Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Saturday, October 3 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Sunday, October 4)
Match Odds: New York Red Bulls 17/20 – Draw 14/5 – Columbus Crew 11/4
The Red Bulls are currently top of the Eastern Conference and just two points behind leaders LA Galaxy in the Supporters’ Shield standings, although they have two games in hand on their Western Conference rivals.
Jesse Marsch’s side have already secured a playoff spot but they will be keen to continue winning games in a bid to clinch a second Supporters’ Shield title in three years.
New York Red Bulls’ MLS record: P29 – W14 – D6 – L9
New York come into this contest off the back of their heaviest defeat since September 2014 after being beaten 5-2 at home to Orlando City last weekend, making it two losses from their last three.
Columbus arrive in New York knowing that they only need to avoid defeat in order to secure a playoff spot for the second consecutive season.
Gregg Berhalter’s side are also still in with an outside chance of winning the Supporters’ Shield, although they will almost certainly have to win their remaining three games for that to be a realistic possibility.
The Crew slipped to a 2-1 defeat at home to Portland Timbers last time out but it was only their second defeat in eight games (W5, D1) – they’ve also won their last four games on the road.
Columbus Crew’s MLS record: P31 – W13 – D8 – L10
This is the third meeting between these two sides this season, with Columbus Crew coming out on top as 2-1 winners in July and New York Red Bulls winning an early season clash 2-1 back in March.
New York Red Bulls will be without defenders Chris Duvall (leg) and Roy Miller (knee). Matt Miazga also misses out as he serves a suspension.
Columbus Crew defenders Chad Barson (ankle) and Gaston Sauro (concussion) are both out injured, as is Jack McInerney (hamstring).
New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/W/L/W/L
Columbus Crew’s last five: W/L/W/W/L
Key Stat: Columbus have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 11 games.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – The leading goalscorer in MLS this season has been a joy to watch and he’ll need to continue his fine form if the Crew have any hopes of securing a positive result.
New York Red Bulls 2-2 Columbus Crew – This promises to be an entertaining encounter between two sides that like to play in exciting style with pace and movement. It should provide plenty of goals and a high-scoring draw could be the order of the day.