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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. New England Revolution

How will the Black & Gold do against the Revs the second time around?

MLS: Columbus Crew SC at New England Revolution Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC and the New England Revolution meet for the second time this season on Saturday. The first meeting nearly a month ago, went in favor of the Black & Gold, who left Gillette Stadium with a 2-0 victory thanks to a brace from forward Gyasi Zardes.

Since that game, the team’s have gone in different directions. Although Columbus suffered its first loss of the year, 3-0 to the Philadelphia Union two weeks ago, the Crew earned a 2-0 win over Atlanta United last week and currently sit tied for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. While the Revs did earn their first win of 2019 last week, 2-1 against Minnesota United, New England has just four points on the season.

How will this game at MAPFRE Stadium play out? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Nick Hudak

There’s not much to overanalyze against New England. They are second in goals conceded in the Eastern Conference and currently sit in 10th place. They come in to MAPFRE Stadium to face a clicking-on-most-cylinders Crew side.

Just as the Week 2 matchup suggested, the Revs have become a side no different from last year: a team lacking both goalscoring and midfield creativity. Assuming no torrential downpour, Columbus will have no problem keeping their form and defending home field.
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 0

Elmer Plasencia

I see the second meeting with New England this season going similar to the first. The Revolution is coming off the team’s first (and only) win of the season against Minnesota United last week. While Columbus beat Atlanta 2-0 in one of the weirdest matches any Crew fan has ever seen. The Black & Gold will be without Harrison Afful, who suffered a broken jaw in the Atlanta match. It will be interesting to see how having Hector Jimenez at fullback will impact the Crew tactically. Despite the injury, this Columbus team is just flat out better than New England.

I would suspect that Jimenez won’t do quite as much barreling forward as Afful does, which may affect how Columbus can build from the wings. I personally think that Afful’s absence will be noticeable in a team that hasn’t been clinical in the final third. I believe the Black & Gold will beat New England but it will be a nervy affair.
Columbus Crew SC 1 New England Revolution 0

Jay Homan

There are two things that keep coming to mind when looking at this game. The first is the Week 2 match in New England where the Crew were able to hold there own on artificial turf and secure two goals. The second is last week’s match where the Black & Gold battled the elements and an aggressive Atlanta team for a 2-0 win in arguably the sloppiest MLS game ever. If you take the tactical and focused Crew from last weekend, place them on a pitch they are familiar with, in favorable weather conditions, against a team they recently beat in less ideal conditions, I am not for sure how the Crew doesn’t get three points this weekend.

Keep an eye out for Carles Gil. He has been the lone bright spot this season for the Revolution and is a utility player that can line up anywhere in the midfield. He could become especially worrisome if the Crew backline is slow to settle into the game with the absence of Harrison Afful.
Columbus Crew SC 3 New England Revolution 1

Guilherme Torres

The Black & Gold are set to play New England for the second time in less than a month after beating the Revs 2-0 on the road in the second match of the season. It was expected that Brad Friedel would come up with adjustments to play the Crew and he actually anticipated them, making as many as six changes in the lineup that defeated Minnesota United last weekend. I don’t think these changes will make a big affect against and organized Crew team, which has been deadly at home though.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Patrick Murphy

It’s always interesting when two teams play twice in a short period of time. There hasn’t been much time for either the Crew or the Revolution to evolve since the match less than a month ago, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be tactical changes on either side, as the head coaches try to out-wit each other.

The Crew expect New England to either play the 4-2-3-1 like they did last time or the 4-4-2 they used in the win over Minnesota United last week. The team has prepared for both and shouldn’t be surprised by what they see. Despite the win last week, I think this is a Revs team in free fall under Brad Friedel and Columbus will only accentuate that this week.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Collin Johnson

It is hard not to like what we saw out of the Crew against Atlanta United on Saturday. Both goals came from excellent build-ups, with Zardes’ finish the result of 14 consecutive passes. Columbus should be able to build on that quality against a New England team they’ve beaten once this year. The Revolution have been up and down (mostly down) but are coming off of a solid win against a better-than-expected Minnesota United. The Black & Gold need to keep up the intensity with another home conference match, and should be able to grab all three points this week.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 1

Abigail Hintz

Even though the Crew played the Revs just weeks ago and came out with the same score line, I think Saturday will end with another 2-0 win. The Revs have not had a very strong defensive showing so far this season, and Columbus’ offense, when all of its pieces are in place, has put in some good performances.

The only expected notable absence from the match on the Crew’s side is Harrison Afful, who broke his jaw in last week’s game against Atlanta United. Hector Jimenez will likely be called upon to fill the role, but the Revs do not pose a very large offensive threat.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Mike Crosky

Both the Crew and the Revs’ are coming off wins last weekend. In their victory, Brad Friedel made six lineup changes from the previous week. The adjustments were paramount to New England earning the win. While the Crew went to Foxboro a mere few weeks ago and left with all three points in the standings, Friedel may have found the cure to what had been ailing the Revs’ early in the 2019 season.

When you see the New England’s roster on paper, it is evident they have tremendous attacking potential. With the likes of Juan Agudelo, Teal Bunbury, Diego Fagundez, Juan Fernando Caicedo and Carles Gil, if they can wrangle that ability and bring it to the field week in and week out, they are a formidable team in this league. I expect a more competitive performance from New England this weekend.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 2

Tyler Fisher

Columbus will have to endure the New England Revolution this Saturday, who are coming off of a win in their previous match. This is the second and final time these teams will meet this season. In the last meeting, Columbus took down the Revs by a score line of 2-0. It will be tough since Columbus will be missing fullback Harrison Afful for quite some time, but if you remember, Hector Jimenez helped set up the Gyasi Zardes goal that made it 2-0 in these two teams’ previous meeting. This game — with the help of better weather conditions — will go down as an easy win for the Crew.
Columbus Crew 2 New England Revolution 1

Jimmy Lentz

The Columbus Crew defeated the New England Revolution 2-0 at Gillette Stadium last month. While Columbus remains steady with a 4-2-3-1 so far in 2019, New England’s formation continues to evolve (if that’s the right word) with some frequency just five games into the season from a 4-2-3-1 to a 4-3-3 and most recently to the conventional 4-4-2. With this in mind, Columbus should focus on making New England’s shifting midfield as uncomfortable as possible through relentless individual and team defensive pressure coupled with lengthy spells of possession that will open up lanes in the midfield and final third. And the original Black & Gold in MLS needs to be ever wary of New England’s playmaker, Carles Gil, who is equally dangerous in the run of play and on free kicks.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

Patrick Guldan

The New England Revolution are a bit of a different team than the last time the Columbus Crew faced them. They are starting to understand how Carles Gil fits into Coach Brad Friedel’s lineup. They are more dangerous with the ball at his feet and have added defensive stability. That said, the Crew are currently in good form. They have battled to take points off of Atlanta, New York Red Bulls, FC Dallas, and the Revs. They’ve given up a single goal with Zack Steffen between the posts, Gyasi Zardes can still score goals, and Pedro Santos is very comfortable and contributing. There’s a lot more reasons to thing Columbus comes away with all the points.
Columbus Crew SC 2 New England Revolution 0

How do you see this game playing out? Let us know your score prediction in the comment section below.