Our prediction for this MLS match:
Sunday’s football game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium pits together Atlanta United and Chicago Fire, the two top-table sides. Atlanta United have a chance to climb to top position, and they are likely to go all guns blazing at Chicago. Franco Ibarra is back from suspension, while both Brad Guzan and Osvaldo Alonso are out of contention with injuries.
Chicago Fire, on the other hand, are undefeated in the previous five league matches, and the good news for the visiting side is that Switzerland ace Xherdan Shaqiri made his return from injury in a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia Union. Atlanta United, though, are a real force to be reckoned with at home and we predict that the Five Stripes are going to pick up all three points from the match. All Victor Bezerra, Justin Reynolds, Federico Navarro, and Jairo Torres remain in the recovery room.
Highlighted Player (Xherdan Shaqiri):
Another impressive player who emigrated to Switzerland, Xherdan Shaqiri is a midfielder with excellent technical qualities, very strong in taking players on and creating chances for his teammates, while also being a danger from set pieces. The Serbian-born footballer formed an excellent midfielder pairing with Granit Xhaka at FC Basel, before making a high-profile move to Bayern Munich in the summer of 2012.
Shaqiri went on to prove a great deal of potential at Allianz Arena, scoring 11 goals in 52 Bundesliga matches, but he decided to leave in search of first team football, first joining Inter Milan and then moving to Stoke City. It was at Britannia Stadium that the attacking midfielder rediscovered his form and if he continues playing at such a high level, it won’t be long before he returns to the biggest stage.
Even when he was not playing regularly at club level, Shaqiri would always reserve his best performances for the national team, as witnessed by 17 goals in first 50 caps. The midfielder was especially impressive at the 2014 World Cup finals, where he scored no fewer than three goals.
Highlighted Team (Atlanta United):
Atlanta United is a Major League Soccer club and they were founded on April 16, 2014. They are based in Atlanta, Georgia and they will make their debut in MLS in 2017. Arthur Blank is the club’s owner and Bobby Dodd Stadium is Atlanta United’s home ground.
Arthur Blank is an American businessman, who is well known for his ownership of the NFL club Atlanta Falcons. The venue was opened on September 27, 1913 and its’ current capacity is 60.316. However, it has to be noted that the team will play first eight home games of the 2017 season at Bobby Dodd Stadium, while the latter nine fixtures will be hosted by Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Speaking of the club’s colors, Atlanta United footballers wear black and red shirts and black shorts with a little bit of gold mixed in. Gerardo Martino, who used to be in charge of La Liga side Barcelona in the past, will coach Atlanta United in the 2017 MLS season. Tata Martino won the Spanish Super Cup with Barca, while making it to the Copa America final with Argentina on two occasions (2015, 2016).