Who will start for Atlanta United on Wednesday night against Monterrey in the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal at Mercedes-Benz Stadium?
Here’s Doug Roberson’s predicted lineup for Atlanta United, which trails Monterrey 3-0 after the first leg:
Goalkeeper Brad Guzan
Centerback Jeff Larentowicz, who will drop back from midfielder into the back three in place of the suspended Leandro Gonzalez Pirez. I think it will be Larentowicz in place of Florentin Pogba, who is left-footed, because Pogba is still regaining fitness.
Centerback Miles Robinson, who has been the team’s steadiest player this season.
Centerback Michael Parkhurst, the team’s captain.
Right wingback Julian Gressel, who I think will be asked to attack, attack, attack by either pumping early crosses into the box or making wide off-the-ball runs to try to pull a defender and open a seam that either Barco or Pity Martinez can run onto.
Left wingback George Bello, who will be in for Brek Shea. Bello hasn’t played for the senior team since picking up an undisclosed injury either in or after the season-opening game at Herediano in Costa Rica. He made his return to action with Atlanta United 2 last week. I think he will be asked to do the same thing as Gressel.
Defensive midfielder Eric Remedi
Midfielder Darlington Nagbe, who will be asked to get forward more frequently almost to the point that he is closer to Josef Martinez than to Remedi when the team has the ball.
Midfielder Ezequiel Barco, who needs to show something on offense that will result in a goal.
Midfielder Pity Martinez, who needs do the same as Barco.
Striker Josef Martinez, who needs service.
Really, it doesn’t matter if Atlanta United gets blown out in this game because it already faces such a large deficit after the first leg. It does matter that the team shows that it can create goal-scoring chances with this group of players from this 3-4-3 formation. So far, with the exception of the home game against Herediano, that hasn’t happened and there’s not a lot of reason to believe it will happen unless tweaks are made to tactics.
Manager Frank de Boer said Tuesday that those tweaks are happening.
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