Columbus Crew vs DC United | 2018 MLS Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Columbus Crew vs DC United

MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, March 25 2018 – 18:00 ET (22:00 GMT)

UK TV Coverage: Live on Sky Sports Football

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Preview

Saturday evening sees Columbus Crew take on Eastern Conference rivals DC United live on Sky Sports Football for UK fans.

Columbus Crew sit second in the East after failing to make it three wins in a row to start their 2018 campaign. Their 0-0 draw with Philadelphia did however keep their unbeaten run intact and they will be hoping to continue that streak here.

An impressive start to the season has been helped by the partnership formed by new signing Gyasi Zardes and Crew SC favourite Federico Higuain. Although they failed to combine to break the deadlock last time out, they are already proving to be a very real threat to opposition defences.

DC’s comeback from being two goals down at half-time to draw 2-2 last weekend against Houston will have been celebrated like a win. They showed great desire not to let the scoreline get on top of them and it stopped it being two losses on the bounce.

It hasn’t been the ideal start to 2018 for the Black-and-Red, who are yet to win a game. This wouldn’t exactly be the fixture of choice in that hunt for three points for the DC faithful either, as they have failed to win in ten on the road against Columbus.

However, all winless runs have to come to an end at some point and that is exactly what Ben Olsen will be reminding his side of ahead of this one.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Team News

Columbus Crew

🌎 International duty: Zack Steffen and Wil Trapp

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Mike Grella (left knee) and Gaston Sauro (left knee).

DC United

🌎 International duty: Oniel Fisher, Dane Kelly, Ulises Segura, Zoltan Stieber and Bruno Miranda

❌ Suspensions: None.

❓ Doubts: None.

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee), Taylor Kemp (groin) and Junior Moreno.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Key Stats

Columbus Crew’s MLS form: W/W/D

DC United’s MLS form: D/L/D

Key stat: Columbus Crew are unbeaten in their last ten home games against DC United.

Columbus Crew vs DC United: Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 DC United: Given their strong start to 2018 and home record against DC, Columbus will be going into this one looking at it as a must win game. They will want to bounce back to winning ways after their draw last weekend and have a great chance of doing so here. DC won’t roll over easily. This fixture is far from a foregone conclusion and they have more than enough talent to come away from Columbus with a point at the very least. But it is a real possibility that history will repeat itself and we see DC going home empty handed.

Advertisements

Atlanta United vs DC United | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs DC United

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Sunday, March 11th 2018 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Live on Sky Sports Football (UK)

Atlanta United vs DC United: Preview

Sunday evening sees Atlanta United lineup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium for their first home game of the season as they welcome fellow Eastern Conference side DC United.

2018 started with a bang for Atlanta, although not the one they wanted. They were on the receiving end of a hammering from Houston. That 4-0 away loss was a shock to the rest of MLS as they conceded three goals in the first half hour.

A response is needed here. ‘Tata’ Martino’s side know they have to remind everyone what they are capable of. They enjoyed a very promising debut season last year and performed very well at home. So Atlanta need to make it their business to send out a message of their own here.

Standing in the way of that is DC United. They drew their season opener against Orlando so will be looking to be unbeaten at the very least after week two.

The two sides met three times last season and the record books look good for DC, who won all three. Keeping that winning run going is not going to be easy though.

Ben Olsen’s side did not travel overly well in 2017. They have failed to win in 12 of their last 13 on the road and face an Atlanta side who scored 48 goals at home last year, the most in an MLS debut campaign since 2010.

The tie also marks the return of Yamil Asad. The former Atlanta player has described returning to face his previous employers as a strange feeling. He showed the impact he can make on opening weekend, netting DC’s first goal of the 2018 campaign – just as he did for Atlanta last season.

Atlanta United vs DC United: Team News

Atlanta United

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: Leandro Gonzalez (hip)

🚑 Out: Ezequiel Barco (right quad strain) and Jon Gallagher (ankle)

DC United

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: Russell Canouse (knee) and Taylor Kemp (groin)

Atlanta United vs DC United: Key Stats

Atlanta United’s MLS form: L

DC United’s MLS form: D

Key stat: DC United have won all three of the previous meetings between the sides.

