There is one match to be played from the start in the MLS 2023 season on Wednesday evening as Los Angeles FC look to bounce back from losing in the final of the Champions League when they entertain Atlanta United.
On the face of it you would imagine this will be a tough ask for Los Angeles to rebound from huge disappointment less than 72 hours after suffering it and they could have asked for easier opponents than this talented Atlanta outfit.
Where to watch
As with all matches in the MLS 2023 season this match will be available via the Apple TV MLS Season Pass with the match being available for free to all Apple TV subscribers. It is also available with the bookmakers who offer live streaming but with a 3.30am kick off UK time you’ll need to be a night owl to view it.
Los Angeles FC
Champion teams often rebound from disappointment but it is rare that a side suffers the sort of emotional blow that Los Angeles FC did at the weekend. It isn’t just the emotional energy they need to recover here, they also need to find a way to go again after two hard fought matches against a Club Leon side who were better than them in both legs. You would imagine there will be changes to the starting XI from the home side here.
The positive for LAFC is that even though they were rightly focusing on the Champions League, their MLS form hasn’t really suffered. They have only lost one of their 12 matches so far but one issue which is going to be a problem over the coming weeks is because MLS allowed them the best preparation for the Champions League semi-final and final, they have to catch up with five matches on other teams, so the champions are going to need to use all of their squad in the weeks ahead.
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You would imagine that Atlanta United will be licking their lips at the thought of feasting on a wounded Los Angeles FC side in a pretty high profile match given the status of these two clubs. Unlike their opponents here, Atlanta haven’t played for a week but they will eager to get three points on the board as they have only won one of their last seven matches, drawing their last three including the 3-3 draw with New England last week.
Prior to the weekend when this round of matches began, Atlanta had the weird distinction of having scored the most goals in MLS this term but also conceded the most too. That makes them extremely watchable and it would probably be foolish to expect anything too different here. If they can shore up a bit defensively then in the likes of Thiago Almada and Giorgos Giakoumakis they have elite attacking options to give them every chance of success this term.
You would imagine that Los Angeles FC would have to make changes for this match given the close proximity of the two legs of that Champions League final. This was going to be a tough rebound for the MLS Cup champions anyway let alone against a very talented, if slightly underachieving on what they have at their disposal Atlanta United side. I’m not convinced LAFC will get the job done here. If they do it would really send out a signal for the rest of the league.
Atlanta United don’t win too many matches on their travels but at the same time they have only lost three out of eight road trips and one of those was in Columbus when Thiago Almada was on international duty along with a number of high profile teammates. At some point the schedule is going to catch up with LAFC. It might be that we saw that being the case at the weekend in that Champions League second leg and with less than 72 hours before they have to go again I have to be with the fresher team to get something from the game. As it happens, you can back Atlanta with a goal start on the Asian lines so even were they to lose by one you would get your money back. That looks a solid option to me.
Back Atlanta United (+1AH) to beat Los Angeles FC for a 3/10 stake at 1.82 with Bet365