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Columbus Crew vs. Toronto FC Betting Preview & Picks
Two teams in the lower half of the MLS Eastern Conference standings meet up in a midweek game as Columbus Crew head north for a rivalry showdown with Toronto FC.
Both teams have 18 points and can potentially get to within two points of a playoff spot with a win. Kickoff at BMO Field in Toronto is set for 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, streaming on ESPN+ and airing on Bally Sports Ohio.
These teams battle for the Trillium Cup named after the official flower of both the state of Ohio and the province of Ontario. Columbus hasn’t claimed the cup since 2018 and Toronto has taken five of the last six. But with a 2-1 win at home on March 12, Columbus will regain the cup on Wednesday with a draw or win.
Crew Hurting With Stars Sidelined
Columbus played a 0-0 draw at Real Salt Lake on Saturday. They are unbeaten in their last three games and have picked up points in two straight road games. Prior to the draw with RSL last weekend the Crew last went on the road May 28 with a 2-1 win at Atlanta United.
The Crew played a very young lineup against RSL, at least to finish the game, with five players aged 22 or younger on the field when the final whistle blew. That included Crew Academy graduates Aidan Morris and Sean Zawadzki who both started in the midfield in Utah.
In the first matchup this season, the Crew gave up the early lead but came back to win on goals from Lucas Zelarayan and Derrick Etienne Jr. But since that goal on March 12, Zelarayan has not scored in eight appearances and a thigh injury has sidelined him since May 21. He is questionable for this week, as are Etienne (leg), forward Yaw Yeboah (ankle) and forward Kevin Molino (illness).
Zelarayan (4) and Etienne (3) lead the Crew in scoring on the season. Columbus is still looking for an established third scorer since trading Gyasi Zardes. That player could be coming in July as former Watford striker Cucho Hernandez has signed but isn’t eligible to play until July 9.
Until then the Crew continue to hunt goals with Miguel Berry, James Igbekeme and Luis Diaz. Darlington Nagbe is reliable as ever in the midfield with Steven Moreira, Jonathan Mensah, Pedro Santos and Milos Degenek holding down the back line.
Montreal a Balanced Attack
Toronto FC also has reinforcements on the way, and he’s already in town. Italian superstar Lorenzo Insigne arrived from Napoli last week and watched his new team beat Atlanta United 2-1 over the weekend. Like Hernandez, Insigne won’t be eligible until July 9 but has the talent to transform Bob Bradley’s offense.
The Reds are down in the standings but are unbeaten in six of their last seven over all competitions. In MLS action they haven’t lost at home since May 14 and have scored at least two goals in three of their last four.
Striker Jesus Jimenez leads the team with seven goals while both Jonathan Osorio and Alejandro Pozuelo have four. Osorio scored early last week and Jimenez scored in the first game against the Crew.
The defense has not been good, allowing at least two goals in six of their last nine MLS games. The Reds have allowed a goal in 24 straight games and 45 of their last 46. In fact the only shutout win for Toronto in the last two seasons was a 2-0 win over Columbus in May 2021.
Columbus Crew (+165) moneyline
Toronto FC (+145) moneyline
Total Goals: 2.5. Over (-125). Under (+100)
First Goal: Columbus Crew (-105). Toronto FC (-110). No Goals (+1100)
This game should have goals in it, the way both teams play. A repeat of the 2-1 scoreline from earlier this season wouldn’t be a surprise even with the Crew’s injuries. It is important to the Crew to get off to a good start and now have to play from behind, especially with a challenging game against Philadelphia looming this weekend.
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