Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs New York Red Bulls
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 28 – 19:30 ET (23:30 GMT)
Match Odds: Columbus Crew 21/20 – Draw 5/2 – New York Red Bulls – 12/5
The Crew beat Toronto 2-0 last time out and are currently sitting in fourth place, with three points from two games, while the Red Bulls are in second place with four points from two games after they beat DC United 2-0 last weekend.
The last time these two sides met, it ended in a 3-1 victory for Columbus and the hosts will certainly be hoping for a repeat result.Embed from Getty Images
New York Red Bulls are looking to kick into gear after getting that important first win with key man Bradley Wright-Phillips now off the mark. They need to start picking up the pace to show that they can deal with life after Thierry Henry and back-to-back wins will send out a message that they mean business.
Columbus Crew’s Kei Kamara also opened his account last weekend and he will be looking to add to his tally to show why the Crew signed him.
Both sides have started this season cautiously and have looked a little rusty in places, but as the games come thick and fast they will continue to ease into their flowing play.Embed from Getty Images
Federico Higuain is yet to open his account for the campaign and he will be eager to improve on last seasons tally of 11 goals.
This is an important game for both sides who will want to stake a claim for the playoff places and Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter will be confident he can lead the side to the playoffs once again.
Columbus Crew have just one known injury concern in the shape of Romain Gall (sprained knee). Though they will be without Justin Meram, Will Trapp and Waylon Francis, who are all away on international duty, so changes will have to be made.Embed from Getty Images
New York Red Bulls don’t have too many concerns but new man Ronald Zubar could miss out with a hamstring problem and Roy Miller has a sprained knee. Dane Richards, Kemar Lawrence and Karl Ouimette are all away on international duty. Bradley Wright-Phillips and Lloyd Sam impressed last weekend, so Steve Clark could have a busy evening in-between the sticks.
Columbus Crew’s form: L/W
New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W
Key Stat: These two sides have scored nine goals between them in their last two meetings (New York Red Bulls 1-3 Columbus Crew/New York Red Bulls 4-1 Columbus Crew). If that is anything to go by, we could be in for a treat.
Key Player: Federico Higuain – The playmaker is key to making the Crew tick and he can be the difference with the service to Kamara.
Columbus Crew 1-1 New York Red Bulls – Neither side will want to lose any ground in the playoff charge, even this early on. We can expect Higuain to be pulling the strings for the Crew, while Wright-Phillips and Sam will look to pick-up where they left off last weekend.