Saturday, September 1, 2012

Predictions: Crew v. Montreal

Montreal travel down to Columbus to take on the Crew tonight. 7:30 PM EST, 12:30 AM, Kettering, England and 7:30 PM in Front Royal, VA.

• Two "in form" teams, playoff implications
• Montreal has won their last five, beating good teams... DC, SJ, NY.
• Montreal has had 4 of last 5 at home, however
• Montreal Away record = poor. 2 wins in 13.
• Crew have 3 wins, 2 draws in last 5.
• Crew last 3 wins against below average teams (TFC, NE, PHI)
• Crew missing regular LB / CB starter Josh Williams (suspension)
• Crew have only lost 3 at home this year (7W, 2D, 3L)

Looks like the betting sites clearly favor the home team (that would be the Crew).

Drew Epperley at WV Hooligan; "This one will be a midfield game but in the end it feels like a draw." Drew also says, "Montreal and Columbus headline a busy holiday weekend." First time I've seen the Crew headline any of the league watchers sites this year.

The folks over at are leaning Crew. 4 for Crew, 1 Montreal, 1 Draw.

Adam Jardy (Columbus Dispatch), who has been accurate with his predictions, is leaning Montreal because of fatigue. "Montreal" he says, "is rested and riding a five-game winning streak. It will take some magic for the Crew to overcome..."

A lot will depend on how "up" for the game the Crew will be. Montreal and Columbus have already met twice this year and split home wins. Neither game really registering on the excitement scale of, well... excitement.

The reason I mention is because Josh Williams brings a lot of energy each time he plays. In fact, he actually controls most of the possession for the Crew. 250 total passes, 11% of all Crew passes for the month of August (positive results). His absence might play a part as to the amount of energy we see from the side.

The weather could become a factor tonight as well. It's humid as all right now, muggy. Feels like NC up in here. 80% chance of rain later today so the surface will be fast and the temps cool-er (we hope).

The Crew absolutely should be able to win this one but the result depends on team energy. By the time the 20th minute rolls around, ask yourself this question...

"Are the Crew playing on their front foot?"

YES: Crew Victory
NO: Crew Loss
I CAN'T TELL: Crew Draw or loss

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