Atlanta United vs DC United: Preview

Atlanta United 2-1 DC United – This should be a game that Atlanta go into with the belief they can win. Their confidence will have been rocked with the magnitude of that defeat last weekend but they cannot let that stop them playing the way they know they can. DC United will be looking at this one as a winnable game – but considering their inconsistency on the road weighed up against Atlanta’s home form, winning it is going to be a big ask.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC

Children’s Mercy Park – Sunday, March 4th 2018 – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC: Preview

Sunday evening sees two sides tipped for big things this season start their 2018 campaign. Sporting Kansas City wouldn’t have placed New York City FC too high in the list for teams they wanted to face on opening weekend.

Sporting KC had the best MLS defence of 2017, but ultimately didn’t have the firepower in attack to lead them to glory.

In an ever competitive Western Conference, Peter Vermes and his side will have to be at it from the off to ensure they don’t get left behind in the race for top spot. They have made some high quality signings but have also seen some key players depart, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they line up come Sunday.

New York City FC need this to be a big season. It’s their fourth MLS campaign and last season was the first time they really started to look a classy outfit on a consistent basis.

Patrick Vieira has done a good job as NYCFC head coach so far, helped in part by his big names performing – but now they need to step up and make it their business to top the Eastern Conference.

Key faces like Andrea Pirlo and Jack Harrison have departed through retirement and transfers respectively but with some youthful attacking additions, along with talisman and consistent performer David Villa, they should be a force to be reckoned with.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC: Team News

Sporting Kansas City

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: None

(Take a look at all Sporting Kansas City’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

New York City FC

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: Jo Inge Berget (right quad strain)

(Take a look at all New York City’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC: Key Stats

Sporting Kansas City’s MLS form: N/A

New York City FC’s MLS form: N/A

Key stat: Fortress – SKC are unbeaten in 16 of their last 17 home games.

Sporting Kansas City vs New York City FC: Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 1-1 New York City FC: This is a difficult one to call. Given SKC’s defensive solidarity and NYCFC’s attacking prowess it may be a case of the two powers meeting their match. Neither side will be happy starting their campaign without a win, but given the magnitude of this fixture, avoiding defeat in week one would be a welcomed outcome. Definitely a game to watch.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, April 1 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST) 
Match Odds: Columbus 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – Orlando 4/1

Match Preview

Columbus Crew welcome Eastern Conference rivals Orlando City to MAPFRE Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a matchup that has a history of being high in goals.

The hosts are top of the East following their impressive start to the 2017 regular season. They’ve lost just once in four outings and have won back-to-back games. Columbus come into this one having picked up an impressive three points against Portland last weekend and are favourites to get past Orlando here.

That fixture last week means Columbus have already played two more games than the Lions this season, but it shouldn’t be a problem. They’ve had the best part of a week to recover and legs should be fresh this early on in the campaign.

Embed from Getty Images

Orlando City head into this fixture having won both of their games, although both have been at home so a win here would send out a serious signal of intent to the rest of the conference.

The Lions were tipped to struggle with the absence of their injured skipper Kaka, but they have looked good value for both of their wins so far and have shown an early ability to grind out results.

This is Orlando’s first away game of their 2017 campaign. They won just three times on the road last season, something they will need to improve on to ensure they battle for a playoff place this time around.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Gaston Sauro and Dilly Duka are both unavailable through injury and Jonathan Mensah is a doubt for the game this weekend. Kekuta Manneh has been signed by the Crew in a trade that has seen Toni Tchani head to Vancouver, so the pacey winger may be in contention to start here.

Tony Rocha, Kaká and Seb Hines all miss the trip to Columbus, while Kevin Alston and Rafael Ramos are both questionable.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s form: D/L/W/W

Orlando City’s form: W/W

Key Stat: There have been a staggering 33 goals in the seven previous meetings between these sides in all competitions.

Key Player: Ola Kamara – The Columbus Crew striker has already found the back of the net three times this season and e will be looking to continue his impressive form in front of goal on Saturday evening.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 2-1 Orlando City – This fixture has provided plenty of action in the past and you can expect it to be a lively one yet again. Columbus will expect to take all three points seeing as they’re at home, but know they’re going to be in for a tricky afternoon against an Orlando side who are causing their opponents problems with their patient approach to games.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, April 1 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST)
Match Odds: New York City FC 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – San Jose Earthquakes 100/30

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome San Jose Earthquakes to Yankee Stadium on Saturday night in what is a very interesting early-season encounter, with the visitors looking for their third win of the season in the Big Apple.

A feature for both sides in 2017  has been to have had the majority of possession, an area both will want to continue to dominate. But something has to give and that should lead to an interesting tactical battle on the narrow pitch at Yankee Stadium.

