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Preview: Columbus Crew host the New England Revolution

The Revs are playing for a playoff spot. The Crew are playing for pride.

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

The Lineup: The Crew will be without Federico Higuain and likely sport a few shifts in the first eleven. The soon to be out of contract Andy Gruenebaum likely will get the start.

Gruenebaum; Barson, Williams, Marshall, Viana; Oduro, Trapp, Tchani, Anor; Arrieta, Schoenfeld

Crew on Offense: Without Higuain, the Crew offense will likely be focused on the wings. This means Anor and Oduro looking to cut in from wide positions with the rare cross.

The Crew used Aaron Schoenfeld to great effect last week as the game opened up and it will be interesting if he's asked to reprise his role. The game likely won't be as open as the stakes are lower and will be played on grass.

New England will try and keep the ball wide and look to tactically foul the speedy Oduro if needed. Without Higuain, the Crew's set piece prowess is limited won't be as big of a deterrent. Schoenfeld gives them a counter to the strategy with a bonafide target player.

Crew on Defense: The Revs may lack a dominant line leading forward, but they do have plenty of attackers. Juan Agudelo and Diego Fagundez often play off Jerry Bengston and are extremely dangerous. Fagundez has 13 goals with Agudelo sitting on 8 for the year. Both the wingers and fullbacks will have to be mindful of the Revs willingness to play narrow and provide help accordingly.

Through the midfield the Revs have both skill and industry. Kelyn Rowe and Lee Nguyen can create chances out of small gaps of space. Wil Trapp will be busy trying to track the duo in the Crew's two man midfield. His normal partner, Tony Tchani, has struggled lately and may not play. Whoever lines up there will have to work hard.

Final Walkthrough: The Revs will be fired up and the Crew likely will face an initial onslaught. It will be important to have a steady performance in the first 15 minutes. The Revolution likely be the aggressor, but that sets up perfectly for the counter.

Crew 1 - Revs 1