Columbus Crew are without Steffen and Trapp because of international duty which weakens the starting line-up. Kempin is expected to earn a rare start in goal, with Abubakar and Mensah the first-choice centre-back pairing so far this season. The absence of Trapp presents a chance for someone to partner Artur in midfield, Abu a strong contender. Going forward, Zardes will attempt to run in behind. The hosts have taken 7 points from a possible 9 and remain unbeaten so far this season. Columbus Crew are favorites for this match with the line set at -1 and will feel they are more than capable of winning by a comfortable margin. Their opponents have won just 1 of their last 14 away games, while Columbus Crew are 13 games unbeaten in regular season matches at MAPFRE Stadium. Columbus Crew are expected to face a defensive-minded opponent that will attempt to frustrate, making under 3 goals likely. An early goal for Columbus Crew would force the visitors to take more risks, the hosts may have to be patient however with the key goal hugely important. The hosts have kept 2 clean sheets in their 3 games so far this season, highlighting their strong defensive displays.
DC United are without a number of players because of international duty, this includes Fisher and Stieber. The visitors also have major doubts over Moreno. The same defensive unit which played last week is expected, Mora impressing at left back. In midfield the visitors are forced into changes, Harkes and Durkin potentially forming a new central midfield pairing. Both tasked with finding Acosta. The visitors are outsiders on the Asian Handicap with the line set at +1. DC United have struggled on the road over a long period of time, with just 1 win in 14 road trips. Despite showing good character to rescue a draw in their last match, DC United face a major battle to overcome the handicap with key players absent. Their opponents are full of confidence and particularly strong at home. DC United are a naturally defensive team that prefers to defend deep and use the counter-attack. The visitors will aim to frustrate the hosts, being content to have less possession for majority of match. DC United will not immediately change their approach should they concede first, potentially resulting in a game of few clear chances and going under the 3 goals line.
Verdict & Prediction
Columbus Crew have taken 7 points from their 3 games and are full of confidence at the moment. The hosts have a particularly strong record at home, unbeaten in their last 10 home matches. The fans generate a great atmosphere and get behind the players for the entirety of the contest. Coach Berhalter not getting carried away despite the impressive start to the season. The coach and players have spoken of their need to improve their performances and they will not be complacent coming into this contest. Their opponents showed lots of character in their last match to rescue a draw.
Prediction: Columbus Crew -0.75 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.93 SBOBET
Check back later, as we will post two more MLS betting previews later in the evening.