Picture Credits: Lastwordonsports.com
How To Watch
Radio: 97.1 The Fan
The Columbus Crew are currently unbeaten in 5 games, though they have only taken all three points in one of those games, which came at the weekend in a 2-1 win over NYCFC. The Crew carry momentum into there match against Atlanta United, but they will be playing a desperate team without an "official" head coach.
In the last meeting between these two teams, Columbus edged out Atlanta United 2-1, a game that was played at Historic Crew Stadium. The Columbus goals were scored by Lucas Zelerayan and Gyasi Zardes, who will be missing from the matchup tomorrow afternoon.
Injury Report And Projected Starting XI
OUT: Artur (R Hip), Aidan Morris (L Knee), Milton Valenzuela (R Thigh), Gyasi Zardes (International Duty), Luis Diaz (International Duty), Liam Fraser (international Duty)
Questionable: Josh Williams (L Ankle)
Picture Credits: Lineup11
Keys To The Game
Eloy Room Continues His Brilliant Form
Eloy Room has been in sensational form for much of this season. This has been evident during the current five game unbeaten streak that the club are on. Eloy Room is essential to the success of this team, and if the Crew want to come away with all three points, Room will have to come up with big saves. Atlanta will come out aggressive and put the Crew backline under pressure, so Room and the backline will be needed.
Jonathon Mensah Continues To Be A Force
Jonathon Mensah has lead the Crew superbly this season. They may not have started the way that the would have liked, but the has done a great job leading them. And that leadership will be needed in this game, as Atlanta will be playing with house money after the recent firing of their head coach Gabriel Heinze. Jonathon Mensah has been the backbone of a backline that has conceded the second-least amount of goals in MLS this season.
Lucas Zelerayan And The Attack
The Crew have struggled to score as of recently. Yes they scored two goals against NYCFC, but they were both brilliant pieces of skill from Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Zelerayan. The Columbus Crew are going to have to get the attack going if they want to take all three points on the road, especially in a hostile environment like Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The goals will have to come from somewhere, and with the presumed return of Bradley Wright-Phillips to the starting lineup, he will be tasked with putting the ball into the back of the net.
Picture Credits: Columbus Crew Twitter
I do expect this game to be a defensive battle. This game can go one of two ways. If Josef Martinez starts for Atlanta United, it could be a rough afternoon for the Crew, as Caleb Porter called Martinez the "best striker in the MLS when healthy" at his program press conference. I expect a narrow 1-0 win for the Crew, as they extend their unbeaten streak to six games.