Atlanta United vs. CF Montreal – MLS, May 15, 2021
CF Montreal maintained their extraordinary start to the 2021 MLS season with a 2-0 road victory over Inter Miami in midweek. The Canadians currently find themselves atop the Eastern Conference, having lost just one of their five matches this year.
Funnily enough, Atlanta was held to a 1-1 draw by the Herons last weekend. The Five Stripes have made a relatively uninspiring start under Gabriel Heinze’s watch, winning one of their four MLS games so far.
ATL UTD welcomes the Quebec club to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Saturday, May 16. In this betting preview, I discuss the odds for Saturday’s clash before sharing my Atlanta United vs. CF Montreal prediction and pick.
Odds for Atlanta vs. Montreal
You can’t really blame the betting sites for favoring Atlanta (1.64) to win this one, as the Five Stripes boast a far stronger team than Montreal (4.75), at least on paper.
But when you consider the start that Wilfried Nancy’s men have made to the campaign, it is very difficult to ignore the hugely attractive odds for the draw (3.95), and the away win here.
If you’re looking for value, steering clear of Atlanta is definitely the way to go.
Atlanta United vs. CF Montreal Preview
It is pretty evident that Heinze wants his team to dominate games. The Five Stripes have enjoyed the lion’s share of possession in all four of their MLS matches this year, yet they have only managed to claim five points from a possible 12.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with keeping the ball. But if Heinze’s men want to start beating their opponents regularly, they will need to be more clinical.
Thankfully for them, Josef Martinez is back.
The 2018 MVP and Golden Boot winner missed the entirety of the previous campaign through injury. But just nine minutes into his first MLS start this year, he opened his account for 2021 – earning his side a 1-1 draw with Inter Miami last weekend.
Atlanta sealed a goalless draw with Orlando on the opening weekend before beating Chicago 3-1. However, the 2-1 loss to New England in Week 3 proved that Heinze has his work cut out.
I’m beginning to think that Thierry Henry’s offseason departure could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Montreal.
The club was in a state of disarray when the Frenchman returned to Europe back in February, leaving Nancy to take the reins. But the new head coach seems to have taken the team to a different level this year.
The Canadians kicked off their 2021 campaign with a statement victory over rivals Toronto, winning 4-2 on the opening weekend. Since then, draws with Nashville and Columbus, along with Wednesday’s victory over Miami, have propelled them to the Eastern Conference summit.
New signing Bjorn Johnsen netted a quick-fire double inside 25 minutes last time out, handing his side all three points against the Herons.
Nancy’s men are currently the second-highest scorers in the East, having bagged eight goals across their opening five games. They have conceded six goals, although they won’t be too concerned about their defensive record right now.
My Atlanta vs. Montreal Betting Pick
CF Montreal to Win4.75
Call me crazy – but I’m jumping on the Montreal bandwagon!
Nobody expected Nancy’s men to be at the top of the standings after five games. Still, they thoroughly deserve to be there. Not only have they been playing some top-quality soccer, but they have also been picking up positive results.
By contrast, the Five Stripes have yet to find their feet this year, so backing Montreal at the massive price of 4.75 feels like an opportunity far too good to miss, right?