My predicted starting 11 for Atlanta United for Sunday’s game at Portland.

Predicting Atlanta United’s 11 vs. Portland

I think the starting lineup this week against Portland will be almost the same as it was last week when the team lost 3-1 to NYCFC.

The most obvious change is the absence of left fullback Greg Garza , who will sit out the game as a precautionary measure to ensure his hip is OK.

I do think you may see subtle shifts in the formation, though.

I would be surprised if midfielder Yamil Asad comes back into the starting lineup after missing last week’s game because of a retroactive red card received in the loss to D.C. United. I think he will make the 18, but not the 11.

I think Miguel Almiron will again shift from the middle, where he is most effective, to the left. Julian Gressel, remain in the attacking midfield role, with Carlos Carmona and Jeff Larentowicz starting in the holding midfielder roles.

In order to keep the team more compact, you may see Gressel drifting deeper to Larentowicz and Carmona to encourage the build-it-from-the-back approach the team wants to get back to using. When Gressel has been close to Jones, there has been a lot of space in the middle of the field and no one to receive passes from the defenders.

The rest of the lineup will remain the same as it typically has.

Oh, and just because Josef Martinez and Jacob Peterson have returned to some type of training doesn’t mean you will see them this week, or even next week. They may, but it’s not something to anticipate.

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