MX23RW : Monday, July 26 00:07:58| >> :600:227755:227755:
Jun 20, 2021 at 12.30am UK at Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus CrewColumbus Crew
2-0
Chicago FireChicago Fire
Zardes (17', 34')
Etienne (21'), Williams (25')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Herbers (44'), Medran (65')

Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire - prediction, team news, lineups

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

The Columbus Crew will hope that the international break does not slow down their momentum as they get set to host the Chicago Fire on Saturday at Historic Crew Stadium.

The defending MLS Cup champions have won two consecutive matches heading into this fixture, while Chicago are near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings with just one win and a draw through their first seven games.


Match preview

Columbus Crew players celebrate scoring against New England Revolution in December 2020© Reuters

Saturday will be a special night for the Columbus faithful as they play their final match at Historic Crew Stadium, a stadium that has given their supporters many fond memories, including the site of their 2020 MLS Cup triumph, where they upset the Seattle Sounders 3-0.

It has taken longer than we all expected, but the reigning MLS Cup champs seem to be rounding into form, handing a robust New York City FC side their first loss at Yankee Stadium and then scoring twice in the first 21 minutes to defeat Toronto FC 2-1.

Those victories are an encouraging sign for a team that won only one of their first five matches in 2021 and failed to score in their opening two games.

Manager Caleb Porter called their victory against Toronto the best performance of the season for his team, praising their aggressiveness and intensity in an impressive showing.

The bad news for other MLS teams is that it seems that the Crew still have a few gears they can tap into, which can make them look even better than they already are.

They might need to find another gear in the weeks to come as they will follow up this match against the Fire with some challenging encounters, including road games against the Philadelphia Union and Austin FC, before hosting the New England Revolution at the New Columbus Crew Stadium.

Chicago Fire midfielder Luka Stojanovic reacts after scoring a goal against Inter Miami on May 22, 2021© Reuters

For the Fire, it has been a miserable 2021 campaign so far with just four points from their opening seven games, as they are tied with FC Cincinnati for last in the Eastern Conference table.

After winning their first game of the year, 1-0 over Inter Miami, Raphael Wicky saw his team waste several goalscoring opportunities against CF Montreal, eventually conceding a goal in the 87th minute and losing 1-0.

The hope is that the international break can help them recharge their batteries as they look to turn their season around against a team that they have not beaten in five straight regular-season meetings.

They have outshot their opponents 39-10 in their last two games, but they only have one win to show for it, a clear indicator that they need to be better in the final third if they are to dig themselves out of their current hole.

Chicago are the lowest-scoring team in MLS with just four goals this season, three from Luka Stojanovic and one in their opening match from Robert Beric.

Having only two clear goalscoring threats has made it very easy for opposing defences to key in on those players without worrying about anyone else.

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

Columbus Crew form (all competitions):
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W

Chicago Fire Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L



Team News

Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter reacts on May 23, 2021© Reuters

The Crew are starting to get healthy, but there are still numerous players that could be miss out this weekend, including Perry Kitchen and Milton Valenzuela, who both have hamstring injuries.

Winger Kevin Molino is still dealing with a muscle injury, and midfielder Aidan Morris has been out since the middle of April with a knee injury.

Striker Gyasi Zardes notched the game-winner for his team in their last outing against Toronto, his first goal of the season and his 50th with the club across all competitions.

Chicago will be a little shorthanded in the midfield as Przemyslaw Frankowski is representing Poland at the Euros, and Gaston Gimenez is a part of the Paraguay squad who are currently playing in the Copa America.

Right-winger Stanislav Ivanov is probably still a few weeks away from being healthy after his knee surgery in March, and reserve goalkeeper Kenneth Kronholm has been out since last year with a knee injury.

Midfielder Alvaro Medran has struggled to fill the void left when Djordje Mihailovic left to join CF Montreal last off-season.

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Afful, Jonathan, Williams, Santos; Artur, Nagbe; Espinoza, Zelarayan, Matan; Zardes

Chicago Fire possible starting lineup:
Shuttleworth; Sekulic, Omsberg, Calvo, Navarro; Aliseda, Medran; Herbers, Stojanovic, Gutierrez; Beric


SM words green background

We say: Columbus Crew 2-0 Chicago Fire

Chicago have not beaten the Crew in Columbus since a 2-1 defeat back in June 2013, and while they have created more chances and competed harder in their last three matches, they still lack depth upfront and one of their top scoring threats, Robert Beric, has been struggling to score.

The top players for the Crew are starting to find their game, and along with a capacity crowd to see them play at Historic Crew Stadium for one final time, all signs point to a Columbus victory.



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


ID:451771:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect11390:

How you voted: Columbus Crew vs Chicago Fire

Columbus Crew
72.2%
Draw
27.8%
Chicago Fire
0.0%
18
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Did you know...?
Celta Vigo's defender Hugo Mallo (L) vies with Getafe's midfielder Alvaro Medran during the Spanish league football match Celta Vigo vs Getafe CF at the Balaidos stadium in Vigo on October 2, 2015.
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Valencia sign Medran from Real Madrid
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina61411
JapanJapan5106
United StatesUnited States42410
Republic of KoreaRepublic of Korea2035
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia1427
19  Great BritainGreat Britain0112
Today's Olympic highlights header

Monday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Jonny Brownlee will look to make the most of his brother Alistair's absence as he goes for gold in the men's triathlon (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB get their campaign underway with two matches, against Canada and Japan (from 1.30am)

SWIMMING
· One of Team GB's biggest gold medal hopes, Adam Peaty, will take part in the 100m breaststroke final. (3.12am)
· Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky go head to head for gold in the women's 400m freestyle final (3.20am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley and Matty Lee take part in the men's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The men's team final takes place (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England16103330191133
2Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
3Orlando City157442319425
4Columbus Crew156631612424
5New York City FCNY City1472526151123
6Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
7CF MontrealMontreal156452018222
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta152851418-414
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England1593328181030
2Nashville SCNashville1568124141026
3Orlando City147432314925
4Columbus Crew156631612424
5Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
6CF MontrealMontreal146441916322
7New York City FCNY City136252115620
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta152851418-414
11Toronto153482032-1213
12FC CincinnatiCincinnati143471729-1213
13Chicago Fire153391727-1012
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138

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