CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew: Lineups, Team News, Prediction

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew Lineups, Team News, Prediction Featured Image

When they host the Columbus Crew at Saputo Stadium on Friday, CF Montreal will have a chance to secure their first Major League Soccer (MLS) postseason spot since 2020.

The host team needs only a point to clinch a playoff spot, while the Crew sits two spots and two points outside of the Eastern Conference’s last qualification spot.

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew Match Preview

Montreal trailed Toronto 2-0 after seven minutes of the Canadian Classic, only days after losing 1-0 to New York Red Bulls.

Montreal became the first team in league history to reverse a two-goal deficit and lead at halftime, prevailing 4-3.

That was their third 4-3 win this season, giving them 23 points after losing the first goal. They also established a new club record for most points in an MLS season (52), surpassing 2015’s mark (51).

Wilfried Nancy has relied on steady contributions from his top players and back-end, as 11 of this team’s goals in 2022 have come from defenders.

Since dropping their first three regular-season games, they have not lost more than two consecutive games.

While Montreal has already surrendered 46 goals this season (45 in 2022), they are at their defensive best against the Crew.

They’ve kept three straight clean sheets against Columbus at Saputo Stadium.

Gabriel Slonina saved nine Columbus attempts to aid the Chicago Fire to a 0-0 draw last weekend.

Since May, Caleb Porter has witnessed a drastic shift in his team’s record, with the Crew suffering just one loss in their past 16 MLS games, 2-1 against Montreal.

Columbus has drawn four of their previous five games, wasting four points from winning situations. Those points might be the difference between making and missing the playoffs in October.

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew Lineups, Team News, Prediction Post Image

This team has relied heavily on two deadly attacking options to stay hot, a formula that has kept them in the top seven of the Eastern Conference.

Four of Columbus’ remaining six matchups will be on the road, where they are 7-0.

They’ve won three of four against Canadian clubs this year, but just one of seven in Montreal since 2014.

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew Team News

Djordje Mihailovic, who will play for AZ Alkmaar in the Dutch Eredivisie beginning in January, scored his eighth goal of the season in Montreal’s win against Toronto, setting a new personal best.

Sunday’s game-winning goal was scored by Kei Kamara, making it goal number 136 for his Major League Soccer career. The other goals were scored by Kamal Miller and Alistair Johnston.

In their win at BMO Field, both Victor Wanyama and Joel Waterman contributed assists, while Samuel Piette conceded a penalty after making an unnecessary challenge inside the penalty area.

While Romell Quioto, their top scorer, has not scored in consecutive games, James Pantemis has now allowed multiple goals in a match for the first time in his past four appearances.

Lassi Lappalainen missed the first meeting due to an adductor strain, Ahmed Hamdy is still hobbled by a leg ailment, and Tomas Giraldo hurt his foot in the second.

Columbus’s defense four of Steven Moreira, Jonathan, Milos Degenek, and Will Sands combined to allow only one shot on goal for the second consecutive match, allowing goalkeeper Eloy Room to record his second shutout of the weekend.

Both Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez have scored 16 of the Crew’s 37 goals this season, and the 2020 MLS Cup MVP is tied for the club lead with Luis Diaz and Derrick Etienne for most assists (five).

Due to a right thigh injury, Zelarayan is doubtful for this match, and Pedro Santos will likely be sitting on the bench for yet another game.

  • Possible First-Day Lineup for CF Montreal: Pantemis, Miller, Camacho, Waterman, Choiniere, Piette, Kone, Johnston, Mihailovic, Quioto, Kamara.
  • Possible Opening Day Lineup for Columbus Crew: Room, Moreira, Jonathan, Degenek, Sands, Artur; Nagbe, Diaz, Zelarayan, Etienne, Hernandez.

Our Prediction On CF Montreal 2-0 Columbus Crew

There is too much riding on this game for the Crew to risk having Zelerayan sit it out. Columbus’ chances may be limited if the 30-year-old Armenian international, who is a key cog in the team’s offense, plays while being less than 100 percent.

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