MLS Columbus Crew v New England Revolution Preview (25/9/16)

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Columbus preview

The Crew breathed new life into their threadbare playoff hopes by claiming a shock 4-1 win away at Orlando last week. They were aided by some horrendous defending but Greg Berhalter’s men deserve some credit for an excellent attacking performance in which they caused Orlando so many problems. That was a must win encounter for them, as is this one. In fact, they pretty much need to win all of their remaining games to make the postseason. Columbus have the worst home record in the entire Eastern Conference but historically they are strong in front of their own fans and should be buoyed by last week’s victory. A number of players are questionable because of injury, including playmaker Federico Higuain. But they managed fine without him last week.

New England preview

The Revs suffered defeat in the US Open Cup final against Dallas not so long ago (2-4). But they put up a decent fight and deserve credit for their run in the competition. In the MLS they’ve won their last three games to get their playoff ambitions back on track. Victory last week away at Montreal Impact (3-1) was highly impressive and they currently possess the last remaining playoff spot in the east. Right back JV Watson & midfielder Gershon Koffie are ruled out, but all of their main attackers should feature here. New England’s away record doesn’t make great viewing and they’ve only won twice on their travels. But considering one of those came last week then perhaps the overall statistics can be ignored slightly.

Conclusion & betting analysis

A few weeks ago both of these teams were in a real funk. However, results from last week were favourable so both should be confident heading into the contest. Columbus have to win, it’s as simple as that. So they have no other option but to gamble should they need to take risks late in the game. A draw would keep the scoreboard ticking for the Revs, but it’s only victories which keeps their destiny in their own hands. I’m surprised that the Crew are so short on a -0.5 asian handicap. It feels like the bookies are still overrating them significantly this season for no apparent reason. I think the goal line of over 2.75 is worth backing around the 1.80 mark. Both teams are highly attack minded and this should be an end to end type fixture containing a lot of chances at both ends. Surely at worst, three goals will be scored.

Prediction: 3-2
Recommended bet 1 unit: Over 2.75 goals @ 1.80

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