Our football match prediction:
Columbus Crew are back home and feeling comfortable with their ability at MAPFRE Stadium ahead of the match against Atlanta Crew, who are just a point below their hosts in the standings. You can tell straight away that Columbus Crew are glad to be back home as they are coming off from a compelling 4-1 victory over Montreal Impact, which was the perfect way to shake off the evil spirits from their three-match away losing streak. Federico Higuain continues his fine form with a brace against Montreal, which took his tally to 9 goals in the league thus far and the Argentinean is once again a man to watch. A goal from Josef Martinez was more than enough for Atlanta United to beat Colorado last Saturday, but the Five Stripes will need to put in a much more improved performance if they are to beat Columbus Crew. Alec Kann preserved the win for his team with a point-blank save in the final seconds of the match and Atlanta have a mountain to climb in effort to end their five-match winless away streak.
Highligted Player (Jukka Raitala):
Columbus Crew full back Jukka Raitala was born in Kerava, Finland on September 15, 1988. Raitala started his senior career at Klubi-04 and after making 22 league appearances for the club, he moved to HJK in 2007. After ending his spell with Helsinki, the Finland international signed a loan deal with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. During his spell with die Kraichgauer he appeared for the reserve team as well and in 2011 he was loaned again, this time out to Osasuna. On August 28, 2011 he made his Primera Division debut with los Rojillos playing as a left back against Atletico Madrid. Raitala played for the likes of Heerenveen, FC Vestsjaelland, Aalborg and Sogndal in the past as well he signed for Columbus Crew for the 2017 season. The Columbus defender made his Finland debut on February 4, 2009 in a friendly against Japan. It has to be noted that he represented Finland at the UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship in 2009.
Highlighted Team (Atlanta United):
Atlanta United are 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 colours, 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).