Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. New York City FC
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Wednesday, August 19 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Columbus 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – NYCFC 3/1
Columbus come into the game off the back of a bye week and should be fully refreshed as a result. They beat Colorado away 2-1 in their last outing and have not lost any of their last five home matches in Major League Soccer.
That makes Gregg Berhalter’s side favourites here and they know a win in this one will keep them in the hunt for the Eastern Conference title. They are ten points off DC United in top spot but have two games in hand, with this being one of them.
New York City travel to Columbus off the back of a special 3-1 come-from-behind win over DC last week and the club will be hoping that result can turn their season around.
They are just a point off the last remaining playoff spot with ten games to play and need to start winning frequently to ensure they make the postseason in their first ever year.
NYCFC have lost their last two road games and have registered just three away from home all season so winning in Columbus will be a tough ask.
They can move back into a playoff slot with a victory and will be just four points off the Crew in third place if they can seal all three points for the second straight week.
This will be the first ever meeting between the two sides and so it should be an exciting game. The two will meet again at Yankee Stadium in two weeks as the end of the regular season draws ever closer.
Columbus have no injury concerns ahead of this one and will be a full strength for the visit of the MLS Expansion Franchise. Kei Kamara will lead the line as he looks to score his 18th of the year.
NYCFC have several concerns. George John, Tony Taylor, Connor Brandt and Javier Calle are all definitely out, while Frank Lampard, Khiry Shelton, Ned Grabavoy, Ryan Meara and Chris Wingert are all doubts. Andrea Pirlo and David Villa will look to continue improving their on-field relationship after the Italian assisted Villa last weekend.
Columbus Crew’s last five: W/W/D/L/W
New York City FC’s last five: L/W/L/L/W
Key Stat: Columbus have only lost one of their last ten home games in MLS.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – The powerful forward has been incredible this season and scored twice in his last appearance. Expect him to be a constant threat once more here.
Columbus Crew 3-1 New York City FC – NYCFC will be boosted by their fine win over DC last time out but an away trip to a dangerous Columbus side could prove too tough a test. Expect the Crew’s pace to hurt New York City. Home win.