Hector Villalba -- Claude Dielna -- Duel for ball
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New England Revolution vs. Atlanta United | 2017 MLS Match Preview

New England Revoltuion vs. Atlanta United
2017 MLS Match Preview
Gillette Stadium – Foxboro, Mass
Saturday, Sept. 30 – 7:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE

After taking 16 out of 18 possible points from their six-match homestand, Atlanta United finally hit the road again at the New England Revolution with a chance to continue their climb up the Eastern Conference table.

With a 3-0 victory over Philadelphia on Wednesday night, the Five Stripes clinched a playoff berth in their inaugural season and remain in third in the East, a point ahead of the Chicago and three back of New York City. And with four matches remaining, Atlanta have a game in hand on both those sides as they look potentially to catch NYCFC and secure a first-round bye in the 2017 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

Meanwhile, a late postseason push looks nearly impossible for the Revolution after a 6-1 defeat at Orlando on Wednesday. The Revs are the only team left in MLS without an away win, and have lost their last three on the road by a combined 16-2 margin, including a 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Atlanta after being reduced to nine men before halftime. 

But New England remain formidable at home. And interim New England head coach Tom Soehn could well play up the revenge angle for motivation, as it contributed to the firing of coach Jay Heaps less than a week later.

New England Revolution

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: QUESTIONABLE: M - Kelyn Rowe (right knee sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-4-2; left-to-right) 
GK: Cody Cropper - Chris Tierney, Claude Dielna, Antonio Mlinar Delamea, Benjamin Angoua – Xavier Kouassi, Gershon Koffie, Daigo Kobayashi, Teal Bunbury – Kei Kamara, Lee Nguyen

Notes: The Revs have won their last six at home, outscoring their opponents 15-4 over that stretch. They haven't suffered a home defeat since a 3-2 loss to the New York Red Bulls on July 5. … With his next assist, New England’s Lee Nguyen would become the 19th player in league history with 50+ goals and 50+ assists.

Atlanta United

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • Int’l Duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Alec Kann (quad), M - Miguel Almiron (hamstring)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, left-to-right)
GK: Brad Guzan - Chris McCann, Leandro Gonzalez Pirez, Jeff Larentowicz, Anton Walkes – Carlos Carmona, Kevin Kratz – Yamil Asad, Julian Gressell, Hector Villalba - Josef Martinez

Notes: Atlanta officially became the first expansion team to clinch a playoff spot since 2009 with Wednesday's victory over Philadelphia. They're only the fourth expansion team ever to make the postseason, joining the Chicago Fire and Miami Fusion in 1998, and the 2009 Seattle Sounders. … Saturday will mark Atlanta’s first road game in more than a month, having not played an away game since a 2-2 draw with Philadelphia on Aug. 26. They have conceded an average of 1.4 goals per road game this season, the fourth fewest in the league. … Josef Martinez has nine goals in the month of September for Atlanta. Only one other MLS player has more than four (Patrick Mullins – 5).

All-Time Series

Referees

Referee: Nima Saghafi
Assistant Referees: Eric Weisbrod, Anthony Vasoli
Fourth Official: Robert Sibiga
Video Assistant Referee (VAR): Fotis Bazakos