Competition: Major League Soccer Eastern Conference Semi-Final – Columbus Crew vs. Montreal Impact
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Sunday, November 8 – 17:00 EST (22:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Columbus Crew 11/10 – Draw 13/5 – Montreal Impact 23/10
Columbus are up against it knowing that Montreal now pose a huge goal threat and are more than comfortable coming from behind to win games (as we saw in the first leg).
Having only won one of their last three at home, Columbus are worryingly underdogs to progress despite hosting this game at MAPFRE Stadium and that should make for an entertaining spectacle.
Columbus Crew’s record in MLS: P35 W15 – D8 – L12Embed from Getty Images
A lot will be said for the fact they have the away goal, but it is important to remember that they need a win regardless and beating Montreal has proved difficult in the latter stages of the season.
Montreal Impact are arguably the best team in MLS at the moment, in terms of form, having won five on the bounce at such an important part of the season. They look unstoppable of late with Didier Drogba firing them to win after win.
Montreal looked in trouble when the Crew took the lead last weekend but showed their resilience to come from behind and win. They now enter this tie as the more confident side.
Montreal Impact’s record in MLS: P36 – W17 – D6 – L13
With players like Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti, the Impact will pose a real threat on the Columbus goal from kickoff.Embed from Getty Images
One worry will be the Impact’s away form. They have won their last two away from home but had failed to win in five before that and won just four road games all season.
This will be the fourth meeting of the year between these two sides, including last weekend’s first leg clash. Montreal have won all three games in 2015 and appear to have the Crew’s number.
Columbus Crew are without Kristinn Steindorsson and Mohammed Saeid through injury. Cedrick is questionable but could make an appearance from the bench.
Montreal Impact are missing Cameron Porter, Kenny Cooper and Andres Romero all through knee injuries. Justin Mapp is a doubt with a toe injury.
Columbus Crew’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/L
Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: W/W/W/W/W
Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won the last three meetings between the two sides.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – As joint top scorer in the regular season, Kamara has proven that he has an uncanny ability to score goals. And lots of them. Columbus will need him on top form if they are to progress. Montreal have kept him quiet in three previous games this year so he has a point to prove.Embed from Getty Images
Columbus Crew 1-1 Montreal Impact – This will be nervy and we can’t see many goals, it could even go right down to the wire. However, Montreal have Columbus’ number this season, coupled with winning five on the bounce. We see Montreal just nicking a place in the Eastern Conference Final.