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After winning their last match, the New England Revolution put their four-game winless streak to rest. They settled for stalemates against Austin FC, Minnesota United, and Chicago Fire FC. The only loss came against Colorado Rapids a little over two weeks ago.
After a second successive draw in the last game, Columbus Crew have managed to dodge defeat four times in the last five matches. Their only loss during this run came against Orlando City over two weeks ago and it was sandwiched by wins against Montreal and Chicago Fire FC.
In the Eastern Conference, these two clubs are separated by just a couple of points. Even on paper, there is not much to separate them. The odds are in favor of the hosts but just slightly. The hosts have been strong at home and hence have the best chance of winning this encounter.
Including the playoff encounters, these two teams have collided 32 times in the MLS since 2010. Columbus Crew have a slightly better record with 13 wins, while New England Revolution are not far behind with ten victories under their belt.
The other nine encounters have ended in a draw. Astoundingly, five out of those draws have come in the last five matches between these two teams. New England’s last win over Columbus came in the 2021 MLS season at the Gillette Stadium.
Columbus Crew’s last win over New England came in the 2020 MLS season at the Mapfre Stadium. The club’s previous win at the Gillette Stadium against the hosts came in the 2019 MLS season when a Gyasi Zardes brace helped the visitors nab a 2-0 win.
The league leaders of the Eastern Conference, FC Cincinnati, have clinched the MLS Supporters Shield and are 13 points ahead of the New England Revolution. The top spot is gone but the hosts are now aiming for the second-best finish before the playoffs.
New England are just two points behind Orlando City with a game in hand. A win against Columbus in the next match could lift the five-time MLS runners-up into second place, leaving their opponents vulnerable in fifth.
The New England Revolution are aiming to finish the regular MLS season with an unbeaten run at home this year. They have played 15 league games at the Gillette Stadium during this campaign so far and have won 11 and drawn four.
With just two more home games to go, the hosts will be under pressure to keep the streak alive because these two remaining games are against Columbus Crew and Philadelphia Union.
After spending almost two months on the sidelines with a muscle injury, Gustavo Bou returned to action as he came on as a second-half substitute for the last 18 minutes against Charlotte FC. The striker has scored five goals and assisted three in 15 appearances this season.
Meanwhile, in defense, Henry Kessler is also set to return after a hamstring injury kept him out for five months. The 25-year-old could play only seven matches this season.
After accumulating 50 points this season, Columbus Crew have confirmed their playoff qualification with three games to spare. The visitors are 13 points clear of Montreal, who are in the final playoff qualification spot.
Despite the satisfactory accomplishment, Columbus Crew will want to finish as high in the table as possible and are not expected to lift their foot off the pedal in the upcoming games.
Throughout the regular MLS season, Columbus Crew have been spectacular at home, but equally dismal on the road. The visitors have the second-best home form in the league but have been vulnerable on away trips.
The club has won just three out of 15 away games this season, drawing four and losing eight in the process. They have failed to win in their last two away league outings.
Columbus Crew were dealt a blow when Lucas Zelarayan left the club and moved to Saudi’s Al Fateh FC during the mid-season break. The midfielder scored ten goals and assisted six in 20 appearances.
In his absence, Alexandru Matan has to be the chief creator in midfield. The 24-year-old has provided seven assists in 28 matches but has been quiet in the last couple of games.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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