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Massive Predictions: Crew vs. Nashville SC

The Massive Report staff give their prediction for the game against Nashville.

Sam Fahmi - Massive Report

A lot of talk heading into Saturday’s match between the Columbus Crew and Nashville SC is around two Argentinian stars. Midfielder Lucas Zelarayán’s status for the match is uncertain, due to a knee injury sustained against the New York Red Bulls on March 20. The other is Federico Higuaín, a Crew legend who signs a one-day contract on Saturday to retire as a member of the Black & Gold.

With all the talk about legacies and injuries, it’s easy to forget there’s also a match. Columbus entersits fifth match of the season. The Crew is unbeaten in the last four games and seven without a loss dating back to the end of the 2021 season.

Writers on Massive Report have their ideas on what will happen when the two sides kick off. Before those predictions, let’s see how everyone has done in their predictions so far in the 2022 season.

Massive Report 2022 Predictions

Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Name MP Correct Score/Result Correct Result Wrong Result Points
Collin Johnson 4 2 0 2 6
Caleb Denorme 4 1 2 1 5
Brian Moracz 4 1 1 2 4
Patrick Murphy 4 1 1 2 4
Adam Miller 4 0 2 2 2
Drew McDaniel 4 0 2 2 2
Nathan Townsend 4 0 2 2 2
Ryan Schmitt 4 0 2 2 2
Theodore Sovinski 4 0 2 2 2
Thomas Costello 4 0 2 2 2
Abigail Hintz 2 0 2 0 2
Kyle Jackson 2 0 1 1 1
Grant Miller 3 0 1 2 1
John Pearson 3 0 1 2 1
Tyler Fisher 3 0 1 2 1
Devin Weisberth 1 0 0 1 0

Now let’s see what they think about Saturday’s matchup”

Abigail Hintz

Saturday night could be a unique test for Columbus with the possibility of Lucas Zelarayán not being able to take the pitch due to injury. Without him, the Crew will need to fill a massive gap. This is a test I believe the team is ready for and honestly would be good for the squad to know it can get a result without the star.

Nashville comes into the game with only one win so far this season, while the Crew remains undefeated. Being at home, I don’t think the Crew will struggle to top Nashville, with or without Zelarayán.
Columbus Crew 2 Nashville SC 0

Adam Miller

The Black & Gold return to action after the international break and are still unbeaten in league play. Nashville SC will provide a difficult early-season challenge for the Crew.

Nashville also enters this game after a welcomed international break that allowed the team to return home and take a brief break from its eight-game road trip to start the season, thanks to building a new stadium.

A rested and talented Nashville will provide a good window into just how good the Crew could be this year. The Black & Gold have never lost to Nashville and aren’t going to start in this match. the Crew will return from the international break in style in front of the home fans. Center back Miloš Degenek will open the scoring off a set piece before forward Gyasi Zardes finishes off Nashville.
Columbus Crew 2 Nashville SC 0

Brian Moracz

Over the last couple of years, Nashville has solidified itself as the draw king of Major League Soccer, amassing 18 ties in 2021, six more than the next closest team. The team is more than happy to come into Field this weekend, defend first, hit on the counter and come away with a draw.

Operating under the assumption that the Crew will be without Lucas Zelarayán, I believe that is exactly what will happen. I see the Black & Gold breaking down the Nashville defense one time as forward Miguel Berry nets one for the home side, and until the Crew goes an entire match without allowing a goal off a set piece, I predict that they will concede a goal in that fashion for the fifth time this season.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 1

Caleb Denorme

The Crew has a tough matchup this weekend against a well-trained defensive machine in Nashville SC. The two keys to the game will be the status of Lucas Zelarayán and Nashville center back Walker Zimmerman.

We all know that Zelarayán is dealing with a minor knee injury and is questionable to return this weekend, but if he plays the Black & Gold will be much better off with their MVP candidate on the field.

Zimmerman on the other hand was on national team duty with the U.S. Men’s National Team and recently played all three games in the last week. Nashville could decide to rush him back, or rest him and save the team’s star center back for their next game. Either way, I see Columbus coming away with a victory at home with a goal courtesy of Derrick Etienne Jr.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 0

Collin Johnson

The battle of the gold/yellow soccer teams makes its way to Columbus following a, hopefully restful, international break. Lucas Zelarayán picked up a knee injury the last time the Crew played and despite avoiding serious injury, it is unclear whether he’ll be able to take the field on Saturday.