Saturday will be NYCFC’s third home game on the bounce and having already racked up four points from the previous two, Patrick Vieira and his men will want to end the string of home matches with a win and put seven points on the board.

San Jose on the other hand will be playing their second away game and having lost their previous four road matches in MLS, the odds are not in their favour. It seems, at the minute at least, the Earthquakes are reliant on their home form if they’re to make the playoffs come October.

If it wasn’t for David Bingham’s shocking error in the dying minutes at SKC two weeks ago, the Quakes might well have rescued a point from Florian Jungwirth’s stoppage time goal. They know they are good enough defensively to compete with the NYCFC attack, but the test will be how quickly they can break on the hosts on Saturday.

This will be just the third ever MLS meeting between these two sides. NYCFC beat San Jose 3-2 in the first ever matchup in 2015 before the sides played out a 0-0 draw at Avaya Stadium last August.

Team News

New York City FC are only missing one player through injury as Mikey Lopez is out long term after ankle surgery.

San Jose are missing three players, with Quincy Amarikwa out after knee surgery, while Marvell Wynne is out indefinitely with a heart abnormality and Marc Pelosi has a knee injury.

Key Points

New York City FC’s form: L/W/D

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/W/L

Key Stat: San Jose have lost their last four away matches in MLS.

Key Player: David Villa – It seems easy to highlight NYCFC’s star player but in a home match that they are expected to win, he is expected to deliver. The Spaniard has the ability to take this game away from San Jose pretty quickly.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Having started with a loss on the opening day, NYCFC are already playing catch up and despite San Jose’s good start to 2017, we expect a home win at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs Minnesota United FC

Competition: Major League Soccer – Colorado Rapids vs. Minnesota United
Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Saturday, March 18 – 21:00 ET (01:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Colorado Rapids 2/5 – Draw 16/5 – Minnesota United 13/2

Match Preview

Colorado Rapids welcome struggling MLS new boys Minnesota United to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on Saturday in a game that looks like it is going to go only one way.

The Rapids won their opening game of the season but lost 1-0 to Red Bulls last weekend, a result they will be expected to bounce back from here.

Pablo Mastroeni will demand nothing more than a win but will make his side aware they are not to undermine their opposition or take things lightly just because of their previous two results. There will be plenty of respect on the field with Colorado looking to get the job done early.

Embed from Getty Images

Minnesota United have really struggled in their opening two games of their first ever MLS campaign. This is one of the last places they will want to visit off the back of already conceding 11 goals this season.

Adrian Heath’s side were taken apart 6-1 in the coldest game in MLS history last weekend and things will get better for them. The side has plenty to learn and become accustom to and if they put in a solid performance this weekend they will send a message out to the rest of the Western Conference that they’re not just here for a hiding.

Minnesota are conceding a goal every 16 minutes so far this season. Defensively things are going to have to drastically improve if they’re to start picking up points.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Colorado Rapids have four injury concerns as John Berner, Axel Sjoberg, Kevin Doyle and Alan Gordon are all sidelined.

Bernardo Anor and John Alvbage are Minnesota United’s only injury concerns heading into this tie.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ form: W/L

Minnesota United’s form: L/L

Key Stat: Fortress – Colorado Rapids have lost just once in their last 20 Major League Soccer home games

Key Player: Dominique Badji – The Rapids forward has netted once already this season and this is a great chance for him to show he can provide on a regular basis.

Dominique Badji celebrating his first goal of the season via: coloradorapids.com

Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 5-0 Minnesota United – It’s not a prediction made lightly but Colorado are very strong at home and Minnesota have been thumped in both of their fixtures this season. We expect The Rapids to win comfortably.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact
Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, March 18 – 14:00 ET (18:00 GMT)
Match Odds: New York City 1/1 – Draw 5/2 – Montreal 12/5

Match Preview

New York City FC welcome Eastern Conference rivals Montreal Impact to Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon in a game which will have plenty to offer.

Patrick Vieira’s side come into this tie having demolished DC 4-0 last weekend. New York looked likely to score with each attacking and were defensively sound when put under pressure.

The NYCFC fans would have been delighted to see how their talisman David Villa linked up with new DP Maximiliano Moralez and that’s a partnership which has the potential to be one of the most deadly in Major League Soccer this season.

It’s been a slow start for Montreal Impact. They have picked up just one point from their two games and find themselves under pressure to get a result here.

