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[monks data]
Jun 30, 2022 at 12.30am UK at BMO Field
Toronto
1 - 2
Columbus Crew
Jimenez (54')
Thompson (37'), Osorio (66')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Zawadzki (18'), Nagbe (30')
Russell-Rowe (66'), Igbekeme (90+2')

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

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

Two MLS teams at the wrong end of the Eastern Conference standings will lock horns at BMO Field on Thursday, as Toronto play host to Columbus Crew.

While the hosts will be looking to claim their third successive home win, the visitors have only won one of their last nine games on the road.


Match preview

Toronto FC head coach Bob Bradley calls out to his team during the second half against New York City FC at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

After losing 2-0 away at New York Red Bulls, Toronto bounced back to record a 2-1 home victory against Atlanta United on Sunday.

A 57th-minute equaliser from Luiz Araujo cancelled out Jonathan Osorio's eighth-minute opener, but the hosts regained the lead in the 78th minute thanks to 19-year-old substitute Ralph Priso who scored his first goal of the season to secure all three points.

Bob Bradley's men have moved up to 11th place in the Eastern Conference, four points above basement club Chicago Fire and six points behind the playoffs.

Toronto have fared much better on home soil this term as they have accumulated 15 of their 18 points at BMO Field.

The Reds have also won each of their last three home meetings against Columbus Crew by an aggregate score of 6-1, so they will be confident of success on Thursday.

Columbus Crew midfielder Darlington Nagbe (6) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second half against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena on March 20, 2022© Reuters

Columbus Crew followed up their 2-1 away win at Atlanta with back-to-back draws against Charlotte FC and Real Salt Lake.

Caleb Porter's side were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at home to Charlotte before playing out a goalless stalemate away at Salt Lake on Sunday, their fourth draw in their last eight matches.

The Crew are six points and seven places worse off than at this stage last season and they currently sit level on points with Thursday's opponents Toronto, although they do have a game in hand.

Porter will be hoping to see signs of improvement from his team in the coming weeks as the 2019 MLS Cup winners bid to close in on the playoff positions.

The Ohio-based outfit will be looking to claim their third consecutive victory against Toronto, after winning both of their last two meetings by a 2-1 scoreline on home soil.

Toronto Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W

Toronto form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

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


Team News

Toronto FC forward Jesus Jimenez (9) celebrates with midfielders Luca Petrasso (38, left) and Jacob Shaffelburg (22) after scoring against New York City FC in the first half at BMO Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

Toronto's only injury concern at present is with midfielder Noble Okello, who is set to remain sidelined with an abdominal issue.

Centre-back Shane O'Neill will be hoping to force his way back into the starting lineup ahead of Chris Mavinga, while Jacob Shaffelburg will continue to battle with Luca Petrasso for a place at left-back.

Top scorer Jesus Jimenez, who has seven strikes to his name so far this season, is set to lead the line with Ayo Akinola and Jayden Nelson operating on the flanks.

As for Columbus Crew, key playmaker Lucas Zelarayan remains doubtful with a muscle injury so Porter is set to stick with a midfield three of Aidan Morris, Darlington Nagbe and Sean Zawadzski.

Jonathan Mensah returned to the first XI last weekend after missing the draw with Charlotte, and the Ghanaian is expected to start again at the heart of the defence alongside Milos Degenek.

James Igbekeme and Yaw Yeboah are the two most likely candidates to support central strike Miguel Berry in attack, though Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne will also be pushing to start.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Westberg; Thompson, Salcedo, O'Neill, Petrasso; Pozuelo, Bradley, Priso; Akinola, Jimenez, Nelson

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Moreira, Mensah, Degenek, Anibaba; Morris, Nagbe, Zawadzski; Yeboah, Berry, Igbekeme


SM words green background

We say: Toronto 1-1 Columbus Crew

Both teams have lacked consistency so far this season but they will each view Thursday's fixture as a good opportunity to claim maximum points and begin a strong run of form.

However, with little to separate these two evenly-matches sides, a score draw could be on the cards at BMO Field.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


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: Toronto vs Columbus Crew

Toronto
68.4%
Draw
26.3%
Columbus Crew
5.3%
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Real Salt Lake head coach Pablo Mastroeni during the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 3, 2022
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Saturday's Major League Soccer predictions including Real Salt Lake vs. San Jose
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

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