Atlanta United’s next opponent: Nashville

Atlanta United midfielder Emerson Hyndman #20 reacts after scoring a goal during the first half of the 2020 MLS season opener between Atlanta United FC and Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday February 29, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)
Atlanta United midfielder Emerson Hyndman #20 reacts after scoring a goal during the first half of the 2020 MLS season opener between Atlanta United FC and Nashville SC at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday February 29, 2020. (Photo by Jacob Gonzalez/Atlanta United)

Credit: Emerson Hyndman

Credit: Emerson Hyndman

Game will be on Fox Sports Southeast

Atlanta (2-3-0) will host Nashville on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in the resumption of the MLS season. The game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m. It will be broadcast on Fox Sports South and 92.9FM. You can follow Doug Roberson’s coverage on twitter @DougRobersonAJC.

Nashville (@NashvilleSC)

Record: 1-2-1.

Record against Atlanta United: 0-1-0 with a 2-1 loss in the season-opening game.

Manager: Gary Smith.

Likely formation: 4-2-3-1.

Key players: Walker Zimmerman, centerback, one goal, five shots.

Hany Mukhtar, midfielder, 11 shots, two on goal.

David Accam, forward, one goal, three shots.

Starting formation in its last game:

1 G Joe Willis

3 D Jalil Anibaba

25 D Walker Zimmerman

4 D Dave Romney

2 D Daniel Lovitz

12 M Alistair Johnston

6 M Dax McCarty

20 M Aníbal Godoy

8 M Randall Leal

9 F Dominique Badji

10 F Hany Mukhtar

Analysis: Nashville is an old-school team, typically playing two lines of four that sit deep. It has speedy forwards like Accam and hopes to score off counters or set-pieces, which is why it has just two goals. One of its goals came from a set-piece against Atlanta United in the season-opening game:

Atlanta United’s success will depend upon how quickly it moves the ball. If it’s deliberate and slow with its passes, it will be easy for Nashville to defend. Look for Pity Martinez, Ezequiel Barco and Emerson Hyndman to look to combine in the middle, force Nashville’s defenders to move, which will create space for Erick Torres to exploit.

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