FC Cincinnati will chase their first home win of the season on Friday, July 9, when they clash with the reigning MLS Cup champions Columbus Crew at TQL Stadium. These two last met in October 2020, when FC Cincinnati upset the Crew 2-1 at Nippert Stadium, adding their first head-to-head victory since November 2017.
FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew
When: Friday, July 9 – 7:30 EDT
Where: TQL Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
Weather: Partly cloudy, 27°C
The reigning MLS champions are coming to Ohio after going winless in their last three. Columbus Crew played a draw in their previous two and suffered a defeat in a game before that.
The Crew hope to cash in on the poor home form of FC Cincinnati, who are still without a win at TQL Stadium in 2021. However, the hosts have been in a pretty decent form lately, winning two and drawing one game in the previous three rounds (all on the road).
What all this means is that we’re in for an exciting encounter on Friday evening. The question is, who’s going to walk away as a happier side? That’s exactly what we’ll try to answer in our MLS betting preview!
FC Cincinnati Looking for Their First Home Win of the Season
FC Cincinnati have played three games on their turf in the 2021 MLS season, losing every single one. Actually, their poor home form stretches all the way back to last season, when FC Cincinnati ended the year with a 2-4-5 home record at their old stadium, Nippert Stadium.
Even though Cincinnati lost all three home games this term, they didn’t play too bad. In fact, in the game against Colorado Rapids, they were the dominant side with 22 goal attempts compared to only seven made by the opponents.
FC Cincinnati ended up losing that match 0-2, but realistically, they were the better team on the day. Their showing against the Rapids should give the hosts some optimism ahead of the clash with Columbus Crew.
Another thing doing wonders for their confidence is that they’re currently in pretty good form. FC Cincinnati beat Chicago Fire (1-0) and Toronto FC (2-0), as well as forced a draw with Houston Dynamo (1-1) in their last three outings.
Cincinnati’s 20-year-old Argentine winger Alvaro Barreal scored two of the four goals his side scored in those four matches. Although he’s been in fantastic form lately, Barreal isn’t this team’s key man. Their most expensive and arguably best player is Brazilian forward Brenner, whose value is estimated to be over €9 million.
Brenner, however, has only one goal to his name this season. He scored it more than two months ago, suggesting that he’s probably very determined to get back on the scoresheet. The game against Columbus Crew seems like a good opportunity for that.
Injury Problems Pilling Up for Columbus Crew
Last season, The Crew won only two games on the road. In 2021, they have only one win in six away games. That run includes three losses against Toronto FC (0-2), New England Revolution (0-1), and Philadelphia Fusion (0-1).
Adding to that, the Crew also managed two draws against Club de Foot Montreal (0-0) and Austin FC (0-0), and a win against New York City (2-1). However, their poor away record isn’t their main worry ahead of the clash with FC Cincinnati.
What should worry the reigning MLS Cup champions is that they will miss a number of first-team players. That includes goalkeeper Eloy Room as well as outfield players like Derrick Etienne, Liam Fraser, Kevin Molino, and Gyasi Zardes, who have been called up to the Gold Cup.
The absence of Zardes could mean problems for Columbus Crew, as he’s been their top scorer so far this season. He has put in four goals, all of which came from his last five starts. On top of everything, Bradley White-Phillips is also dealing with an injury and is doubtful for this clash.
FC Cincinnati vs Columbus Crew Betting Picks
It’s time for FC Cincinnati to start winning at home again. They might not be known as a very good home side, but there was obvious improvement since they moved to their new stadium.
Adding to that, the Orange and Blue have been showing great form of late and have – unlike Columbus Crew – all their key men fit and ready for this bout.
Pick: FC Cincinnati -0.25 Asian Handicap – 2.06 at Pinnacle
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