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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at New England Revolution

The Black & Gold go on the road, hoping to keep the current on unbeaten streak alive in Foxborough.

MLS: New England Revolution at Columbus Crew SC Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Following three consecutive defeats — the first and only three of the 2018 season — Columbus Crew SC returned home on April 21, hoping to get the year back on track. The opponent that day was the New England Revolution.

While the Black & Gold didn’t earn a win at MAPFRE Stadium against the Revolution in the first meeting of 2018, Columbus did manage a 2-2 draw. Leading twice, Crew SC gave up the lead each time, but finally shook off the losing streak. Since then, the Black & Gold have not tasted defeat, going five matches unbeaten.

On Saturday, Columbus travels to Gillette Stadium to face New England for the second time this season. For the Revs, there has been three games since that first meeting with Crew SC, two wins and one loss for New England.

The Black & Gold hope to go to Foxborough, Massachusetts and come home with another result, but is that realistic? Let’s see what the Massive Report staff thinks on this one.

Guilherme Torres

The Crew will be on the road again after back-to-back home matches to face a New England team that is exceeding the expectations many had about it. The Revs have not been great, but they have had good moments in the season, including a 2-2 road tie with the Black & Gold some weeks ago in Columbus.

The Crew is certainly going through a better moment than it was the last time the teams met, but New England will now be at home. I believe the hosts will find a way to end the Black & Gold’s streak of three straight matches without conceding a goal, but I can also see Crew SC’s offense taking advantage of one of the several mistakes I expect New England’s backline to make.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1

Collin Johnson

In almost exactly one month since Columbus Crew SC and the New England Revolution last played, both teams have solidified an identity. Crew SC has displayed a surprisingly effective defense, surrendering only one goal in the following four matches, while the Revolution have found their scoring touch with eight goals in their following three matches. So, this week should be an exciting match between one of the East’s most in-form offenses against potentially the best defensive side in MLS.

It’s still weird to say that Columbus has a good defense but that’s what has happened so far this year. New England had the keys to unlock the Black & Gold’s defense during their last meeting, but the unit has used the four games that followed to organize itself. Continuing that strong defensive showing against a Revolution team on the upswing, and on turf, will be a difficult task.

If we see the Gyasi Zardes from the 3-0 win over the Chicago Fire, linking up with Federico Higuain who is playing some of the best soccer of his career, this team should be able to keep its unbeaten streak alive. I don’t expect the shutout streak to continue, but a point on the road is always a good result in MLS.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1

Patrick Murphy

I will admit, I didn’t think much of this Revolution team heading into 2018. I wasn’t confident in Brad Friedel as a head coach and I thought it would be difficult for him to get New England back to the playoffs, especially if Lee Nguyen was not in his plans. Yet the Revs sit on 17 points and are above that playoff line so far this season and Nguyen is play for Los Angeles Football Club.

Last time these two teams met, it was a 2-2 draw, with New England scoring quickly after both Crew SC strikes. Teal Bunbury and Cristian Penilla are doing some good things offensively with a combined nine goals and this Revs offense is forcing and capitalizing on opponents’ mistakes. Columbus’ defense has been very good this year, but will be tested again in this one.

I think the Black & Gold can find another way to grind out a result, but it certainly won’t be easy at Gillette Stadium on Saturday evening.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 1

Josh Mlot

This matchup at New England is a dangerous one. The Revolution have been playing well and, as Toronto found out last week, if you fall asleep for a second you’ll be picking the ball up out of your own net and in a deep a hole with not enough time left to dig out of it. It’s obvious what they want to do — aggressively press high and get the ball with space to run into with their dangerous attacking unit. The one thing Columbus has to do more than anything is not turn the ball over in its own half of the field; be smart with the ball. This worries me a little.

This is the type of game where Jonathan Mensah has a head-shaking gaffe or a young winger turns off for a split second. And it’s on turf and in New England. Long story short, it’s a matchup that gives me pause, especially with Crew SC’s struggles against the press in recent years. We haven’t seen a ton of press yet this season, so it will be an interesting test. My guess? Being on the road is a hurdle not overcome this time around.
New England Revolution 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

How do you see the game playing out on Saturday? Let us know in the comment section below.