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Sep 26, 2021 at 12.30am UK
Columbus CrewColumbus Crew
2-1
MontrealCF Montreal
Zardes (44', 62')
Williams (39'), Etienne (56')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Quioto (90+2')

Preview: Columbus Crew vs. CF Montreal - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Columbus Crew vs. CF Montreal - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Columbus Crew and CF Montreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Reigning Major League Soccer Cup champions Columbus Crew will continue their pursuit of a place in the 2021 playoffs when they welcome CF Montreal to Lower.com Field on Sunday.

Four points off seventh place and with only one win in four, the Crew will be desperate for an upturn in form when they face their Canadian opponents.


Match preview

Having finished third in the 2020 Eastern Conference, before going on to win the MLS Cup with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders in the final, the Crew have been below par so far this year and could miss out on a playoff spot.

A run of six consecutive defeats between July and mid-September had set the Crew back, yet a much-needed win against the New York Red Bulls was followed up by a welcome point against Eastern Conference leaders New England Revolution last time out.

Caleb Porter has enjoyed a successful stint as Columbus manager since taking over in 2019 and approaching his 100th match in charge of the Crew, the two-time MLS Cup-winning coach will be eager to see his side make a late dash for the playoffs.

The Washington-born manager could even add to his and Columbus' trophy cabinet when they face Cruz Azul in the Campeones Cup next week – an annual match contested by the previous winners of the MLS Cup and Mexico's Liga MX.

Whether or not that fixture will influence his team selection for the visit of Montreal remains to be seen, however, with just one win in their last five meetings with the Canadian side, Porter will be wary of slipping further down the table.

Unlike Columbus, Montreal's current league situation looks a lot brighter, with Wilfried Nancy's side targeting a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League via the Canadian Championship.

Progressing to the semi-finals of the competition with a comprehensive 4-0 win over HFX Wanderers in midweek, Montreal will have high hopes of defending their Canadian Championship crown and securing continental qualification.

Whilst they are unable to qualify for the Champions League via their MLS finish, Montreal will still be keen to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since 2016, with Nancy chasing a maiden MLS Cup triumph.

Rivals Toronto FC are the only Canadian side to lift the MLS Cup and Montreal will be looking to snatch the bragging rights away from their Easterly neighbours.

Columbus Crew Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

CF Montreal Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • D

CF Montreal form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D

Team News

Ballou Tabla has not made an appearance for Montreal all season following a groin injury picked up in April and the winger will miss the visit across the border.

Mason Toye suffered a shoulder injury in Montreal's recent victory over the Red Bulls and has missed every match since.

Robert Orri Thorkelsson is yet to feature for the visitors since joining in the summer and the Icelandic defender is still missing for Nancy's men.

Aljaz Struna made 11 consecutive appearances at the start of the season, yet a frustrating run of injury has seen the defender feature a handful of times since early August, with the Slovenian a doubt once again.

Suffering a cruciate ligament rupture at the back end of August, Kevin Molino is in the early weeks of what will likely be a long road to recovery for the Trinidadian winger.

Artur has made just six appearances for the Crew since the start of the season and following surgery for a hip problem, the Brazilian midfielder's return should come sooner rather than later.

Perry Kitchen is another Crew player who has suffered with injury this season and the 29-year-old's return is also etching ever closer following a medial collateral ligament tear.

Columbus Crew possible starting lineup:
Room; Abdul-Salaam, Jonathan, Williams, Valenzuela; Etienne, Nagbe, Hairston, Matan; Berry, Zardes

CF Montreal possible starting lineup:
Pantemis; Waterman, Camacho, Miller; Choiniere, Wanyama, Piette, Bassong; Torres, Quioto, Mihailovic


We say: Columbus Crew 1-2 CF Montreal

Two-times winners of the MLS Cup, the Crew may have been hoping for a better defence of their title and still could make a late dash for the playoffs.

However they have not looked like the same side that triumphed just less than a year ago and the form table suggests that Montreal could leave the States with a precious victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data



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Major League Soccer Table

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120
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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Sociedad10631149521
2Real Madrid962124111320
3Sevilla96211661020
4Atletico MadridAtletico9531138518
5Real Betis105321511418
6Osasuna105321413118
7Rayo Vallecano105141712516
8Athletic Bilbao944195416
9Barcelona94321510515
10Valencia103431513213
11Espanyol103431010013
12Mallorca10334915-612
13Villarreal9252107311
14ElcheElche10244812-410
15Celta Vigo9216712-57
16Granada9144713-67
17CadizCadiz10145715-87
18AlavesAlaves9207413-96
19Levante10055918-95
20Getafe9027313-102
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