Atlanta United host Inter Miami CF this weekend as they look to end a three-match winless streak on their return to MLS action.
Little separates the two sides heading into this tough-to-call encounter with the home side occupying 11th place in the Eastern Conference, two places below visitors Inter Miami.
With MLS action back on our screens, RealSport101's Harry Smith is on hand to preview this weekend's clash.
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami CF Team News
Atlanta United's frustrating start to the 2022 MLS season is getting worse and worse with every coming week. Gonzalo Pineda's side have been torn apart by injuries since the season and will now be without experienced defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso for the rest of the season after the Cuban suffered an ACL tear in the win over DC United.
Star man Josef Martinez is closing in on a return from a knee injury but his involvement remains doubtful. Elsewhere, Dylan Cstanheira is set to miss the rest of the season with an Achilles problem, while goalkeeper Brad Guzan is out for the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon.
Inter Miami boss Phil Neville also has major injuries to contend with ahead of the trip to Atlanta with Kieran Gibbs, Edison Azcona and Damion Lowe all facing late fitness tests surrounding their involvement.
Robbie Robinson will also miss out for the visitors after suffering an injury in the 2-1 win over Portland Timbers, with winger Indiana Vassilev the man most likely to replace him. One other change is expected from Inter Miami with Robert Taylor likely to replace Ariel Lassiter on the left after scoring from the bench last time out.
Atlanta United: Brad Guzan, Machop Chol, Dylan Castanheira, Andrew Gutman, Osvaldo Alonso, Miles Robinson, Santiago Sosa, Josef Martinez, Caleb Wiley
Inter Miami CF: Ian Fray, Joevin Jones, Nick Marsman, Ryan Sailor, Victor Ulloa, Robbie Robinson
Atlanta United (4-2-3-1): Shuttleworth; Lennon, Franco, John, Hernandez; Ibarra, Rossetto; Araujo, Moreno, Almada; Cisneros
Inter Miami CF (4-3-3): Callendar; Yedlin, Lowe, Quinteros, McVey; Mota, Duke, Gregore; Vassilev, Campana, Taylor
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami CF score prediction
Gonzalo Pineda will have been pleased to see the international break come along three weeks ago with a side's 2-1 home defeat against the Columbus Crew representing the peak in his side's downturn in form. The Five Stripes have the fifth best home form in the Eastern Conference this season, but one win from five overall makes for concerning reading ahead of the visit of Inter Miami.
The hosts will be without a large portion of their first-team squad with few making progress on their recoveries during the break. There is no bigger miss for the hosts than Josef Martinez, who has long been considered one of MLS' best players.
The international break came at the wrong time for Inter Miami who were starting to put together some serious momentum following a dismal start to the season. The Herons head to Atlanta having built on back-to-back draws with consecutive victories against New York Red Bulls and the Portland Timbers.
Phil Neville's side will have to answer questions surrounding their away form when they travel to the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this weekend. The visitors have lost four and drawn one of their six away games in MLS this season with their only victory coming against Seattle Sounders. That said, their opponents woes give them favourable odds for this trip.
Score Prediction: Atlanta United 2-1 Inter Miami CF
Harry Smith's Tip: Both Teams to Score
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