- Charlotte FC v Atlanta United
- Saturday March 11, 12:00 EST
- Bank of America Stadium
Charlotte FC has yet to earn a point in MLS this season, but is a good pick to get one on the board this weekend when it takes on Atlanta United.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The best-rated online sportsbooks make Charlotte the narrow favorite for this game, but bettors don’t favor the home team by much here. Charlott is a +125 to +140 chance, while Atlanta United is available at between +195 and +200, and the draw can be backed at +260.
|Charlotte FC v Atlanta Utd|
Charlotte Make Another Slow Start
Last season Charlotte made a slow start to its debut MLS season and once again, it goes into game three without a point on the board, after losses to New England Revolution and St Louis City.
There were promising signs in both of those games. Against New England, Charlotte suffered a late concession as it was on the verge of a point and in its trip to St Louis, scored on 25 minutes and was level until just before half-time.
The end result, however, is that the team has nothing to show for its efforts and now faces an opponent with genuine hopes of getting into the playoffs. That said, there is some reason for optimism. Charlotte has opted for consistency as Christian Lattanzio enters his first full season as head coach, and his brand of possession-based soccer can be extremely potent, as the team showed in winning three in a row at the tail end of the 2022 regular season, including victories over Philadelphia and NYCFC.
Atlanta Starting Strong
Atlanta had a frustrating season in 2022, playing well and often dominating games without being able to turn that domination into goals and points. Last season was a rebuilding year, however, and that project has continued through the off-season, with the arrival of a new CEO and the offloading of some big ticket players, including one-time Five Stripes hero Josef Martinez.
The early signs after two games of the new season are promising. In its opening game against San Jose, Atlanta appeared to be on the way to a surprise defeat, but two goals deep into injury time from Thiago Almada produced a remarkable turnaround to give Atlanta the win.
The Five Stripes hoped to continue this strong start against Toronto in game two, but once again trailed in the game before mounting a comeback. A goal from Matheus Rossetto levelled the match after Toronto had taken the lead, but in the end, Atlanta had to settle for a battling point.
MLS Betting Head-to-Head
These are two of the newer teams in MLS, in fact Charlotte is in its second season in the league, so there is very little head-to-head evidence to go on.
There have been just two games between the teams so far, both of them in the regular season last year. Charlotte travelled to Atlanta for its third-ever MLS game and was heading for its first MLS point after an Adam Armour second half equaliser, before Jake Mulraney scored a winner for Atlanta in injury time.
A little over a month later, however, Charlotte gained a measure of revenge when it entertained Atlanta United at Bank of America Stadium. Jordy Alcivar scored for the home team on 11 minutes and it held on to secure its third MLS victory in four games.
MLS Team News
Charlotte will be without Adam Armour and Guzman Corujo here as both are still recovering from knee surgery, while the first choice goalkeeper, Kristijan Kahlina is also out following a back operation, leaving Pablo Sisniega to continue deputizing. Vinicius Mello is another doubt due to a chest problem.
The team news for Atlanta is potentially a little brighter. Tyler Wolff is still out with a shoulder problem and his fellow striker Machop Chol is struggling with a hamstring injury. There’s better news on long term absentee Osvaldo Alonso, who ruptured his ACL last April, but is said to be nearing the end of recovery.
And Gonzalo Pineda will have more options to pick from as Georgios Giakoumakis, who has been affected with visa issues, is set to play and Santiago Sosa is once again available, having served his suspension, and hopefully having learned his lesson after earning a three game ban for using a homophobic slur in a late season game last year.
MLS Match Betting Pick
Based purely on talent and potential, Atlanta is the stronger team here, however, its tendency to go behind in games before mounting a comeback suggests a level of complacency or lack of concentration to fall behind against weaker teams.
Another wild card factor here is the fact that this fixture is emerging as one of the more interesting rivalries in MLS, between the only teams from Atlanta and the Carolinas. The bookies may have slightly overestimated Atlanta here and the draw looks a good pick in the match betting market.
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