Columbus Hosts Nashville SC In A Crucial Eastern Conference Battle
Picture Credits: Tennessean.com
How To Watch
TV: Bally Sports Columbus, ESPN+
Radio: 97.1 The Fan
After getting their first win at their new home, the Columbus Crew will have no time to celebrate as they play host to red hot Nashville SC on Wednesday Night. Nashville is unbeaten in there last 5 games, and are coming off a 5-1 thrashing of the Chicago Fire. Hany Mukhtar scored the first hat-trick in Nashville history within the first 16 minutes of the match.
On the other side, Columbus is coming off an impressive 2-1 win over NYCFC. With the amount of player missing for Columbus, picking up any points during this stretch is impressive, and they continue to do what is needed in order to pick up at least a point.
The last meeting between these two teams was in the 2020 MLS Eastern Conference Semi-finals, where the Crew would go on to beat Nashville 2-0 after extra-time to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. The goal-scorers that night were Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes.
Injury Report And Projected Starting XI
OUT: Artur (R Hip), Aidan Morris (L Knee), Milton Valenzuela (R Thigh), Vito Wormgoor (R Thigh), Gyasi Zardes (International Duty), Luis Diaz (International Duty), Liam Fraser (International Duty)
Questionable: Josh Williams (L Ankle), Derrick Etienne Jr. (International Duty), Kevin Molino (International Duty) Harrison Afful (Suspension)
Picture Credits: Devin Weisbarth via Lineup11
Keys To The Match
The Backline Has To Continue To Be Solid
After the offensive explosion that Nashville had in there last match, the Crew need to be wary of the attacking prowess they have. The last couple of goals that the Crew have conceded have been from mis clearances, including the goal they conceded to NYCFC.
Picture Credits: Ralph Schudel
Can Zelerayan Continue His Hot Streak
I know that it seems to be a reoccurring theme, but Lucas Zelerayan has been one of the best signings in MLS as of recent. In the last 2 games alone, Zelerayan has recorded 2 goals and an assist, including the game winner in the Crew's last match. If Lucas can continue to play provider and distributer, as well as play finisher, the Crew are going to be dangerous going forward.
Can The Depth Continue To Play As Well As They Are
The depth players for the Crew have been excellent thus far. And the Crew are starting to get healthy and get guys back from international duty,. The Crew are going to start looking more dangerous than they already have been. With this being a mid-week game in between two weekend games, the depth and fitness of players will be tested. It should not be too much longer until the Crew are back to as close to 100% as then can be, which would also be the healthiest they have been all season long. If they can battle through these next couple of games, the Crew will be in great shape.
Matches that feature these two teams pitted against each other always seem to be low scoring, and somewhat entertaining. With that being said, I predict this game to finish 0-0, which both teams would be happy about. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.