Seattle Sounders will be looking to make it three away wins on the bounce when they pay the Columbus Crew a visit on Saturday afternoon. Can the hosts top the visitors at Lower.com Field?
Though they’re not in form right now, this is a fixture that the Columbus Crew have done reasonably well in recently. When the pair last met (2020), Saturday’s hosts won by three goals to nil, while they’ve won three of the last six renewals. Seattle has won of those six, though it was at this venue.
Columbus Crew – Struggling
Even champions fall, as the Columbus Crew are finding out right now. They may be the current MLS Cup holders and they may have much of the same squad that took them to the trophy last term, but Caleb Porter’s men are struggling. There are no two ways about it.
It’s now five games since the Crew walked off the field victorious. Worse still, they’ve lost each of their last five. Even at home, where they were so strong last season, Columbus is finding it tough to shift through the gears. They’re scoring goals, as you would expect, but defensively things have been all over the place. Unless they tighten up immediately, Saturday afternoon could be an uncomfortable one for the hosts.
Expected Line-Up: Room – Francis, Keita, Mensah, Afful – Molino, Fraser, Nagbe, Santos – Zardes, Hurtado.
with best odds
Seattle Sounders – Strong as ever
After a minor blip recently, Seattle are back moving in the right direction, so much so that they recently usurped Sporting Kansas City at the top of the Western Conference. As has been the case so many times in the past, every team in the west is looking up at the Seattle Sounders, who impressed massively over the last week. Last weekend, we saw Brian Schmezter’s men win in fine style in Portland, scoring six goals on route to victory, while they displayed contrasting skills to grind out a hard-fought 0-1 win at
FC Dallas just a few days ago. As the team with the best away record in all of Major League Soccer this season, the Sounders will travel to Columbus feeling confident, and rightly so!
Expected Line-Up: Cleveland – Gomez, Arreaga, O’Neill – Smith, Paulo, Rowe, Roldan – Lodeiro, Montero, Ruidiaz.
Expert Pick #1 – Both Teams to Score @-120
Columbus have clear defensive issues at home, which lends itself nicely to our first pick, but we cannot overlook the fact that they can certainly tussle with teams offensively. The hosts have scored 15 goals in nine home games and have scored two or more in seven of their last eight at Lower.com field. Both teams have scored in six of those eight.
The Seattle Sounders have scored plenty on the road, scoring in all but one of nine, and while they have at times been solid at the back, they’re not strangers to conceding, surrendering at least a single goal in six of their nine travelling matches. Moreover, the visitors concede an average of 1.28 expected goals on their travels, which tells us that in general, they give up enough to merit conceding.
Expert Pick #2 – Over 2.5 Goals @+105
In addition to ‘Both Teams to Score’, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ stands out as a viable option, albeit a secondary one. The driving force behind this one is Columbus’ apparent love for high-scoring fixtures on their own patch. The hosts have been involved in a clash where at least three goals are scored in four of their last five at home, as well as in six of their last eight at this venue.
Moreover, the visitors have scored an average of 1.66 goals per 90 minutes on the road. Put this together with Columbus’ average of 1.66 goals per home fixture and we arrive at a combined average of 3.32 goals per game.
Expert Pick #3 – Erik Hurtado to Score @+375
This one is very left field, but with the fixture build up, Erik Hurtado, who has had limited playing time this term, could start to get more minutes under his belt. His last start came under similar conditions, while in the time that the striker has spent on the pitch this season, he’s certainly threatened. Hurtado averages a pleasing 0.37 expected goals per 90 minutes, which is better than several players with lower odds. On that basis, a small play on a Hurtado goal offers bettors a slither of value.
It is the visitors who arrive here in form, but there’s plenty to suggest that the hosts can get invovled offensively, even if their recent defensive frailties suggest that they could once again be in for another tough evening. Bet on the goals arriving in no small number at Lower.com Field on Saturday afternoon.