LNTUP

Can Columbus’ attacking quartet match Atlanta’s offensive stars?

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Much has written about Atlanta United’s attacking quartet during their inaugural season. The kind of praise they have been receiving is mostly deserved, as they have helped lead an attack that scored the second-most goals in MLS this season.

On Thursday, Josef Martinez, Miguel Almiron, Hector Villalba and Yamil Asad will face off against Columbus Crew SC in the Knockout Round of the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs (7 pm ET; ESPN2, UniMás in the US | TSN4, TVAS in Canada). Columbus have conceded 49 goals in 2017, the most of any Eastern Conference playoff team. But on the other side of the field, the Columbus attackers are more than capable of keeping pace.

Ola Kamara’s 18 goals were fifth-most in MLS this year, Federico Higuain’s 23 combined goals and assists match Almiron’s total, Justin Meram is one of the top wingers in the league and new signing Pedro Santos has shown flashes in limited game action.

While their numbers don’t exactly matchup to ATL UTD’s fearsome foursome, as you’ll see below, they aren’t that far off. At Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Thursday night they will not only try and match the home side, but will need to outduel them to advance to the Conference Semifinals.