After watching NYCFC last week we can expect Mauro Biello to set his side up to play on the counter. The vision of Ignacio Piatti to feed the pacey Dominic Oduro is a deadly combination that will be key to unlocking their opposition.

Montreal are going to have to be tighter at the back than they were last week. With ten minutes to go the points looked to be heading their way but complacency got the better of them. If their backline is not switched on here they will be punished.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Mikey Lopez is out for New York City FC this weekend as he has undergone ankle surgery.

Andreas Romero is Montreal’s only injury concern so Biello has a near fully fit squad at his disposal.

Key Points

New York City’s form: L/W

Montreal Impact’s form: W/D

Key Stat: New York City FC have impressive home form, they’ve won eight of their last ten games at Yankee Stadium.

Key Player: David Villa – The Spaniard got off the mark last weekend with a classy brace. He’ll be looking to score for his second consecutive home game and fire NYCFC to victory.

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Montreal Impact – NYCFC to make it back-to-back wins in a tight game. Montreal certainly have the class to trouble New York but they have looked shaky at the back in their opening two fixtures – early season struggles to continue.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Manchester United vs Tottenham Hotspur

Competition: Premier League – Manchester United vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Venue: Old Trafford – Sunday, December 11 – 14:15 GMT (09:15 ET)

Match Odds: Manchester United 6/5 – Draw 23/10 – Spurs 23/10

Match Preview

Manchester United welcome Tottenham Hotspur to Old Trafford on Sunday in the standout fixture of the Premier League action this weekend.

United know they’ve got a game on their hands with the visit of Spurs, this meeting usually offers an exciting tie, but given recent league form for United a draw would be far from surprising.

Jose Mourinho’s side are frustrating their fans. They’re creating well in games but are missing hatfuls of chances and aren’t strong enough defensively to hold out when they take the lead.

Despite the negatives, United are unbeaten in five in the league (W1, D4). Their draw last weekend at Everton was a disappointing result considering they looked to have the points wrapped up, but it’s another game unbeaten nonetheless.

Embed from Getty Images

Tottenham will be full of confidence coming into this game. They thumped Swansea 5-0 at home last weekend and it could and probably should have been nearer double figures.

Mauricio Pochettino’s men are six points ahead of United in the league. They sit 5th, three points outside the top four and six points off top spot, they’re well in the mix.

Spurs need to win this game to keep pace with the top four. If results go in their favour they could end the weekend in third place.

The North London side have lost just once in their last 14 outings. They’re in fine form and are scoring freely, so they have to start with their usual high-press and intensity to put United on the back-foot from the word go.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Manchester united are still expecting to be without Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw for this tie. Eric Bailly could be in line to start his first Premier League game in six weeks, he played 90 minutes in the Europa League in midweek. Wayne Rooney is available again after serving his one-match suspension.

Tottenham have just three injury concerns ahead of this tie. Erik Lamela and Vincent Janssen are both expected to remain out, while Ben Davies is a doubt. Toby Alderweireld could make his first Premier League start since October 15 after he featured in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Key Points

Manchester United’s last five: D/W/D/D/D

Tottenham’s last five: D/D/W/L/W

Key Stat: Manchester United have won just once in their last nine Premier League games.

Key Player: Harry Kane – The Spurs talisman is in fine form. He has netted seven league goals this season and will be excited at the prospect of getting at a nervy United defence. He will have to outshine Zlatan Ibrahimovic to ensure Spurs take all three points here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Manchester United 1-2 Tottenham Hotspur – United to fall to another unfavourable result against one of the top sides in the league. Spurs know they have the chance of taking all three points at Old Trafford, but just because United are out of form by no means makes this an easy tie.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Leicester City vs Manchester City

Competition: Premier League – Leicester City FC vs. Manchester City

Venue: King Power Stadium – Saturday, December 10 – 17:30 GMT (12:30 ET)

Match Odds: Leicester 18/5 – Draw 3/1 – Man City 7/10

Match Preview

Leicester welcome Manchester City to the King Power Stadium on Saturday evening in a tie contested by two sides who will feel they’re under performing this season.

The Foxes are struggling to live up to the dizzy heights of last season and if they’re not careful they’ll find themselves in a relegation scrap.

Claudio Ranieri’s side are just two points above the bottom three and are in a dismal run of form. They need to get a string of positive results together and push their way up the Premier League table.

