By Braden Chalker
The two Eastern Conference clubs will renew their rivalry for the 20th time, with the Five Stripes leading the series record with nine wins to Orlando’s three with three shared ties.
The most recent episode came in May, when Atlanta’s Tyler Wolff scored a late goal from a set piece to cancel out Kyle Smith’s lead, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw. Orlando most likely thought they should have won, while Atlanta escaped with a point.
Now, both clubs are nearly neck and neck in the East, with Atlanta in sixth on 35 points and Orlando in seventh on 34 points. Atlanta has its young star in Thiago Almada and Orlando has Facundo Torres, and it promises to be an exciting match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Where to watch Atlanta United vs. Orlando City on TV/live stream?
When is kick-off? 7:30pm EST
Where is it played? Mercedes-Benz stadium
TV channel/live stream? FS1, FOX Sports, MLS Season Pass on Apple TV
What time does TV coverage start? 7:15pm EST
Atlanta United team news
Midfielder Erik Lopez, who played just 25 minutes in 2023, is still out with an ankle injury. Forward Giorgos Giakoumakis, who is in the MLS Golden Boot race with 10 goals despite playing just 957 minutes, is questionable due to a hamstring injury sustained against Philadelphia Union.
Defenseman Miles Robinson is out, but not injured. Robinson was with the United States men’s national team at the 2023 Gold Cup and due to their exit at the hands of Panama is now back with Atlanta but will not take part against Orlando. Instead of him, Atlanta gave Juanjo Purata, Luis Abram and Ronaldo Hernandez many chances by playing with three central defenders.
Franco Ibarra was recently sent on loan to Toronto FC for the rest of the season, and in his absence Atlanta will be relying on Santiago Sosa, Osvaldo Alonzo, Ajani Fortune and Matheus Rosseto.
Atlanta’s last five games encapsulated their 2023 season perfectly: a 2-2 draw against NYCFC4-0 defeat against Red Bulls of New Yorkfollowed by two wins against Philadelphia (2-0) and Montreal (1-0), before losing their most recent match 2-1 against New England Revolution.
Orlando City team news
The Lions have four players sidelined with injuries. Defenders Abdi Salim and Mikey Halliday are missing with left thigh and left knee injuries respectively. Meanwhile Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Kyle Smith and Luca Petrasso will all have their chances in defence.
Reserve goalkeeper Adam Grinwis remains in concussion protocol and Mason Stajduhar will take over as second choice while out. Striker Gaston Gonzalez’s right thigh injury has sidelined him, and Orlando will rely on Facundo Torres and Ivan Angula to take over wing duties.
This game is shaping up to be an exciting competition between two rivals who both have plenty of young talent, and both sides are looking to establish a foothold in the East as the playoff race heats up.
Orlando City have been the more consistent team of late, but Atlanta United are a tough team to beat at home in front of their fans.
Prediction: Atlanta United 2-1 Orlando City
This article was originally posted on 90min.com as Atlanta United vs. Orlando City – MLS Preview: TV Channel/Live Stream, Team News and Prediction.