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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. FC Cincinnati

Will the Black & Gold spoil Cincinnati’s first Hell is Real Derby at its new stadium?

Columbus Crew SC v FC Cincinnati Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

The Hell is Real Derby has returned as the Columbus Crew get set to take on FC Cincinnati in some Friday night soccer. Last season, this derby was played four times with the Crew winning twice, Cincinnati winning once and the teams splitting the points a single time. The match will be the first in the history of the all-Ohio derby at the new TQL Stadium and both teams have chances to turn things around.

The Black & Gold hope to get their second road win of the season and first win in Cincinnati since 2019. The squad is missing 11 players due to injuries and international call-ups, opening the door for FC Cincy. The Orange and Blue have a chance to finally win at the team’s new stadium after losing its first three matches at TQL Stadium.

Here are the Massive Report staff’s predictions for Hell is Real.

Thomas Costello

Even against Cincinnati, I think the Crew’s injury and Gold Cup absences are too much to overcome. The Crew’s defense will play well since Evan Bush is a strong backup goalkeeper and Jonathan Mensah is still anchoring the backline.

It’s the offense that’s the obvious issue. I think the Crew struggle to score but luckily is playing another team that struggles.
Columbus Crew 0 FC Cincinnati 0

Abigail Hintz

Caleb Porter mentioned how tough his squad looked against Austin FC a few weeks ago as El Tree was desperate to get the team’s first goal in its new stadium. Now the Crew faces a similar situation against FC Cincinnati. Since opening their new stadium in mid-May, Cincy has yet to get a win in front of its home crowd.

Despite a slow start, however, Cincinnati has been rolling lately, going undefeated in its last three games. The Crew will look to slow down the Orange and Blue’s intensity on Friday while managing a gutted roster. Being the first game with all the international players called up, I think coming out of Cincinnati with a point is likely and reasonable.
Columbus Crew 1 FC Cincinnati 1

Guilherme Torres

The Crew has been considerably successful against its in-state rivals and FC Cincinnati won’t likely have a better chance than this one to start changing that. The Black & Gold headed south on I-71 with 11 absences and head coach Caleb Porter will have to work hard to even field a team that makes sense.

In this situation, taking a point back home wouldn’t be considered a bad result and I see the Crew switching its style a bit and sitting back to play in transition. Cincinnati’s offense isn’t great and I can see Columbus getting a clean sheet, but this team’s offensive power hasn’t been great either, so I’ll settle for a scoreless draw
Columbus Crew 0 FC Cincinnati 0

Doug Hildreth

The Crew has dealt with depth issues for several weeks now and has at least kept itself in the conversation for a playoff spot while toughing out draws against tough competition. Friday seems to be another level of availability challenges, but the Crew faces its soccer little brother in the Hell is Real Derby.

This will be an opportunity for younger talent to step up and shine. Caleb Porter may wish he could clone Pedro Santos to fill multiple spots, but wherever Santos plays, he will make a significant impact. It might not look pretty, but the Crew comes away with a win.
Columbus Crew 2 FC Cincinnati 1

Collin Johnson

Nothing like following up the historic opening of Lower.com Field with a trip to Cincinnati’s new stadium for the first Hell is Real Derby of the season. FC Cincinnati has remained a disappointment after spending millions to upgrade its roster over the summer and is yet to win in the team’s brand new stadium. The Crew is coming off one of its best possession-related matches of the season but is still struggling mightily to create dangerous chances in the final third.

Columbus’ attacking weaknesses won’t be helped by the multiple Gold Cup and injury absences, with a near first-choice 11 missing the next month or so of matches. With last week’s team, it would be easy to predict a Black & Gold road win. With this week’s vastly depleted squad, it’s going to be difficult to get any sort of result in one of the biggest road rivalry matches of the season. Fortunately, FCC is not a good soccer team. I’m prepared to sit down Friday for a painfully drab draw.
Columbus Crew 0 FC Cincinnati 0

Orri Benatar

The Crew roster situation can be described as depleted and diminished. The Black & Gold have proven and capable players to step in at goalkeeper, midfield and on the wings but lack a fully healthy, capable striker with Gyasi Zardes out with the United States men’s national team.

FC Cincinnati knows this is a game the team must win with the MLS Cup champions missing many key pieces, giving FCC a massive chance to win its first game at its new stadium. Those ingredients will spell a monumental victory for Cincy with the Crew’s attack not being able to adapt without Zardes this quickly.
FC Cincinnati 1 Columbus Crew 0

Adam Miller

The first Hell is Real Derby of 2021 couldn’t come at a worse time roster-wise for the Black & Gold. With a plethora of missing players, the Crew will be up against it in this match. Caleb Porter is fully capable of pulling the rabbit out of the hat with the players at his disposal. The Crew walks out of Cincinnati with a memorable win thanks to two Lucas Zelarayan goals.
Columbus Crew 2 FC Cincinnati 0


What are your predictions for this Hell is Real Derby? Let us know in the comment section below.