Two of the top sides in the Eastern Conference will go head to head when Atlanta United host Montreal Impact at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday.
Atlanta are fourth in the conference as it stands. They have a high chance of making it to the playoffs. Toronto in seventh place are four points behind them having played a game more. Atlanta have been in great form in recent games. They have won four out of the last five games in all competitions. However, they did face defeat in the previous game they played. Toronto FC scored a stoppage-time penalty to claim a 3-2 win over Atlanta.
Atlanta are also going strong in the US Open Cup, in which they have reached the quarter-finals. They beat Columbus 3-2 in the round of 16 to book a quarter-final date with Saint Louis FC. Brandon Vazquez scored twice against Columbus, which is precisely what he did in the previous game against Charleston Battery. He has played just one game in the MLS, which was against Toronto last week.
Josef Martinez has been the first choice striker all season for them, but he is away with the Venezuelan national team for the Copa America. Martinez has done well, and he has scored 10 MLS goals so far. But Vazquez has impressed recently, and he should continue, at least for the time being. Martinez has been great for Atlanta, and Vazquez has big shoes to step into.
Montreal are above Atlanta, in second place in the Eastern Conference. They are just two points below leaders Philadelphia. Making the playoffs is almost a certainty for them. They will be hoping to finish first, which will give them direct entry into the second round. Montreal have won three out of their last four games. The only loss came against Orlando City who beat them 3-0.
They don’t have any involvement in the US Open Cup, so they got a long rest of over two weeks. They resumed action against Portland on Thursday in the MLS. Orji Okwonkwo scored a brace as Montreal recorded a 2-1 win. Okwonkwo has scored four goals in total after that brace in the MLS this season. Their top scorer is Saphir Taider, who has scored seven thus far.
Despite being just two points off the summit in the east, Montreal have a negative goal difference. They have conceded 29 goals, which compares poorly with the 23 goals they have scored so far. If they want to continue in second place, they need to improve defensively. Montreal’s last clean sheet came in May in a goalless draw with New England. On the other hand, Atlanta have the tightest defense in the conference with 14 goals conceded.
Atlanta United vs Montreal Impact Prediction
This game is a tight one to call, and it will be a close contest. The total goals should be over 2.5 in the match. Atlanta will be the slight favorites due to their strong defense, and they should claim the three points by a close victory.