Wednesday, July 24, 2024

St. Louis City v Atlanta United: Markanich says home advantage must tell

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jun 2024

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St. Louis City must use this week’s home clash with Atlanta United to turn things around after seven games without a victory, says defender Anthony Markanich.

St. Louis were thrashed 3-0 by the Colorado Rapids in midweek to extend their miserable run of form, with their last victory coming against the Chicago Fire back on May 12.

They have slipped to 12th in the Western Conference standings after topping the pile in their first campaign in MLS in 2023, and Markanich says they need to harness the support they receive at CITYPARK.

“I think every home game should be a win,” Markanich said. “These next two games are very important.”

Reflecting on their midweek defeat, head coach Bradley Carnell said: “At the moment, we can have certain things not going our way. We’re not looking for excuses or for help, we have to help ourselves out of this situation.

“I’m confident in my group that we can do that. It’s not been what we were looking for and we know we can do better.”

Atlanta, meanwhile, have won back-to-back matches to rise to ninth in the Eastern Conference, looking revitalised under interim head coach Rob Valentino.

Thiago Almada scored their winner against D.C. United last time out, leading Valentino to heap praise upon the 2022 World Cup winner.

“He ends up showing his quality, that’s what he’s there for,” Valentino said of Almada.

“He works hard in training to do that, whether he’s got pressure on him or not. As a staff we try to take the pressure off everyone in the group and let them go out and enjoy their football.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

St. Louis City – Joao Klauss

Klauss’ five goals in MLS this year are more than any other St. Louis player, while only Celio Pompeu and Eduard Lowen (three apiece) have bettered his two assists among his team-mates.

Atlanta United – Thiago Almada

Almada scored the only goal of the match from outside the box in Atlanta’s win over D.C. United on Wednesday, his 12th career MLS goal from outside the area, four more than any other player since he joined the league in 2022.

MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

This will be the first ever meeting between St. Louis and Atlanta. The hosts are winless in four straight games on their own turf for the first time in club history.

Atlanta, meanwhile, have recorded back-to-back road wins for the first time in almost three years, since victories over the Columbus Crew and D.C. back in August 2021.

The Five Stripes had drawn four of their previous five away matches across all competitions, though, and another draw could be on the cards here.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

St. Louis City – 37%

Atlanta United – 36.6%

Draw – 26.4%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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