Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew SC vs. Toronto FC
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, July 25 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Columbus 4/5 – Draw 14/5 – Toronto 3/1
Columbus sit second in the East after two wins in five days against Chicago Fire last week and they are now five points behind DC with a game in hand.
They have only lost one of their last seven MLS games and Gregg Berhalter will be delighted with the way his team have progressed through the season.Embed from Getty Images
Toronto are in fourth in the Eastern but have four games in hand over DC and sit eight points off top spot. They beat Philadelphia 2-1 last weekend and will hope to go level on points with Columbus with a victory at MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday.
The game will see the two leading goalscorers Kei Kamara and Sebastian Giovinco go head-to-head ahead of next week’s MLS All-Star game which they have both been selected for.
Kamara netted his 14th of the year last Sunday and is two ahead of Giovinco in the Golden Boot standings. The ‘Atomic Ant’ has been sensational for Toronto in his debut campaign and has contributed to 20 of the team’s 24 goals since April 4 – a stunning 83%.
These two sides met back in Week 2 as Columbus saw off a ten-man Toronto side 2-0 thanks to goals from Justin Meram and Kei Kamara in the space of four second-half minutes.Embed from Getty Images
Toronto beat Columbus away from home twice last year and will be desperate for all three points in what should be a thoroughly entertaining game.
Columbus look set to be without Hector Jimenez through injury but have no other worries as Berhalter could send the same team out that beat Chicago last weekend. Winter signing Cedrick Mabwati could make his debut after recently arriving but it’s unclear how close to action he is.
Toronto will still be without Michael Bradley as the USMNT star is still away at the Gold Cup, while Nick Hagglund is a doubt. Giovinco and Jozy Altidore will partner each other in attack.
Columbus Crew’s last five: D/W/L/W/W
Toronto FC’s last five: W/D/L/D/W
Key Stat: There have been 19 goals in the last six league meeting between the two, an average of 3.1 per game. Goals.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – Tough to decide who will be more important on Saturday – Kamara or Giovinco – but home advantage should see the Crew striker outscore his opponent.Embed from Getty Images
Columbus Crew 2-2 Toronto – Expecting goals in what should be a great game, but it’s difficult to split the sides on paper ahead of what could be a close game. It could come down to who has the better game out of Kamara and Giovinco, but this looks set to end a draw.