Third plays fifth in the Eastern Conference with just a handful of games remaining in MLS’ regular season schedule, as Columbus Crew travel to Gillette Stadium to face the New England Revolution.
Jack Collins here from The Game Day to look at a matchup between two Playoff-bound sides looking for a strong end to the season and home advantage on Matchday 36 in Major League Soccer, happening on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew Odds
New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew betting lines are current as of Monday, Oct. 2, at 11 a.m. ET at bet365 Sportsbook.
- 3-Way Moneyline: New England (+130) • Tie (+250) • Columbus (+190)
- Total Goals: Over 2.5 (-188) • Under 2.5 (+140)
- Both Teams To Score: Yes (-200) • No (+150)
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew Match Prediction
New England Revolution 2:2 Columbus Crew
It’s worth starting this prediction with a fact - nobody in MLS has come to New England’s Gillette Stadium in Foxborough this season and left with three points.
The place is, in so many words, an absolute fortress; and that home record is the bedrock on which New England has built an impressive campaign.
But that makes it even more important for the home side to win again here - and lock down home advantage as much as possible as we head into the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs in just a few games time.
New England Revolution obviously can’t catch Supporters’ Shield-winning FC Cincinnati at the top of the Eastern Conference, but they sit just two points behind Orlando City with a game in hand.
In short, if they win all four of their remaining games, New England will be guaranteed home advantage in everything but the Eastern Conference Final, should they progress that far.
For a team left in relative managerial flux after the resignation of Bruce Arena less than a month ago, that would be a huge boost. Defender Omar González said after they clinched their playoff spot ten days ago that "it’s a weight off our shoulders to finally clinch. Now, we have to think about finishing in the top three.”
It’s fair to say that the weekend’s 2-1 win over Charlotte FC showcased some of the weight being lifted.
After a despondent performance in the loss to the Colorado Rapids and a less-than-convincing draw against the Chicago Fire, New England bounced back to winning ways in relatively dramatic fashion.
The Revolution took the lead midway through the second half through Noel Buck, and then upon conceding a late Charlotte equalizer, finding a response less than a minute later to secure all three points.
But whilst the three points were crucial, it’s going to need more secure performances if New England are going to finish this season strongly. Their final four games of Columbus Crew, Orlando City, Nashville, and Philadelphia Union are all against fellow Playoff hopefuls, and all will feel like warm-ups for the main event of the postseason.
They’ll take heart, though, from the attacking corps that they can call on. New England hasn't been shut out at home once this season, and only a few times on the road.
Carles Gil remains the team’s heart, soul, and string-puller, and his return of nine goals and seven assists this season means that there’s still plenty of time for him to hit double figures in both across the campaign.
And up top, interim coach Clint Peay is getting close to having an impressive array of options back. Gustavo Bou returned off the bench against Charlotte after recovering from an injury to his leg, joining Bobby Wood, who started that game, and Giacomo Vrioni, as options.
Whether that sees a move away from the three-at-the-back formations that have been utilized in recent weeks is yet to be seen, but competition for places and a variety of striking options, at the very least, has to be a positive for Peay.
On the other side of things, Columbus Crew are unbeaten in three and have the league’s form player in the shape of Cucho Hernández, who scored an astonishing eight times in September to catapult himself into the race for the Golden Boot.
His goal in Columbus’ 1-1 draw with Philadelphia Union at the weekend means that Hernández is now just one behind the league leaders with 14 strikes to his name. And while the Columbus Crew haven’t quite been at their sparkling best in the last few weeks, they have a number of players who are used to the pressure of these situations.
Diego Rossi was a Supporters’ Shield winner with LAFC in 2019, whilst Julian Gressel and Darlington Nagbe won the MLS Cup with Atlanta United in 2018. Nagbe then helped Columbus lift the same trophy in 2020 alongside current teammate Aidan Morris.
There is experience here and a knack for goalscoring right now. Expect Columbus to push New England all the way in Foxborough.
New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew Best Bets
Over 2.5 Goals Scored (-188) • bet365 Sportsbook
These are two attacks with potent goal-scoring ability, and when you add Columbus’ hot streak to New England’s home form, it leaves you with one outcome - a festival of attacking talent hitting the back of the net multiple times.
Cucho Hernández Anytime Goalscorer (+130) • bet365 Sportsbook
Are you going to bet against a man who has netted eight times in his previous five games, who takes penalties for Columbus Crew, and who appears to be on a one-man mission to overhaul the standings and win the Golden Boot?