Leicester’s smash and grab style of football that won them the league last season isn’t having the same impact as it did, but a win here would make a huge difference to the mood around the King Power.

Embed from Getty Images

Manchester City have been on track to challenge for the title from the start of the season but they come into this one having lost both the game and their discipline against Chelsea last weekend.

Pep Guardiola is under a little pressure and things are not going his way. City are now sitting fourth, four points off top spot. While this is not the time to panic, the City players are going to need to step up and strike fear back into their opponents.

City’s season is in good shape, they are well in the title race and, like Leicester, have qualified for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.

However, a loss here would open the possibility of City dropping out of the top four if other results go against them. In what appears to be the most competitive Premier League season ever, there is no hiding place for below-par performances.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel remains out. Danny Drinkwater will complete his three-game ban on the sideline for this one, other than those two, Ranieri has a clean bill of health for his side.

Manchester City will be without their goal machine Sergio Aguero and midfielder Fernandinho following their red cards last weekend. Guardiola’s selection issues are from back to front as he will also be without Nicolas Otamendi, who received his 5th yellow of the season last weekend, so now faces a one match suspension. Raheem Sterling’s return can’t come soon enough for City, he is expected to still be sidelined for this tie, while Vincent Kompany is out and Fabian Delph is a doubt.

Key Points

Leicester’s last five: D/L/L/D/L

Manchester City’s last five: W/D/W/W/L

Key Stat: Home comforts – Although Leicester are going through a rough patch, their home form is something they have been able to fall back on. They’re lost just once in their last 22 at the King Power.

Key Player: Kevin De Bruyne – The Belgian midfielder will be forgiven for feeling sorry for himself after he wasted a huge chance to put City out of sight in their loss last weekend. He’s not the sort to be denied and will be looking to make amends this time around. KDB will be sniffing in and around the penalty area for a goal.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Leicester City 1-3 Manchester City – Manchester City need a result following their ill-tempered defeat last weekend. Leicester’s struggles will continue here and City are one of the last sides they will want to be facing while they’re going through this difficult run of form.

Premier League Preview and Prediction: Bournemouth vs Liverpool

Competition: Premier League – Bournemouth vs. Liverpool

Venue: Vitality Stadium – Sunday, December 4 – 13:30 GMT (08:30 ET)

Match Odds: Bournemouth 16/5 – Draw 29/10 – Liverpool 3/4

Match Preview

Bournemouth welcome Liverpool to the Vitality Stadium on Sunday afternoon in a game that has the makings of one-way traffic.

Eddie Howe’s side are in a respectable 12th position, they’ve picked up 15 points already this season but have struggled over the last five games.

Bournemouth come into this one having played another title contender last weekend. Their 3-1 loss against Arsenal had plenty of talking points and the result may have been very different on another day.

The Cherries need to get back to picking up points on a regular basis. They’ve only taken four points from the last 15 on offer to them and despite being six places above the relegation zone, the gap is just four points.

Embed from Getty Images

Liverpool have been on a superb run of form of late. They trail top spot by just one point and will be hoping results go in their favour this weekend so they can force their way into first place.

Jurgen Klopp has a selection headache ahead of this tie. His squad has been hit by an injury crisis, but he is not phased, and believes in any players he is selecting.

Liverpool come into this tie having progressed to the semifinal of the League Cup with their midweek win over Leeds.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last 11 league games and have picked up 13 points from the last 15 on offer. This is a winnable game for Liverpool, but they will be worked hard by an energetic Bournemouth side.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Howe is expecting to be without Lewis Cook and Andrew Surman, while both Artur Boruc and Charlie Daniels are doubts for the visit of Liverpool.

Klopp’s side has been hit with an unenviable injury list. Philippe Coutinho, Danny Ings and Daniel Sturridge are all out, while Adam Lallana, Roberto Firmino and Joel Matip are all doubts.

Key Points

Bournemouth’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Liverpool’s last five: W/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Liverpool have scored at least two goals in eight of their last ten Premier League games.

Key Player: James Milner – Liverpool will be looking for Milner to bring a calming presence to the side as they head into the Christmas period with a squad riddled with injuries. The Englishman has plenty of experience and he will be a key figure once again this weekend.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Bournemouth 1-3 Liverpool – Bournemouth to become the latest victim of an impressive display from Klopp’s Liverpool. If history is anything to go by Bournemouth will struggle here, they have lost their last five games against Liverpool in all competitions.