Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Sporting Kansas City
Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Saturday, August 22 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Columbus Crew 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Sporting Kansas City 5/2
Columbus Crew come into this one off the back of a 2-2 draw with New York City FC in midweek, a game they would have been hoping to win. They have a chance to make home advantage count again here against a strong SKC side.
Gregg Berhalter will be disappointed that his side could not make up any ground on the Eastern Conference leaders DC United. They remain nine points behind with one more game in hand.Embed from Getty Images
Sporting Kansas City come into this one off the back of a 5-0 thumping in midweek at the hands of San Jose Earthquakes. Playmaker Benny Feilhaber saw red in the latter stages of the game, he will be a huge miss for this tie.
Peter Vermes will not be happy with that result as it was a great opportunity to close the gap on Western Conference leaders LA Galaxy. SKC could have potentially gone above the leaders but still remain three points behind. The saving grace for Vermes is that his side still have three games in hand on Galaxy, but will not want a repeat performance of the midweek tie.
Sporting Kansas City are in a great position despite that loss, they have lost the least amount of regular season games out of any other side and stand a good chance of winning the Supporter’s Shield if they can take positive results from their games in hand.Embed from Getty Images
This will be a test for the sides who are both having good seasons, SKC came out on top in this fixture last season, winning 2-1 at Mapfre Stadium, and will be hoping for a repeat of that victory.
Columbus Crew have four injury concerns. Sergio Campbell is set to miss out while there are doubts about Harrison Afful, Emanuel Pogatetz and Ben Swanson. Kei Kamara, Federico Higuain and Jack McInerney are all one booking away from suspension.
Sporting Kansas City could be without up to seven players. Ike Opara, Bernardo Anor and Roger Espinoza are set to miss out. Jalil Anibaba, Graham Zusi, Soni Mustivar and Seth Sinovic are all doubts. Kevin Ellis is one booking away from suspension.
Columbus Crew’s last five: W/D/L/W/D
Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/W/L
Key Stat: Columbus are unbeaten in nine of their last ten home matches in MLS.
Key Player: Kei Kamara – Crew’s main man has been in inspired form this season. He has netted six in his last six outings and has an impressive tally of 18 so far this campaign.
Columbus Crew 2-1 Sporting Kansas City – Crew to edge a close tie as they come into this one in better shape than SKC.