We could be in for a great game of football between two in form MLS sides on Sunday, as top of the Western Conference Sporting KC play host to the Eastern Conference’s third placed side Columbus Crew. The head to head record between the two clubs is level and both sides have proved hard to beat so far this season, so there is a chance the pair will cancel each other out on Sunday. The visitors have gone four games without conceding a single goal, while Sporting KC have only conceded once in their last three matches, so don’t expect a goal fest from this game.
When the two sides paths last crossed, back in September, a tight, tense, but competitive game ended with the points behind shared. Sporting KC took the lead away from home in the nineteenth minute after Besler put Lobato through on goal and the midfielder coolly slotted the ball home. It looked as if the visitors were going to take their lead with them into the half time break, until a stoppage time strike from Norwegian forward Kamara left the half time scoreline at one goal apiece. Other than three yellow cards, the second half offered little in the way of talking points as both teams seemed content with a point and in fear of what might happen on the counter attack if they pushed forward for a winner.
With four wins and two draws Columbus Crew have remained unbeaten in their last six matches and claim the title of form favourites. Sporting KC aren’t too far behind their guests in the form guide, having picked up three wins, two draws, and suffered one defeat during that same period of matches. With both teams playing well and keeping things tight at the back we;re backing under 2.5 goals to be scored in Sunday’s game. Four of Sporting KC’s and three of Columbus Crew’s last six fixtures have produced fewer than three goals, and both sides have been keeping clean sheets on a regular basis with three in the hosts last six and four for Columbus Crew.
With five goals each Gutiérrez and Russell top score for Sporting KC in the MLS this season, but the pair come up against a strong and confident defence this weekend that will be hard to break down. American international Zardes has impressed in front of goal for Columbus Crew with eight goals thirteen matches since his move from LA Galaxy.
We’re confident that under 2.5 goals will be scored in this game as both sides have very good defensive records and don’t give away goals easily. As for a final score, we feel this game has draw written all over it as both teams are playing well and confident so have gone with a 1-1 draw which should satisfy both camps.
Sporting KC Predicted Lineup: Melia, Besler, Zusi, Opara, Sinovic, Espinoza, Ilie, Croizet, Russell, Shelton, Salloi.
Columbus Crew Predicted Lineup: Steffen, Afful, Mensah, Valenzuela, Abubakar, Higuaín, Trapp, Artur, Hansen, Argudo, Zardes.
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These two clubs know each other very well having met fifty-six times over the years, and there is nothing to separate the pair in the head to head record with each picking up 23 wins, 8 draws, and 23 defeats. Sporting KC have won three out of the last five meetings between the pair.
Felipe Gutierrez and Colton Storm have both been ruled out of Sunday’s game, and there are doubts over the fitness of Jimmy Medranda.
Other than Pedro Santos, Columbus Crew boast a near full strength squad ahead of their trip to Kansas.