Columbus Crew to win at home, over 2 goals
Columbus Crew and Nashville SC have met four times in MLS history. The Crew have won twice and are yet to lose to Nashville, which is expected to continue after this weekend’s clash.
Caleb Porter’s side have made an excellent start to the season and will be keen on keeping that form going. Crew love to dominate possession and are very likely to see a lot of the ball this weekend.
Nashville started off with a cheeky win against the Seattle Sounders on the opening weekend, but things have gone downhill since then. Gary Smith’s side have not been anywhere near their best this season and could suffer another loss this weekend if they do not produce a good performance.
We expect the home side to take full control of the game in midfield, dominate the possession stats, and score more than once. Nashville have scored only three times in four games and we don’t think it is likely that they’ll get on the scoresheet playing away against one of the most dominant sides this season.
Columbus Crew have made an excellent start to the season, but they are yet to hit top gear.
Porter’s side do well at home and have won both their matches at the Lower.com Field but are yet to pick up a win in an away game. The good news for them is they play at home again and will be looking to make it three wins in three home games this season.
They kicked off the season with a big win over Vancouver Whitecaps, with four different players getting on the scoresheet. Miguel Berry started things off in the 8th minute, and Derrick Etienne Junior doubled the lead midway through the first half. Despite Whitecaps going down to 10 men early in the second half, Crew had to wait until the 84th minute to get another goal. Luis Díaz sealed the win, and with Whitecaps down and out, Lucas Zelarayán capped off his brilliant performance by making it 4-0.
Crew started off badly in their first away game of the season when their mistake – and VAR – handed San Jose a penalty inside the first 10 minutes. Cristian Espinoza made no mistake and made it 1-0 to the home side, but things changed quickly. Jamiro Monteiro was sent off for the them after VAR deemed his boot was too high, and the Earthquakes were down to 10 men right after the half-hour mark.
Crew took full advantage, and Lucas Zelarayán equalized before the break. Gyasi Zardes made it 2-1 in the 68th minute, thanks to some sloppy defending from the home side. Zelarayán was once again on the scoresheet with a beautiful free-kick, and the three points were all but sealed.
But their first heartbreak of the season beckoned, as Francisco Calvo had other plans and got San Jose back in the game with a neat header in the 84th minute before going on to score the equalizer with the last action of the game.
Porter’s side were down once again, and this time it was to Toronto FC at home. Jesús Jiménez scored early in the first half, and Crew needed some magic from Zelarayán once again to equalize just before the hour mark. Derrick Etienne Junior scored his second goal of the season, and Crew held on for a 2-1 win.
Their topsy-turvy run continued as Crew needed a late goal from Darlington Nagbe to snatch a point at New York Red Bulls. Tom Barlow scored the game’s first goal in the 84th minute for the home side, but Nagbe’s late goal saw the two sides share points in the end.
All in all, for the kind of attacking prowess that the Crew have been displaying in the final third, you would expect them to be a much better team than the one that has drawn two out of four games. But there is a sense that they are there and thereabouts with respect to their best – and we expect that to show up this weekend.
Nashville have not made a good start to the season and find themselves 23rd in the Supporters’ Shield table. They have picked up just 4 points from their opening four games – one win and a draw, strung with two losses.
Aníbal Godoy scored late in the season opener against the Seattle Sounders for the Nashville side, and despite a poor performance, they managed to grab all three points.
Gary Smith stuck with the same formation for their game at Minnesota United in the second game week, and they made a good start. Charles Sapong scored in the fifth minute and handed them the lead, but they decided to sit back and defend instead of extending their advantage.
Minnesota’s constant pressure finally paid off in the 74th minute as Hassani Dotson scored the equalizer for the home side. The two teams could not break each other down again, and the game ended 1-1 – leaving both sides with a point.
Nashville looked to be on the back foot from the very start against FC Dallas, and Smith seemed to have conceded defeat even before the first kick of the game. His side failed to register a single shot on target in the whole game and were nowhere near the opponent’s box in the second half. Franco Jara and Alan Velasco scored late in the game for the Texas side, and they ran out 2-0 winners in the end.
They seemed to have learnt from their mistakes and attacked from the very start against Real Salt Lake, but were unlucky this time – and perhaps also showed the reason why being conservative is sometimes not an option as much as it is a necessity. They conceded from both shots on target and lost 2-1 with Walker Zimmerman getting their only goal.
They’re sinking lower and lower on the standings at the moment and need to arrest this freefall. Playing against the Columbus Crew is not exactly where you want to be when you’re trying to do that.
|Columbus Crew vs Nashville SC Information|
|Teams||Columbus Crew vs Nashville SC|
|Time||Saturday, April 2 at 6pm EST|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, Bally Sports Great Lakes|
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Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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