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Kansas City vs. Columbus (Match Preview)

A battle of the Midwest. (Photo by Sam Fahmi / Massive Report)
A battle of the Midwest. (Photo by Sam Fahmi / Massive Report)

Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew face off for the second time in two weeks on Saturday night in a Midwestern soccer battle. The game kicks off at 8:30 ET in Kansas City's Livestrong Sporting Park.

When the two teams met on July 14th at Crew Stadium, Sporting left with a 2-0 victory after capitalizing on both of their chances, although Columbus arguably played a better game.

The Crew defeated D.C. United at home in their most recent MLS game last Saturday, 1-0. They also came out on top in a friendly match against Stoke City on Tuesday, 2-1.

Kansas City's home game against the New England Revolution last Saturday ended in a 0-0 stalemate. SKC also hosted a friendly match on Tuesday, loosing 3-0 to French side Montpellier.

More after the jump...

Columbus' new formation of choice is a 4-2-3-1. Expect the back four to consist of (from R-L) Sebastian Miranda, Chad Marshall, Carlos Mendes or Julius James, and Josh Williams. Chris Birchall will play one of the defensive midfielder positions. Eddie Gaven, Justin Meram, and Dilly Duka are the favorites to play right behind Jairo Arrieta at forward, but Emilio Renteria did impress on the right wing against Stoke City.

Kansas City will be missing a few key players. Defender Aurelien Collin suffered a facial fracture during the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday and will be out for a few weeks. Midfielder Roger Espinoza is playing in the Olympics with the Honduras national team. However, SKC's 4-3-3 attack-mided formation will still be intact, lead by C.J. Sapong, Kei Kamara, Bobby Convey, Graham Zusi, and Jacob Peterson.

Prediction: Crew 0-1 SKC

Both teams have allowed the least amount of goals in MLS this season with 19, but Kansas City's quality in attack will give them a victory in front of a big home crowd.