MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Olympic Stadium – Saturday, May 13 – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST) 
Match Odds: Montreal 13/10 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus 5/2

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome Eastern Conference rivals Columbus Crew to Olympic Stadium on Saturday with both sides in an inconsistent run of form.

Mauro Biello’s side are sitting 10th in the East after winning just twice this season. They are just two points outside the top six but are almost too far off being able to challenge for a place at the top unless they get onto a good run of form.

Montreal won away at DC last time out, a good performance after a goal inside the first 15 minutes. If they can show that sort of resilience again here they have a good chance of a positive result.

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Columbus Crew come into this one struggling on the road as they have lost five of their last six away matches in MLS. This is a good chance for them to pick up three points but it is by no means going to be an easy game.

Crew were hit twice late on in their midweek game against Toronto. They looked certain to take three points but conceded twice inside the final ten minutes, missing a chance to go joint top of the East.

Their form against Montreal away from home has been nothing short of poor in recent times. They have failed to pick up a win in the last four meetings in this fixture in all competitions, but this could be their chance to break their duck.

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Team News

Montreal Impact have four injury concerns ahead of the weekend as Andres Romero, Victor Cabrera and Matteo Mancosu are all expected to remain out, while Shamit Shome is a doubt.

Columbus Crew could be facing the same number of absentees from their squad, Gaston Sauro and Ben Swanson are both out, while Artur and Brad Stuver are both questionable.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: L/W/D/L/W

Columbus Crew’s form: W/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have not lost a home game against Columbus Crew in the last four meetings in all competitions.

Key Player: Federico Higuain – The Columbus forward has netted in each of his last three games and his confidence is high. The partnership between Higuain and Ola Kamara could prove to be too much to handle for lowly Montreal.

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-2 Columbus Crew – Montreal Impact to suffer their 4th defeat of the season. Columbus Crew have the attacking class to cause damage here and put an end to their winless run in Montreal.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew

Stadium: Olympic Stadium – Saturday, April 9 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Columbus 12/5

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome Columbus Crew to the Olympic Stadium on Saturday evening in what is an important early-season clash between two strong Eastern Conference outfits that are looking to improve.

Montreal started the season in fine form, winning back-to-back games against Vancouver and New York Red Bulls, but have lost both games since without scoring a goal.

Head coach Mauro Biello will be concerned with the sudden drop in form, but will see Saturday’s home clash with Columbus as the perfect opportunity to get back on track.

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These two sides met in last season’s playoffs, with Columbus advancing past Montreal over two legs by a 4-3 aggregate scoreline and so the Impact will be out for revenge here.

Before the season started, many viewed Columbus Crew as one of the overriding favourites for the Eastern Conference title this season. However, they have yet to win any of their four games and are stuck at the foot of the East.

There is no clear reason behind their slump. This current Columbus team stayed intact over the offseason after finishing 2015 as MLS Cup runners-up. An immediate improvement is needed, particularly given the squad strength.

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Beating Montreal this weekend would represent improvement. The Crew’s 1-1 draw with FC Dallas last weekend was a positive result but getting that first win of the campaign will be the main priority now.

These two sides met twice over the course of the regular season last term, with Montreal winning both games before they then faced off in the two playoff meetings in November.

Team News

Montreal will be without Didier Drogba once again as the Ivorian striker will not play on the artificial surface at the Olympic Stadium. However, Montreal will return to Stade Saputo for home games after Saturday’s match and so Drogba’s return to regular action isn’t far away. Andres Romero and Cameron Porter remain sidelined, while Maxime Crepeau and Marco Donadel are both doubts.

Columbus have three injury concerns heading into Saturday’s game with doubts hanging over Corey Ashe, Ola Kamara and Conor Casey. Gregg Berhalter could name an unchanged team to the side that drew at FC Dallas last weekend, with Justin Meram expected to remain in the starting lineup following his goal.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: W/W/L/L

Columbus Crew’s form: L/L/D/D

Key Stat: There has been at least two goals scored in all 13 meetings between Montreal and Columbus over the past four years. There have been a total of 35 goals over those 13 games – an average of 2.7 per match.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Argentine playmaker started the season in unstoppable form but has struggled over the past two weeks. He will look to shine in Montreal’s second home match of the season and the Impact need him on song if they are to get past Columbus.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 Columbus Crew – This should be a very tight encounter between two sides that are desperate for three points on Saturday evening. A case can be made for both, although a draw looks the most likely result – something that won’t really help either side as they look to climb the Eastern Conference.

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Columbus Crew

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal First Leg) – Montreal Impact vs. Columbus Crew 

Venue: Saputo Stadium – Sunday, November 1 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/5 – Draw 13/5 – Columbus Crew 21/10

Match Preview

Montreal Impact host Columbus Crew on Sunday night in their first ever MLS Playoffs Conference Semifinal as two sides with genuine hopes of lifting the MLS Cup this year go head-to-head.

After a 3-0 knockout round win over Toronto on Thursday Montreal will feel confident of progressing into the Eastern Conference Final after the two legs with Columbus.

Much of their recent success is down to Didier Drogba and his sensational goalscoring record since arriving in the summer. He has now scored 12 in his last 11 matches in MLS.

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With four wins on the bounce, you’d be brave to bet against the Impact in this one. They are a real force at home and deserve to be where they are right now.

Montreal Impact’s regular season record: P34 – W15 – D6 – L13

Columbus have been excellent this season and display consistency that is not to be underestimated. They are the favourites to win over two legs when you consider their regular season form but this is the MLS Playoffs and anything can happen as we’ve already seen this week.

Remarkably, Columbus lost both matches against Montreal during the regular season and so it seems the Canadian’s have the Crew’s number.

Columbus have been handed a boost however, as Kei Kamara is expected to start after serving his one-game suspension. The striker has been so important for them going forward this season and his tally of 22 goals – tied most in the regular season – is a fearful statistic for the Impact.

Columbus Crew’s regular season record: P34 – W15 – D8 – L11 

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Federico Higuain will also return for the Crew as they look set to strengthen in attack for the game, despite banging five past DC United last Sunday in that 5-0 win.

Team News

Montreal Impact will be missing Cameron Porter, Kenny Cooper and Andres Romero, who are all out injured. Justin Mapp is a doubt. The Impact are likely to field an unchanged team to the one that beat Toronto. Didier Drogba had a first-half injury scare on Thursday but went on to play 90 minutes and should be fine to play.

Columbus Crew are without Kristinn Steindorsson through injury. Tony Tchani is questionable with a sore right thigh, while Matt Lampson and Chad Barson are both doubts. Federico Higuain and Kei Kamara will return after missing the final game of the season.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: L/W/W/W/W

Columbus Crew’s last five in MLS: W/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won their last six at home in MLS, including Thursday’s 3-0 playoff demolition of Toronto.

Key Player: Didier Drogba – The Ivorian striker has been sensational since moving to Montreal and with 12 goals in 12 games it’s impossible to look past him as the difference-maker on Sunday night.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-0 Columbus Crew – Montreal have the added advantage of a 3-0 win in midweek to take into the game, however, Columbus have been consistent all season and have had an extra week to recover for this one. We’re expecting a nervy first leg for both sides but can see home-field advantage helping Montreal to narrowly win this one.