-0, and poised for a victory that would go down in Atlanta soccer history. However, Daniel Royer came out of nowhere to score a header and equalize. Finally, Bradley Wright-Phillips was the target of a beautiful cross which was deflected in by an Atlanta player for a party-crashing own goal.

Playoff Match-up?

Another reason why Sunday’s match is more important than it may seem is because these two teams could face each other in the initial round of the playoffs. As the table stands going into Sunday, Toronto FC and New York City FC would receive byes. Atlanta would host RBNY, and the Chicago Fire SC would host Columbus Crew SC.

These seedings are subject to change based on the final two game-weeks, but a rematch of this one is a very real possibility. Should that be the case, Sunday will prove very important when it comes to getting to know the opponent. Preparations for postseason soccer have begun for RBNY and Atlanta, and this match is a big part of it.

Match-up to Watch: Royer vs. Asad

The two wingers will likely line up facing each other on Sunday. Both play imperative roles in the offense of their clubs, and whichever winger can tilt the game in their favor will put their team on the front foot.

Prediction: RBNY 2-2 Atlanta United

It is a very even match with spells of possession for either side. Each find the net a pair of times. As the game wears on, RBNY finds themselves on the defensive, but without Almiron, Atlanta is unable to grab all three points and the Red Bulls hang on for a result.

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