Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. New York Red Bulls
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, July 4 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Live on Sky Sports)
Match Odds: Columbus 11/10 – Draw 13/5 – NY Red Bulls 9/4
Both sides are still holding on to playoff spots but their recent form in MLS has been way below the standards expected by supporters and so this one should be good.
Columbus come into the game off the back of a 2-0 loss away at Orlando City in the US Open Cup in midweek and they have won just once in their last eight league games.
Gregg Berhalter will be demanding much more from his team as they enter the second half of the regular season. They are hanging on to sixth place in the Eastern as it stands, and need to be fighting higher up the conference.Embed from Getty Images
The Red Bulls seem to have put their shocking run of defeats behind them as their 4-1 Open Cup victory over local rivals New York Cosmos was their third in a week.
They had lost four straight league games before beating Real Salt Lake last Wednesday and followed that success with three points against NYCFC on Sunday, coming back to win 3-1.
Jesse Marsch will be delighted they have found some form again and will hope they can win in Columbus for the second time this season. The Red Bulls won 2-1 at the end of March as the Crew ended the game with ten men.
The Red Bulls have only lost in one of their last six visits to the Crew and will be confident of leaving with at least a point on Saturday.
Columbus are likely to be without midfielder Will Trapp once again as he is still struggling with concussion symptoms. Other than that, Berhalter has a full squad at his disposal.
New York Red Bulls might have to deal without Lloyd Sam yet again as he is still struggling with a groin injury.
Columbus Crews’ last five: L/L/D/W/D
New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: There have been 20 goals in the last six games between these sides. Expect entertainment in what should be a good one.
Key Player: Anatole Abang – The 18-year-old Red Bulls striker has done a fine job since coming into the team more regularly. He has three goals in his last six games and got an assist last weekend against NYCFC.
Columbus Crew 1-2 New York Red Bulls – This one could end up with the exact same result as the earlier season meeting between the two. Columbus are struggling to win games, while New York look to have rediscovered their form at the perfect time. Away win.