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Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC Betting Preview
The defending champion Columbus Crew finally got things rolling last weekend with a come from behind 2-1 win at NYCFC. Now they look to put a winning streak together by taking out longtime Eastern Conference rivals Toronto FC, who are desperate for a win of their own. The Crew welcomes the Reds to Historic Crew Stadium in downtown Columbus, Ohio, on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET.
The Reds have won three straight against the Crew and have some big historic wins in the post-season. In their long rivalry, the teams have 15 draws, with Columbus netting 14 wins to Toronto’s 12. The teams met just two weeks ago in Florida, with Toronto winning 2-0.
Zelarayan Sparks the Crew
The Crew trailed NYCFC after 80 minutes last weekend, and another disappointing loss stared them in the face, but playmaker Lucas Zelarayan wouldn’t let them fall. He scored in the 82nd minute to tie the game and delivered the winner five minutes into stoppage time with both goals on set pieces.
Zelarayan was awarded goal of the week for his efforts, and he now has all three goals scored by Crew players this season. They also benefited from two own goals in a 3-1 win over D.C. United and have a pair of 0-0 draws.
Last week’s win moved the Crew up to eighth place in the East, and the offense has shown signs of life. They really need to get strikers Gyasi Zardes and Bradley Wright-Phillips on the same page, with the latter struggling for minutes. Getting newcomer Kevin Molino healthy should help, and the former Minnesota United midfielder could debut Saturday.
Keeper Eloy Room has allowed five goals in six games this season, and he posted three saves against NYCFC. He has earned two wins to go with two draws, with Jonathan Mensah captaining the defense.
Columbus has played a congested fixture list with CONCACAF Champions League games and early-season MLS action. However, after this contest, they won’t play again until June 19.
Toronto FC Still Searching
New manager Chris Armas has struggled to get things going with Toronto FC as Alejandro Pozuelo (thigh) remains out. This will be their last ever visit to Crew Stadium, which closes at the end of June.
When the teams played earlier in May, Toronto got goals from USMNT players Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore. They won the possession battle with 52% of the ball and outshot Columbus 11-10.
Toronto has had the Crew’s number without a loss since March 2018. The Reds sit in 12th place in the East with five points from six games, and they lost 1-0 last time out to Orlando City SC.
The Crew won as underdogs at NYCFC last weekend. This week they are +114, with Toronto at +230 and a draw at +245.
Toronto has dominated this series over the last three years, and their stars have had big games in Columbus both against the Crew and with the USMNT. The last two games between these teams in Ohio ended with 2-2 and 3-3 draws. Toronto will need to have their defense ready for Zelarayan free-kicks as the Crew haven’t shown they can score in 2021 from the flow of play.
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