Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Avaya Stadium – Saturday, May 16th – 10:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: San Jose Earthquakes 8/5 – Draw 11/5 – Columbus Crew 7/4
San Jose Earthquakes entertain Columbus Crew on Saturday evening as they look to build upon a three-game unbeaten streak. The Crew have won three of their last four, so both sides are looking strong heading into this tie.
Dominic Kinnear’s side picked up a point last weekend away at Colorado Rapids and he will be looking for his side to make home advantage count in this, the first of two home games on the bounce.
The Quakes have lost four games so far this season and are sitting fourth in the Western Conference. They are one of four sides on 14 points so they cannot afford to fall behind the pace in the chase for a playoff spot.
Chris Wondolowski has five goals this season, contributing to half of his side’s overall tally of ten. He will be hoping for his teammates to start hitting form as Adam Jahn and Sanna Nyassi have just two goals between them.
Gregg Berhalter’s Crew are also on 14 points over in the Eastern Conference. They picked up an impressive three points at home to Seattle Sounders last weekend so their confidence will be sky-high heading into this one.
Goals from Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain saw off the Sounders and the two have been in great form so far this season. Kamara is the joint leading scorer on seven from nine appearances this campaign and the Quakes will need to stop service into him to halt his brilliant run of form.
San Jose Earthquakes have five injury concerns going into the game as Mark Sherrod, Steven Lenhart, Shaun Francis, Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi and Innocent Emeghara all remain sidelined. The Quakes have no suspensions to note.
Columbus Crew have just the one injury concern to Wil Trapp and Berhalter has no other worries with his squad heading into this one. Hernan Grana has left the team and returned to Argentina so Hector Jimenez is likely to start at right-back again.
San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/L/D/W/D
Columbus Crew’s form: D/W/W/L/W
Key Stat: Stalemate – The last four meetings between the sides have all ended in a draw.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – The Crew forward cannot be ignored as the key player for this tie. He boasts the equal best scoring form so far this season and is proving very difficult to stop.
San Jose Earthquakes 2-2 Columbus Crew – The sides once again will prove difficult to be separated. Crew haven’t won on the road in five and will be hard pushed to break that trend here as a score draw looks the most likely outcome.