This week was difficult for choosing a starting lineup for Columbus Crew SC, with key players Darlington Nagbe and Lucas Zelarayan questionable for Saturday’s match against Nashville SC. Vito Wormgoor and Fanendo Adi were the only two Black & Gold players on the injury list.
Earlier this week, Massive Report asked fan who you wanted to start, with the idea that Nagbe and Zelarayan may not be available. Here is who you wanted to start tonight:
There’s no surprise in the back four, with Milton Valenzuela, Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams as the overwhelming majority to start in front of Eloy Room. Up front, Gyasi Zardes received the nod, after having three goals in two matches, including the goal that got Columbus an important draw after being down two goals against Chicago Fire.
In the midfield, fans still selected Nagbe even though there is a chance that a knee knock leaves him out of the lineup. This is reflected with only receiving 64.9 percent of the votes for this match. Artur and Pedro Santos had their regular support in the vote as they have all season, but the winger positions were up in the air.
Derrick Etienne Jr. and Luis Diaz were the fans’ choices to play on either side of Santos. This matches the first half lineup that Columbus used in the Chicago draw. Youness Mokhtar came into the match and had an impact with his deflecting shot landing at the feet of Zardes for the 88th minute goal, but that wasn’t enough to get him in the midfield, receiving only 15.7 percent of votes. Fatai Alashe, who started the past two Crew matches, received 33.9 percent of votes, not a bad total for someone new to the side.
For the Massive Report predicted XI, Nagbe will get the start. The injury did not sound major from Caleb Porter’s press conference responses on the topic and this team does not like to lose. Putting Nagbe in changes the entire game for Columbus. It isn’t easy for Nashville coming into this week, with three players on their roster not making the trip. Difficulty in preparation gets worse when you do not know if Nagbe and Zelarayan will make the starting lineup.
The rest of the lineup looks the same as what the supporters wanted. Injuries have been the deciding factor on who has started for the Crew this season and when the rest of the team is healthy, they’ve seen big minutes.
Columbus has two matches in a five-day day span at MAPFRE Stadium, so it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see some other names like Hector Jimenez or Emmanuel Boateng get the start. After Nashville, are two teams high in the standings in Minnesota United and Toronto FC. If there was a Phase Two match to give a player a rest, it would be Saturday.
It doesn’t feel like that will be the case though. Coming off a draw, a win is on the mind of Columbus.
Make sure you check back early next week to make your picks for the next Supporters’ XI against Minnesota United.