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Massive Predictions: Crew SC at LA Galaxy

Will the Black & Gold’s second trip to Los Angeles in three weeks go better than the first?

MLS: Los Angeles FC at Los Angeles Galaxy Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC head back out to the West Coast, specifically Los Angeles, for the second time in three weeks on Saturday when the Black & Gold take on the LA Galaxy. It marks Crew SC’s first meeting with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the club’s first chance to reunite with Ola Kamara since he requested a trade last offseason.

While Columbus has had a good first half of 2018, and got back to winning ways last week with a 2-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at home, it hasn’t been the best year for the Galaxy. LA sits in eighth place in the Western Conference with 23 points through 17 games this year, but is unbeaten in the team’s last four games.

Crew SC should be able to score in this one — the Galaxy has allowed 28 goals already this season — this contest could come down to how well the Black & Gold defend against the potent LA offense. The Galaxy already played twice in the last week, so what the lineup will look like will certainly be a question in this one.

Will Columbus return from this trip out west with a full three points? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Patrick Murphy

This is a rather unpredictable Galaxy team this year. It’s a backline that is overpaid and an attack that is very expensive, but seems to find a way to get the job done. It will be interesting to see how Crew SC defense this potent LA attack, assuming the big guns play. If Columbus can keep the ball on a large field at the StubHub Center, I feel good about this.

What concerns me is it only takes one or two moments for the Galaxy to grab a goal and get out of a game with a win. Zlatan is that good and Crew fans know what Ola Kamara can do. I still think the Black & Gold come of the match out with a point in this one, but I’m worried about the potential of LA’s attack against a Columbus defense that has looked more vulnerable in recent weeks.
Columbus Crew SC 2 LA Galaxy 2

Collin Johnson

It’s still unclear whether the Galaxy are any good, and it’s midway through the season. Zlatan has been good in spurts, but the LA midfield has not been able to provide him with consistent service and their defense, while expensive, is not great. But, as is typical in MLS, the home team in this matchup almost always comes out on top.

The road team in the Galaxy/Crew matchups has not won since LA was victorious in Columbus 1-0 in 2011. The Black & Gold are fortunate to catch the Galaxy coming off of a midweek match, but traveling across the country and winning is difficult. Gyasi Zardes will surely be eager to impress his former hometown side and could do some serious damage against a weak backline. A win would go a long way to re-steadying this team after a tough few matches but winning in LA will be a tough task and grabbing a point should be enough this week.
Columbus Crew SC 1 LA Galaxy 1

Guilherme Torres

Crew SC heads west again to the face another Western Conference opponent in a game which is hard to predict given the LA Galaxy’s inconsistency throughout the season. The Californians, who rank eighth in West, are unbeaten in four games but had to settle for ties in their last two matches after having a two-goal advantage.

LA’s home record (4-4-1) is kind of a mixed bag and even with all their firepower with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara, Romain Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos, who will be available after playing the World Cup with Mexico, their backline had struggled mightily, conceding 28 goals in 17 matches (nine more than the Crew in two less games). Weather could be a factor as well as the match will be played with the temperature in the 90s, so I don’t expect much intensity from either side.
Columbus Crew SC 1 LA Galaxy 1

Nathaniel Marhefka

Two matches scoreless and one meager counter attacking win against Salt Lake in the past three matches. Meanwhile, the Galaxy have been slowly improving as the season goes on but they have yet to really show that they are a complete team from top-to-bottom. LA is arguably in better form than the Crew however and the home match will give the team the edge. I expect LA to score two goals and depending on the Crew attack that shows up will determine what score comes the other way.
LA Galaxy 2 Columbus Crew 1

Josh Mlot

It’s hard to feel too great going into this one. While LA hasn’t been amazing, it has been much better; it’s run of form has been better than Crew SC’s, and Columbus is missing some key pieces. The questionable status of Federico Higuain is potentially a big miss against a Galaxy defense that’s been a mess. But the Galaxy has figured some things out attacking-wise, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic scares the hell out of defenses every week.

One thing CCSC has going for it should be a motivated Gyasi Zardes with plenty to prove in his first trip back to Los Angeles. The key will be finding a balance of approach: this is a team that will concede goals if its backline is under pressure. That’s been proven all season, including two recent blown leads. Crew SC has been far more pragmatic on the road this season than it has in much of the past during Gregg Bergalter’s tenure. I think that’s smart, but it will be important this weekend to make sure to take it to the Galaxy for good stretches of the game, because LA will eventually crack.
Columbus Crew SC 2 LA Galaxy 2

Eliot McKinley

The LA Zlatans Galaxy are riding a four-game unbeaten streak heading into the game against Columbus Crew SC and are only one point out of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. Columbus’ league-leading defense will be tested by the phenomenon that is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is averaging a one goal per 96 mins. Shutting down Zlatan will go a long way to getting a point on the road. I think Zlatan will get on the scoresheet, Gyasi Zardes will grab a goal in his homecoming, and the teams will split the points.
Columbus Crew SC 1 LA Galaxy 1

What do you think of Crew SC’s chances this weekend against the Galaxy? Let us know in the comment section below.