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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. CF Montreal

How will the Black & Gold perform in the first road MLS match of 2021?

MLS: CF Montreal at Nashville SC Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Columbus Crew heads on the road for the first time in Major League Soccer play in the 2021 season on Saturday, taking on CF Montreal. Last season, the Crew failed to win a true road game, getting victories exclusively at historic Crew Stadium and at the MLS is Back Tournament in Orlando, Florida.

Fortunately for the Black & Gold, this game will be played in Florida, as Montreal is based in Fort Lauderdale due to travel restrictions between the United States and Canada because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Having drawn the opening game of the season two weeks ago against the Philadelphia Union, Columbus also hopes to get the team’s first win in MLS play for the 2021 season. Will the Crew get the job done? We asked our staff for their predictions.

Thomas Costello

Assuming that Darlington Nagbe is back, the Crew offense is going to have much-needed time to build up an attack. The Crew will score the team’s first MLS goals of the season, and a few of them.

In his first substantial season minutes, newcomer Alexandru Matan will score a goal. Alongside him will be goals from Gyasi Zardes and Bradley Wright-Phillips. The English striker will come into the match for the second half and ice the victory. With Jonathan Mensah potentially out, Columbus will give up one goal to a Montreal side that scored six goals in two matches.
Columbus Crew 3 CF Montreal 1

Adam Miller

This is a classic trap game for the Black & Gold. Some of these issues are compounded by the necessary squad rotation that will have to take place. Montreal has looked dangerous thus far in 2021, however, the team is far from the finished product. All in all, I think this will be a close game and will certainly challenge the Crew’s depth. That being said I think the Black & Gold are just good enough to bring three points home to Columbus as goals from Bradley Wright-Phillips and Pedro Santos prove to be the difference.
Columbus Crew 2 CF Montreal 0

Patrick Murphy

It’s been a good start to the season for CF Montreal with a win against Toronto FC and a tie against Nashville SC, but I’m not buying this as a top team in the Eastern Conference, as the standings currently show. As I said on the Massive Report Podcast this week, it would not surprise me if Montreal falls off the horse here soon.

With that said, the Crew had a hard-fought draw at home in the CONCACAF Champions League this week and will rotate the lineup for this game. I think the Black & Gold have the depth to handle this rotation and get a win, but it will be interesting to see what Caleb Porter elects to do with his lineup given an important return to the Champions League on Wednesday.
Columbus Crew 2 CF Montreal 0

Orri Benatar

Florida is the Crew’s second home and the players are coming off a dramatic match against Monterrey and will be excited to get three points against CF Montreal. I expect the squad to get a foot forward against the first place team in the East as the Black & Gold get a leg up the table as they dip their toes in the water of a lengthy May schedule.
Columbus Crew 2 CF Montreal 0

Collin Johnson

Things are about to get interesting for the Crew with a packed, seven-game May schedule. Columbus hosts two of those matches with five coming on the road. Fortunately, this is still the early MLS season, and while May wins can bolster a Supporters’ Shield quest, they very rarely make or break a season. The Black & Gold should have a heavily rotated squad following Wednesday’s match against Monterrey. In Florida they’ll face off against a Montreal side that’s flying high to start the season. The Crew still has the talent to get a result against Montreal, but it won’t come easy with a depleted lineup.
Columbus Crew 1 CF Montreal 1

Those are our predictions. How do you think this game will play out? Let us know your prediction in the comment section below.