MX23RW : Saturday, September 25 11:44:02| >> :600:100897:100897:
Aug 8, 2021 at 12.30am UK at Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus CrewColumbus Crew
2-3
AtlantaAtlanta United
Mensah (37'), Santos (90+1' pen.)
Room (90+7')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Barco (5', 35' pen.), Moreno (65' pen.)
Sosa (45+3'), Walkes (66')

Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Atlanta United - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Columbus Crew and Atlanta United, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Rob Valentino continues to search for his first victory as interim manager of Atlanta United, who will travel to Lower.com Field on Saturday to battle the Columbus Crew.

The reigning MLS champions have lost their last two regular-season matches, while the Five Stripes erased a two-goal deficit on Wednesday, drawing CF Montreal 2-2.


Match preview

Columbus Crew forward Gyasi Zerdes celebrates his goal with teammates on June 20, 2021© Reuters

All year long, Columbus have been hot and cold, and at the moment, they are ice-cold, losing back-to-back fixtures for only the second time this season as they are clinging to the last playoff spot in the East with 24 points.

On Wednesday, they dug themselves an early deficit for the second straight game, conceding three goals in the opening half, eventually falling 4-2 to DC United.

Defensively, Caleb Porter has a problem on his hands, as his team have conceded eight goals in their last two fixtures after posting successive clean sheets.

The Crew are struggling to settle into their new stadium at Lower.com Field, where they have won only one of their four matches so far while conceding seven goals.

Eight times this year, Columbus have conceded the opening goal and been forced to fight their way back into a match, and to their credit, they came back from two two-goal deficits in July to draw FC Cincinnati and the New England Revolution.

Atlanta United players react after Philadelphia Union scored an an own goal on June 20, 2021© Reuters

Speaking of fighting back, that is something that we saw the Five Stripes do on Wednesday after trailing 2-0 to CF Montreal, but once again, it was not enough to earn three points.

Since the dismissal of Gabriel Heinze in mid-July, Atlanta have shown a lot more fight and determination, but they do not have the results to back up their play, going winless in their last four games.

Coming from behind is not something that this team have often done successfully, in fact, their draw on Wednesday was the first time that they erased a two-goal deficit and earned a result since a match with the San Jose Earthquakes in September 2018.

Their winless run is now at a dozen games, and there does not seem to be a clear sign that they can stop this bleeding anytime soon.

The Five Stripes lead the league in draws with nine so far, but seeing as they sit nine points back of the Crew for the final playoff spot, these draws are unlikely to do them any good in the table.

Columbus Crew Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L

Atlanta United Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D



Team News

Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter on June 20, 2021© Reuters

The Crew will be missing Aidan Morris, who has a left knee injury, Artur has a right hip problem, Milton Valenzuela is out with a right thigh injury, Vito Wormgoor is questionable with the same problem, Perry Kitchen is out with a left knee injury and Josh Williams is doubtful with a left ankle issue.

Striker Kevin Molino scored his first goal of the season versus DC United, while Lucas Zelarayan notched his team-leading sixth of this campaign.

Atlanta will be without Emerson Hyndman with a torn ACL, Jake Mulraney, Brooks Lennon and Franco Ibarra are all out with lower-body injuries while Mo Adams remains sidelined with a left quad injury.

Josef Martinez scored his fourth goal of the season earlier this week, but he will not get a chance to add to that this weekend after being red-carded late against Montreal.

Marcelino Moreno scored his team-leading fifth goal of the season in their last fixture, Ezequiel Barco earned his second assist of this campaign, and Brad Guzan started for the first time since returning from the Gold Cup with the United States.

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Lillard, Jonathan, Keita, Afful; Hairston, Fraser, Nagbe, Zelarayan; Molino, Etienne

Atlanta United possible starting lineup:
Guzan; Walkes, DeJohn, Franco, Ambrose; Bello, Sosa, Rossetto, Damm; Barco, Moreno


SM words green background

We say: Columbus Crew 2-1 Atlanta United

The Crew have been struggling to keep the ball out of their goal lately, but they know what it takes to get themselves out of their current predicament, so given how close they are to missing the post-season, expect to see them come out very determined on Saturday.

Atlanta have shown a lot more resolve since the dismissal of Heinze, but they cannot seem to do enough to earn a victory no matter how hard they try.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data


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How you voted: Columbus Crew vs Atlanta

Columbus Crew
72.0%
Draw
12.0%
Atlanta United
16.0%
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Inter Miami CF teammates celebrate on June 26, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England27185451321959
2Nashville SCNashville251111344242044
3New York City FCNY City25116844291539
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2595112540-1532
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2476113029127
12Chicago Fire2665152643-1723
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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