Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union July 3rd Betting Preview

Columbus Crew vs. Philadelphia Union July 3rd Betting Preview

Tyler Vaysman
2 years ago
4 min read
Columbus Crew defender Steven Moreira celebrates a win with forwards Lucas Zelarayan and Luis Diaz

The Philadelphia Union suffered a surprise loss on Wednesday that knocked them out of first place in the East. Now they head on the road to a place where they have historically struggled, Columbus, right as the Crew are getting important players back and charging up the standings. Saturday’s kickoff at Field in Columbus is set for 7:30 p.m. streaming on ESPN+ and airing locally in both markets.

Philadelphia beat Columbus 1-0 in April thanks to an own goal in the opening minutes. They haven’t won in Columbus since 2016 going 0-5-2 in that span but overall they have won the last three matchups. Since the Union joined the league, Columbus has 15 wins and four draws in the 31 matchups (15-12-4).

Crew Closer to Full Strength

Columbus welcomed Lucas Zelarayan back to the starting lineup on Wednesday and Derrick Etienne Jr. returned as well, coming in as a substitute. Kevin Molino was also available off the bench giving the Crew three of their key players back. Midfielder Artur (leg) and forward Yaw Yeboah (ankle) are expected to return in July as well. 

With Wednesday’s 2-1 win in Toronto, the Crew now have more points on the road (11) than at home (10) this season. Their last home win in MLS action came on April 30 but five of the last seven games have been on the road. With a 0-0 draw in Utah last weekend, the Crew are unbeaten in the last four games and are now just three points outside of the playoff zone.

The other big news in the win at Toronto was the play of the youngsters. Forward Jacen Russell-Rowe had just 34 MLS minutes before signing a deal with the Crew on Wednesday and making his first MLS start. After leading Crew 2 with 11 goals in the MLS Next Pro League, the 19-year-old had assists on both goals Wednesday. 

Sean Zawadski, 22, scored the first goal in his second MLS game while 20-year-old Aidan Morris had another strong start in midfield. While the kids shined, veteran Darlington Nagbe had the second goal and goalkeeper Eloy Room made six saves in the win. 

Zelarayan leads the Crew with four goals while Etienne and Nagbe have three each. Etienne leads the squad with five assists on the season and he returned to action Wednesday with 31 minutes, subbing on for Zelarayan. The Philadelphia game will likely be the last before new Designated Player Cucho Hernandez joins the roster as the former Watford striker will be eligible for the July 9 game at Chicago.

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Union Struggled against Chicago

The Union were stunned 1-0 at home by last place Chicago Fire on Wednesday night. They fell behind before Jose Martinez was sent off with a second yellow card and they were unable to find the equalizer with 10 men. The loss snapped a nine-match unbeaten streak that included seven draws and two wins.

Philadelphia is technically in second place now on a tiebreaker with CF Montreal but both have 29 points. The Union have a +9 goal differential and lead the league in allowing just 13 goals on the season. They are 3-2-3 on the road this season with no losses at home.

The Union have a unique lineup setup that is as reliable as they come. Ten players have started at least 14 of the 17 MLS games this season and six players have started all 17. Manager Jim Curtin will have to make a change in midfield Saturday with Martinez suspended. 

Midfielder Daniel Gazdag is one of those to have started all 17 games and he’s having a MVP caliber season. The Hungarian has seven goals and two assists while forward Julian Carranza has four goals and three assists. 

Goalie Andre Blake is one of the best in the league. So far this season he’s allowed just 13 goals in 17 games while making 53 saves. He has six clean sheets on the season and has only allowed more than one goal twice in 17 games. 

Columbus Crew Betting Analysis

Columbus Crew (+140) moneyline

Philadelphia Union (+190) moneyline

Draw (+225)

Total Goals: 2.5. (Over +110). (Under -140).

First Goal: Columbus Crew (-115). Philadelphia Union (+110). No Goals (+850).

This game should be low scoring. In the first matchup the Crew had better of the possession and more shots but couldn’t score. In fact they haven’t scored against the Union since 2020, outscored 5-0 in the last four games. Zelarayan being back is key as he can take advantage of free kicks and give the Crew more chances, which they will need to cash in on to get the win at home.

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