Columbus Crew have had their difficulties in recent years. They lost the MLS Cup Final back in 2015 and followed that up with a dismal 9th place finish in 2016. They began a resurgence last season though as they made it back into the playoffs and this season they look like they’re aiming even higher.
Their goalless draw away to the in form Sporting Kansas City last weekend leaves them 2nd in the MLS Eastern Conference, level on points with leaders Atlanta United. Admittedly they have played more games than any other side in the Eastern Conference, but it’s still a promising sign of things to come.
That goalless draw extends Columbus Crew’s unbeaten streak to seven matches in the MLS too, a welcome run of good form after they lost three matches on the bounce back in March and April. Four of these seven unbeaten games have ended in victory too, so they will have high hopes coming into this game.
Just a few months ago this would have seemed like a mountainous task, but beating Toronto FC seems to have become a lot easier recently. They dominated the MLS last year, topping the regular season standings before winning the MLS Cup in the post season. With few changes to their roster they were expected to continue this trend, but so far it just hasn’t worked out for the Canadians.
Toronto FC’s most recent failure was a 1-0 loss at home to FC Dallas, a result which makes it two wins, one draw, and five defeats from their last eight league games. This leaves them down in 9th position, already some 15 points off the top spot that they occupied for so long last season.
Things are even worse for them away from home, where they have lost all four of their MLS matches this season. They have scored just three goals in these four games, shipping 11 at the other end.
For Columbus Crew, this will be music to their ears. They have only lost one of their seven home games this season and have won five times, including each of the last three. Considering both teams’ recent form we think a Columbus Crew Win looks very good value for money, so that’s what we’re backing alongside a 2-1 correct score predictions.
Columbus Crew Predicted Lineup: Kempin, Afful, Williams, Abubakar, Valenzuela, Artur, Clark, Grella, Martinez, Sauro, Zardes
Toronto FC Predicted Lineup: Irwin, van der Wiel, Bradley, Zavaleta, Telfer, Auro, Osorio, Fraser, Vazquez, Giovinco, Ricketts
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Toronto FC have won four, drawn one, and lost two of their last seven meetings with Columbus Crew, but the Canadians have only won one of their last six trips to the MAPFRE Stadium.
Midfielder Pedro Santos is still out with a thigh injury, whilst defender Jonathan Mensah is a doubt too. Goalkeeper Zack Steffen and midfielder Will Trapp have both been called up to the United States international squad. Federico Higuain is suspended after his sending off last weekend.
Defensive trio Ashtone Morgan, Drew Moor and Chris Mavinga are all sidelined, along with striker Jozy Altidore. Justin Morrow and Nicolas Hasler are doubtful as well.