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Massive Predictions: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC

The Revs and Crew SC meet for the first time in 2017.

MLS: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Neither Columbus Crew SC nor the New England Revolution enter Saturday’s game at MAPFRE Stadium happy.

The Black & Gold come into this contest after giving up the lead in the second half of last week’s 3-2 home loss to New York City FC. The Revs topped that however, coughing up a three-goal second half lead to draw 3-3 with the Seattle Sounders.

Both teams hope to put the memories of last week behind them in this matchup. Both sides could also use points as, after a good start to 2017, Crew SC is beginning to lose pace with the top of the Eastern Conference. New England would just like to put together some consistency and get above the playoff line, even though it’s early in the year.

What do we think of this week’s encounter? We turn to our Massive Report staff.

Collin Johnson

Crew SC will have its hands full with a resurgent forward Juan Agudelo, who has three goals in his last two matches. I would be concerned with Columbus rebounding from one of the team’s worst halves of the season (the second half against NYCFC) if not for New England blowing a three-goal lead at Seattle last week. In this battle of rebounding teams, I think the Revolution gets bit by the travel bug, and loses a lackadaisical match to Crew SC. I'm not predicting another Manneh sub and goal, but his pace could be useful against a porous New England defense.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Ralph Schudel

Both teams come into this matchup eager for a win. New England experienced a tremendous amount of heart break as they squandered a three-goal lead that saw Seattle pull even and split the points. By comparison, Crew SC had New York City FC right where it wanted and then lost the lead through a serious of terrible plays in the defensive half.

This week is a new opportunity for Crew SC to rebound against an old adversary. Columbus need to start and finish strong. For the first time this season, the side needs to play a complete 90 minute match, reducing mental errors and collectively keeping the team shape. Harrison Afful has been "going rogue" on the right hand side and it has cost Crew SC goals this season. If the team maintains its shape and everyone executes their assigned role, I don't see a problem with Crew SC rebounding. I expect strong play on the wings this week as Justin Meram and Ethan Finlay will be matched up against two talented fullbacks in Kellyn Rowe and Andrew Farrell.

Might this be the week we see a center back pairing of Alex Crognale and Jonathan Mensah? Will Nicolai Naess move into the midfield alongside of Wil Trapp?

There are a lot of factors to consider especially with a midweek game lurking just around the corner.
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 2

Nathaniel Marhefka

I expect this match to be on the lower scoring end. While both teams have capable attacks with some really good forwards, they can also both be inconsistent in converting shots. Neither defense is great, but I expect the Crew SC defenders to keep New England at a goal. For the other side, I think the Crew attack may have a hard time finishing if they play like they did against NYCFC. I'm calling this one level at a goal a piece.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1

Patrick Murphy

To me, this seems like a must-win game. Crew SC just blew a chance to get three more points at home against a depleted New York City side. Now you have a struggling Revolution club coming to town, without Kei Kamara, and the Black & Gold must take advantage.

I will admit, I’m yet to watch a full New England match this season, but I have taken in several condensed versions. To me this team looks good on paper, but is entirely too inconsistent to be a threat over the course of the season. That doesn’t mean the Revs couldn’t come out and have a good day in Columbus.

I’m curious if Gregg Berhalter, who’s discussed rotating players with three games in seven days, elects to sit some guys this week, hoping to get a win and field a stronger team against Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact next week. It worked for City coming into MAPFRE last match after all.

I’m going to stay optimistic and say Crew SC bounces back after the letdown a week ago and takes all three points at home.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Kris Landis

To me this one is a toss up. I haven't gotten to see enough of New England this season to have anything but a gut feeling about this match. I think this comes down to how the Crew SC defense starts this game. If that group comes out looking off the pace, they could be made to pay for it early, and then we're right back to playing from behind. On the other hand, if the Crew come out firing, the team could be up a goal or two in the first half hour and be in cruise control.

I think both sides will end up scoring, and to be honest my gut says both sides will cancel each other out. I think the Crew midfield will struggle to cope with NE's creative players, and I think the NE backline will struggle with the barrage of crosses they're going to face. I see a disappointing but entertaining result.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 2

Patrick Guldan

New England reminds me of Crew SC quite a bit. They have the offense to undo any defense in MLS, but the defense is prone to error and weakness. Both offenses are probably excited about this one and I expect an open game that will be high scoring if it stays dry. Still, I don’t see anything to push me off the home team winning (as they tend to do in MLS).
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 1

Sam Fahmi

This is an opportunity for Columbus Crew SC to rebound and win a game they should win before taking on a much better team in Toronto FC on a short rest. Though games against New England have usually been tough regardless of their form, Crew SC can't afford to drop winnable points at home even this early in the season. And after the Revs 3-3 tie with Seattle last week, I'm not sure what to expect from them. I'll call (hope) for a Crew SC victory and momentum going into the TFC game.
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 1

Josh Enke

I like to think Columbus have this match in the bag, but there's one glaring factor potentially making this win difficult.

My concern surrounds the availability of Homegrown Alex Crognale and the São Paulo loanee Artur. These two both missed last week due to injuries sustained against the Red Bulls two weeks ago, and I thought the loss to NYCFC demonstrated what's lost when these two youngsters aren't on the field. Artur dangerously roves all over the pitch with both defensive and offensive presence, covering ground that Wil Trapp and Muhammed Abu simply don't, and Alex Crognale's solid on-field relationship with Nicolai Naess and Zack Steffen convincingly buttons up the defense. The Black & Gold give up fewer goals with these two in the starting 11. While it's not smart to rush injured players, I think exceptions could and should be made (if at all possible) to secure some points in the remaining two games of this home-stand.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 1

Josh Mlot

For at least one more week, I'm going to remain optimistic. A New England team comes to town that is improved defensively, but not lock down. Its attack is filled with flash and flair, but often hasn't clicked to create the final product. When it has (with three goals last week against Seattle) there was a letdown at the other end (allowing three goals in the final 20 minutes to drop points). But Crew SC is coming off its own letdown, and I think this is a game where Artur could have made a big difference. I do think this Black & Gold side can score on the Revs, and despite the unpredictability of MLS, being at home is always a big deal. So I'll hope CCSC won't let me down.
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 2

Guilherme Torres

If Crew SC wants to succeed in its three straight home matches, it needs to defeat the New England Revolution. The Revs have a potent offense with Lee Nguyen, Juan Agudelo and others, but the defense is nothing to call home about.

I believe the Black & Gold will manage to play its best game and, by keeping the ball on their feet, they'll shut Revolution's attack down.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0


Agree? Disagree? Let us know your score prediction in the comment section below.