Columbus vs. New England (Match Preview)

FOXBORO, MA - JUNE 16: Eddie Gaven #12 of the Columbus Crew battles Chris Tierney #8 of the New England Revolution during a game at Gillette Stadium on June 16, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Continuing their current busy stretch of games, the Columbus Crew host the New England Revolution on Saturday night in hopes of bolstering their chances to make the playoffs (7:30).

The Crew played Toronto on Wednesday night, winning 2-1. Eddie Gaven and Federico Higuain scored for Columbus, improving their record to 9-8-6 (33 points). They are currently seven points out of the playoffs.

New England are in a terrible run of form, losing six of their last seven games and drawing the other. Their last game away to Chicago ended in a 2-1 loss. The Revolution are third from last in MLS with 23 points (6-13-5).

The two teams played back on June 16th in New England with the game ending in a 0-0 stalemate.

More after the jump...

Columbus' lineup is bound to see some changes. This is their fourth game in ten days, and they have two more within the next week. Left back Nemanja Vukovic is healthy again after picking up an injury in the friendly match against Stoke City and Julius James can fill in all across the back line. Tony Tchani can play in center midfield and even on the right wing. Dilly Duka didn't play at all against Toronto, so expect him to see some major minutes tonight.

The attacking trio of Eddie Gaven, Federico Higuain, and Jairo Arrieta is arguably one of the most dangerous in the league. Gaven leads the team in goals with six. Higuain, in only about 120 minutes of play, has one goal and two assists. Arrieta has three goals and two assists in only seven games. The three have quickly gained an understanding on the field, and their connecting play is a thing of beauty to watch.

Saer Sene leads the forward line for New England. He already has nine goals in his first MLS season. Left winger Lee Nguyen is a very good creative attacking midfielder with four goals and two assists this year.

Prediction: Crew 2-0 Revolution

Even with a slightly altered lineup, Columbus will dispose of New England quite handily and continue their late push for the playoffs.

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