MX23RW : Saturday, September 18 17:17:40| >> :600:160565:160565:
Jul 22, 2021 at 12.30am UK at Columbus Crew Stadium
Columbus CrewColumbus Crew
0-0
NashvilleNashville SC

Kitchen (18'), Hurtado (43')
FT

LaGrassa (21')

Preview: Columbus Crew vs. Nashville SC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Major League Soccer clash between Columbus Crew and Nashville SC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Columbus Crew will aim to overtake Nashville SC in the MLS Eastern Conference when the two teams meet in Ohio on Wednesday.

The Crew are currently sixth in the Eastern Conference table, two points behind the Tennessee outfit in fifth, and both sides will head into the game off the back of victories.


Match preview

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

Columbus Crew's 2-1 win against New York City on Saturday, courtesy of goals from Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Zelarayan, was their first victory in five matches.

Eloy Room was the standout performer in goal with a number of crucial saves to preserve their lead, and it is little wonder that no team in the Eastern Conference has conceded fewer goals than the Crew (12) and only overall leaders Seattle Sounders (eight) have let in fewer in MLS in 2021.

Caleb Porter's side are yet to lose a home match so far this season, winning three and drawing one at the Historic Crew Stadium before moving to Lower.com Field at the start of this month where they have won one and drawn one.

The Crew also won both games against Nashville last season, including the playoff quarter-final as Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes struck in a 2-0 extra-time victory.

Nashville SC defender Jack Maher celebrates with teammates on June 24, 2021© Reuters

The Tennessee outfit have got stronger since then though and are taking their second MLS campaign in their stride; they are only five points behind Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution with a game in hand.

Nashville recorded the biggest win in their history on Saturday, thrashing Chicago Fire 5-1. Hany Mukhtar netted a hattrick inside the first 16 minutes, the fastest treble in MLS history, with CJ Sapong and Brian Anunga also getting on the scoresheet.

It means that only New England Revolution (23) have scored more goals in the Eastern Conference in 2021 than Nashville (21).

Gary Smith's side have lost only one of their 13 games so far, fewer than any other side, but they are also yet to record successive victories and have drawn a league-high seven matches.

This will be only Nashville's fourth away match of the season, but they are yet to win on the road – drawing against Real Salt Lake and Atlanta United and losing to New York Red Bulls on their previous trips.

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

Nashville SC Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

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

Columbus Crew are currently dealing with several absences, including Liam Fraser, Kevin Molino, Gyasi Zardes, Derrick Etienne and Luis Diaz who are all at the Gold Cup with their respective nations.

Milton Valenzuela, Artur and Josh Williams are all sidelined through injury, but Harrison Afful is back from suspension and Bradley Wright-Phillips made his first appearance in nearly two months against New York City.

Lucas Zelarayan's strike on Saturday was his fourth free-kick goal of the season – the same as David Beckham's tally in 2012 and two shy of Sebastian Giovinco's single-season record.

After such a convincing win last time out, Gary Smith could name an unchanged Nashville side on Wednesday.

Like their opponents, Nashville have players away at the Gold Cup - Walker Zimmerman (USA), Alistair Johnston (Canada) and Anibal Godoy (Panama).

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Afful, Keita, Mensah, Francis; Hairston, Nagbe; Santos, Zelarayan, Matan; Hurtado

Nashville SC possible starting lineup:
Willis; Maher, Anibaba, Romney; Nealis, Anunga, McCarty, Lovitz; Leal; Mukhtar, Sapong


SM words green background

We say: Columbus Crew 1-1 Nashville SC

This will be an intriguing battle as the Crew's stern defence comes up against Nashville's potent attack, who will be full of confidence after thrashing Chicago Fire. It makes it difficult to pick a winner, so we are predicting an entertaining draw.



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 Nashville

Columbus Crew
43.2%
Draw
38.6%
Nashville SC
18.2%
44
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Orlando City SC forward Nani celebrates with teammates after winning on June 26, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England25174447291855
2Nashville SCNashville231011238211741
3Orlando City2410863533238
4New York City FCNY City23105841271435
5DC United24104103933634
6CF MontrealMontreal249783430434
7Atlanta UnitedAtlanta248973228433
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2586112934-530
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2465132438-1423
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2348112342-1920
14Toronto2436152650-2415

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England25174447291855
2Nashville SCNashville231011238211741
3Orlando City2410863533238
4New York City FCNY City23105841271435
5DC United24104103933634
6CF MontrealMontreal249783430434
7Atlanta UnitedAtlanta248973228433
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia238872824432
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2586112934-530
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2465132438-1423
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2348112342-1920
14Toronto2436152650-2415

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