MX23RW : Monday, November 29 04:40:22| >> :600:2036396:2036396:
Oct 31, 2021 at 12.30am UK at RFK Stadium
DC UnitedDC United
1-3
Columbus CrewColumbus Crew
Arriola (3')
Arriola (32'), Felipe (79')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Zelarayan (45' pen., 76'), Santos (66')
Valenzuela (42')

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

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

The Eastern Conference is entering the business stage of the season when sides are closing in on qualification to the playoffs, and both DC United and Columbus Crew are still in the fight to finish in the top seven.

DC United currently occupy the final playoff position, but the two teams below them, New York Red Bulls and Montreal have a game in hand on Hernan Losada's side, while Columbus sit in 10th and three points behind Sunday's hosts.


Match preview

DC United head coach Hernan Losada smiles as he walks off the field after the against FC Cincinnati in the first half at TQL Stadium on July 31, 2021© Reuters

DC United got back on track last time out after going four matches without a win throughout October so far, and victory last time out was a crucial step towards qualifying for the playoffs.

On Thursday, Losada's side welcomed New York Red Bulls to Audi Field and any result other than a win for the home side would have seen the Red Bulls leapfrog DC United into seventh spot.

Kevin Paredes ensured that there was nothing to worry about for the Black and Red as his 9th-minute strike was enough to seal a 1-0 victory for DC United.

The home team allowed New York Red Bulls many chances on goal during that game, and the amount of chances DC United are giving up at the moment is a concern for Losada, especially after losing 6-0 to New York City FC prior to Thursday's outing.

DC United may have conceded many chances on goal, but Bill Hamid earned his eighth clean sheet of the season, and his side have been better defensively on their home patch than they have been on their travels this year.

Columbus Crew head coach Caleb Porter directs his team in the first half against Atlanta United at Lower.com Field on August 7, 2021© Reuters

Columbus Crew kept their playoff chances alive last time out with a 3-2 win against fifth-placed Orlando City on Thursday, a good way to bounce back after defeat against New York Red Bulls.

Miguel Berry, Derrick Etienne and Lucas Zelarayan were on target against Orlando, and that was the fourth time that Caleb Porter's side have scored at least three goals in a single game this season.

Three points against DC United on Sunday will mean that Crew go level on points with their hosts and if the away side can win by a margin of three goals, then they will leapfrog DC United this weekend.

As much as there is incentive to attack on Sunday and try to turnaround the goal difference into their favour, Columbus should be wary of DC United's attacking threat as they have averaged nearly two goals per game in Washington this season.

This will be the third meeting between these two teams this campaign, and so far DC United and Columbus Crew have one victory to their name, with DC United winning the latest encounter 4-2 at the beginning of August.

DC United Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • W

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

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



Team News

Columbus Crew midfielder Luis Diaz (12) is stretchered off the field after being fouled by Atlanta United in the second half at Lower.com Field on August 7, 2021© Reuters

Edison Flores and Yordy Reyna will be absent from DC United's matchday squad on Sunday as they continue to be sidelined due to calf injuries.

Losada made five changes at half time during his side's 6-0 defeat against New York City, but all of the players who were substituted off the pitch on that day started last time out against New York Red Bulls.

After scoring what ended up to be the winning goal last time out, Paredes was forced off on Thursday after just 38 minutes, so he could be given a rest on Sunday, although, he is likely to be named amongst the substitutes.

Norwegian striker Ola Kamara is currently leading the goalscoring chart for the MLS this season and has the Golden Boot in his sights; however, the 32-year-old has failed to find the back of the net in his last five appearances.

Columbus Crew have injury concerns heading into Sunday's fixture, with Aidan Morris, Artur, Kevin Molino and Perry Kitchen all suffering from injuries and unavailable for selection.

Porter named an unchanged starting side for Crew's last outing, and after picking up victory against Orlando, the same 11 could take to the field this weekend also.

Berry will lead the line for the visitors, with Etienne, Zelarayan and Pedro Santos making up the attacking midfield unit behind the lone number nine.

DC United possible starting lineup:
Hamid; Pines, Birnbaum, Najar; Mora, Moreno, Canouse, Gressel; Kamara, Robertha, Arriola

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Valenzuela, Wormgoor, Mensah, Moreira; Hairston, Nagbe; Santos, Zelarayan, Etienne; Berry


SM words green background

We say: DC United 1-1 Columbus Crew

Both teams picked up vital victories in their last matches against fellow playoff chasing teams, which could make Sunday's encounter more of a cagey affair as neither team will want to follow their last results up with defeat.

There have been at least two goals in each of Columbus Crew's last nine games between themselves and their opponents, which is why both teams are likely to get on the scoresheet this weekend.



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: DC United vs Columbus Crew

DC United
41.2%
Draw
52.9%
Columbus Crew
5.9%
17
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

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