Competition: Major League Soccer – Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Rio Tinto Stadium – Saturday, June 27 – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)
Match Odds: Real Salt Lake 13/8 Draw 12/5 Columbus Crew 13/8
Real Salt Lake are coming off a 1-0 defeat to New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night in what was their sixth defeat on the road so far this season.
In that match, RSL finished with nine men as top scorer Javier Morales and Demar Phillips were both sent off at Red Bull Arena.
Having taken 13 points at home this season, Real Salt Lake will look to capitalise on the fact Columbus Crew haven’t picked up a victory away from the MAPFRE Stadium in MLS in 2015.Embed from Getty Images
Consistency is key for getting in the playoff places and RSL have only earned back-to-back victories once this season – one of the reasons they are still outside the top six.
Columbus head to Rio Tinto Stadium searching for another victory after their 2-1 win over New England Revolution on Wednesday night.
Although the Crew are just fifth in the Eastern Conference, they are only three points off the top three in a congested Eastern Conference.
Kei Kamara is in double digits for the season having netted twelve goals in his first season back in MLS and will look to build on his midweek display after scoring both of the Crew’s goals.Embed from Getty Images
Only Chicago Fire have picked up fewer points away from home this season than Columbus with two points accumulated, so Gregg Berhalter’s men need to ensure they start winning on the road to guarantee a top six finish.
Last time these sides met was last season as the game in Columbus finished 1-1, while Real Salt Lake won the last home game 4-0 in 2013.
Real Salt Lake will be without Javier Morales and Demar Phillips through suspension. Chris Schuler is out and there is a doubt over whether or not Jamison Olave will play.
Columbus Crew have just the one injury concern with Will Trapp still a major doubt with concussion.
Real Salt Lake last five: L/L/D/W/L
Columbus Crew last five: D/D/L/L/W
Key Stat: Kei Kamara has scored just three less goals than Real Salt Lake have scored all season. Kamara is on twelve whereas RSL have scored fifteen in total.
Key Player: Luke Mulholland – Mulholland has two goals this season and two assists. With Morales suspended he could be the man that Salt Lake turn to for goals and will hope he can create the chances too.Embed from Getty Images
Real Salt Lake 3-0 Columbus Crew – Although Morales is suspended, Rio Tinto is a tough place for away teams to go to and Columbus Crew will struggle to win their first road game here. The last time they visited Utah, Columbus Crew were turned over 4-0 and a similar result could be on the cards.