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Massive Predictions: Crew vs Minnesota United FC

What can we expect from the Black & Gold in Minnesota?

MLS: Minnesota United FC at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC hit the road to St. Paul to face Minnesota United on Saturday. Currently, both teams are on very different trajectories. The Crew have dropped seven of their last eight games after racing to first place in the Eastern Conference to begin the year. Minnesota has maintained a much-improved season while holding on to the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Unfortunately for the Black & Gold, their schedule doesn’t clear up any time soon. Saturday will be the first of two consecutive away games: at United and at the Colorado Rapids. United is unbeaten at home this season with a 1-0-3 record.

What will Columbus make of a tough match at the brand new Allianz Field against Minnesota United? Take a look at what our staff thinks.

Tyler Fisher

Columbus is hit with the injury bug big time. With Zack Steffen and Waylon Francis still likely out, that puts a huge damper on this weekend’s game. It looks like Columbus will have to go back to a 4-3-3 formation, as they did against Los Angeles Football Club. The Crew also likely lost Pedro Santos, as he is dealing with a family matter. My gut instinct tells me he will not be back in time for the game Saturday. So what does that leave us? More than likely, expect little to no changes to the lineup this weekend. With Minnesota pretty much at full strength, and Columbus playing their B-squad, it’s hard to determine a winner, but I think the Crew will squeak out a win.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Minnesota United 0

Elmer Plasencia

Minnesota has been a mixed bag this season in terms of form. Despite some losses to lesser opposition, they have pulled out results against some of the league’s top sides. The Loons sit in a similar position in the West to Columbus but have posed more of a threat in the attack. With players like Darwin Quintero, Angelo Rodriguez, Romario Ibarra and others, they will pose a threat to a Columbus team that could be without Zack Steffen once again.

United is also a tough defensive team and with the likes of Osvaldo Alonso and Ike Opara, they have plenty of experience in the defensive end. With the likely absence of Pedro Santos and potentially Zack Steffen, I see it being a tough day at the office for Columbus.
Minnesota United 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Abigail Hintz

Minnesota and Columbus are two fairly evenly matched teams, coming into Saturday’s match with 15 and 16 points, respectively. The Crew is definitely in a bigger slump than Minnesota, losing six of their last seven matches. On top of that, their injury list is growing, with Zach Steffen, Waylon Francis and Pedro Santos (family matter) all questionable for Saturday. Fans will definitely see more of what the team has in terms of depth in the game. Considering they are also on the road for the match, a win seems unlikely
Minnesota United 1 Columbus Crew SC 0

Mike Crosky

In a league where the ideal goal is to collect three points at home and one point away, being able to make up lost points at home while on the road will be pivotal to the Crew earning a playoff spot. The Crew will head on a two-game road trip, battling two very beatable teams in Minnesota United and the Colorado Rapids. Minnesota has struggled to score consistently in recent games but are making the necessary lineup adjustments to create offensive potency. If the Crew can take advantage of MUFC’s inconsistent scoring, and capitalize on their own chances, stealing all three points in Minnesota is possible. However, I see the Crew only pulling out a road draw in this matchup. Given the string of games the last month, a road point is a point well earned.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Minnesota United 1

Collin Johnson

Injuries and absences are really going to test the Crew as they travel to Minnesota this week for their first match in the brand new Allianz Field. Without both outside backs and, potentially, Pedro Santos, the squad depth will be further tested. Minnesota United, like Columbus, started the season well and have slowly come back to earth. Darwin Quintero’s return could spell trouble for the Black & Gold, as could a raucous Minnesotan crowd. There’s a good chance we see David Accam’s first start for the Crew, and maybe even his first goal against a United side that has given up 18 goals so far. Columbus has a good chance to turn around their rough patch and grab at least a point on the road.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Minnesota United 0

Nick Hudak

We’re continuing a stretch that has been all but kind to the Crew in recent weeks. Preparing for a two-game Western Conference road stand is not making any life easier for Caleb Porter and the team. Unfortunately, there’s no hiding the downward trajectory this team is on at the moment. A few weeks ago I wrote how it will get worse before it gets better for Columbus. Spoiler: it won’t be getting better any time soon (at least not before this Saturday).
Minnesota United 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Ralph Schudel

Another weekend, another Crew game. The Loons are flying high in the West and have a shiny new stadium to boot. I’m not firmly sold on the Black & Gold solving its scoring troubles quite yet and Zack Steffen’s health remains a question mark.

I think the Loons continue to play well and claim another win over the struggling Crew.
Minnesota United 1 Columbus Crew SC 0

Jimmy Lentz

Columbus Crew (16 points) and Minnesota United (15 points) are nearly identical in points and have conceded the same number of goals so far this season (18). However, Columbus has scored seven fewer goals than Minnesota, which will likely be the differentiating factor for the Crew on the road this weekend. The Black & Gold have not scored more than one goal on the road during a single game this regular season since the team’s 2-0 win on March 9 at the New England Revolution. Unfortunately, Columbus probably won’t break this goal scoring trend at Allianz Field in Minnesota on Saturday night.
Minnesota United 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

Jay Homan

The Crew finally get a breather this week after a run of six games in three weeks. That stretch tested the Crew’s depth chart as injuries to Zack Steffen and Waylon Francis kept them out of the LAFC match last weekend. Their return for Saturday’s match is vital if the Black & Gold want to leave Minnesota with three points.

Minnesota United has been a consistent middling team this season, threatening some of the big name clubs but taking most of their points from those lingering at the bottom of the tables. The Loons have some of the highest tackle and interception rates in the MLS this season. Don’t be surprised if more than one of them results in a dangerous counter attack.

The full week of recovery and preparation will help Columbus keep the game close, but they won’t leave the twin cities with a win.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Minnesota United 1

Patrick Murphy

On paper, these two teams are similar. Both had good results to start the year before struggling of late. They sit in similar spots in MLS’s respective conferences. So why don’t I feel confident about the Crew getting a much-needed road win on Saturday?

For one, the absences. I don’t expect Zack Steffen, Waylon Francis or Pedro Santos to play. Given Steffen is easily the team’s defensive stalwart, Francis is the team’s only true left back and Santos has been the bests attacking option this year, that’s a problem. Also, going on the road and winning in MLS isn’t exactly easy, especially for the Crew. While I don’t think Minnesota is much better than the Black & Gold, I think they will be better on the night.
Minnessota United 2 Columbus Crew SC 1

How do you see Saturday’s game playing out? Can the Crew get back on track with a win against MNUFC? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.