With or without Zelarayan, this one looks to be a low-scoring affair. Nashville hasn’t had a great start to the season but is still an organized, defense-minded team. The Black & Gold are no slouches on the defensive end (not talking about set-pieces). In a low-scoring match, you expect the home side to have the advantage and that’s exactly what we will see on Saturday.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 0

Devin Weisbarth

With the Crew honoring club legend Federico Higuaín, I think there will be added emotion and fire for the Black & Gold faithful and players. Forward Miguel Berry, winger Derrick Etienne Jr. and midfielder Artur will score for the Black & Gold and Columbus will start the season 3-0 at the LDC.
Columbus Crew 3 Nashville SC 0

Drew McDaniel

Columbus Crew playmaker Lucas Zelarayán will be out for this match. Nashville will put pressure on the Crew in the first 30 minutes which will result in a set piece goal. Columbus will show its new mentality with two goals in the second half. Winger Yaw Yeboah will finally get off the mark for the Crew and forward Miguel Berry will add to his tally. The Black & Gold will continue their winning ways at home turning LDC into a fortress.
Columbus Crew 2 Nashville SC 1

Grant Miller

Until I hear otherwise, I will assume Lucas Zelarayán is not going to play Saturday. In his absence, the Crew plays a grueling defensive affair that feels like it is destined for a tie. Then, late in the second half, the ball gets loose in the attacking third, Derrick Etienne Jr. gathers the ball on a break with a clear path to goal and completely redeems himself of his missed chance two weeks ago. Columbus wins, and Federico Higuain is happy.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 0

John Pearson

Columbus should dominate this game, but potentially without MLS MVP front runner Lucas Zelarayán, it is going to be way closer than it should be. Luckily for the Crew, Nashville’s weakness is getting set pieces, currently the worst in the league in corners taken.

Nashville is poor offensively, but the Black & Gold missing their main offensive contributor and the flow of the attack will result in this game not being as high scoring as most games Columbus has been in this season. The Crew is the better team and will walk away with a victory, with goals from Derrick Etienne and Yaw Yeboah.

The fans will get the best of both worlds as they will be able to celebrate Federico Higuain and celebrate a win at the end of the day, but it will not be comfortable.
Columbus Crew 2 Nashville SC 1

Nathan Townsend

The Crew looks to both honor Federico Higuaín and continue its winning ways and I expect the team to do so this week. With Walker Zimmerman playing a full 90 minutes on Wednesday for the United States Men’s National Team against Costa Rica, Nashville could be without its best defensive player against a Crew team that has clearly demonstrated an ability to score bunches.

Even with Lucas Zelarayán’s questionable status, the Black & Gold should have more than enough firepower to score at least two goals and goalkeeper Eloy Room will get his second shutout of the season to keep the Crew undefeated.
Columbus Crew 2 Nashville SC 0

Patrick Murphy

Here’s the thing about any game against Nashville SC, it’s going to be gritty and ugly. Nashville has no issue defending and, especially on the road, settling for a draw. I expect that to be the approach on Saturday as the visitors look to frustrate the Crew.

The key for Columbus will be patience. The Black & Gold can’t get frustrated when the chances aren’t coming early. They also have to be aware of Nashville coming the other way and not giving up a goal. Both teams have struggled with set piece defending this year, so that could be a key in this game.

I think the Crew finds a way to get three points at home once again, but it won’t be pretty.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 0

Ryan Schmitt

I think the original black and gold team wins this match. Coming off an international break, I think we’ll get cleaner in the final third and start to see those chances that are wasted, get put away. I have to imagine Nashville’s Walker Zimmerman rests given his stint with the U.S. Men’s National Team. He anchors their backline and is very good in the air.

If Columbus can defend set pieces, I think the team can walk away with three points.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville 0

Theodore Sovinski

Nashville is going to want to avoid making it three losses in a row. Meanwhile, the Crew could see limited minutes from Lucas Zelarayán. It’s going to be a slog.
Columbus Crew 1 Nashville SC 0

Thomas Costello

The Crew hasn’t given up a single goal from the run of play this season. Nashville is a side without a strong midfielder in Dax McCarty. With or without Lucas Zelarayán (who I think starts with head coach Caleb Porter keeping cards close to his chest for a competitive advantage).

If Zelarayán plays, it’s a 3-0 victory. If he doesn’t, Columbus still wins but it’ll be a much closer match.
Columbus Crew 3 Nashville SC 0

How do you think Saturday’s match will play out? Let us know in the comments or share on the Massive Report Twitter page.