Charlotte FC vs Columbus Crew: Preview and Prediction

Charlotte FC will aim to end Columbus Crew’s unbeaten run in the MLS when the two sides lock horns at the Bank of America Stadium.

Charlotte FC will aim to get back to winning ways when they welcome Columbus Crew to the Bank of America Stadium on Saturday in the MLS.

The visitors are currently in the second spot, trailing leaders Inter Miami only through goal difference. Having secured 10 points from their first four games, they will aim to make use of this game in hand to move to the summit of the MLS Eastern Conference standings.

Charlotte FC, meanwhile are in the 11th spot, having picked up just four points in their first four games. They are currently coming of consecutive losses, falling 2-1 to Nashville SC at Geodis Park last Saturday. Unless they can secure a positive result on the night, Dean Smith’s side will only slip further down the table.

The former Aston Villa boss must have realised by now that the MLS is no piece of cake and will now have to put his experience to the test against Columbus Crew. There is hope, however, as Charlotte came out on top in their last home clash against Columbus Crew. In fact, they have lost just one of the last five clashes against their more illustrious opponents.

Having won the MLS Cup last season, Columbus will be eyeing a fourth title this season. Inter Miami will not just prove to be formidable opponents in the Conference bracket but overall. So, it is imperative for the champions that they do not drop points, especially against teams like Charlotte. The Hard Tackle takes a look at how both sides could line up for the game and their tactics.

Team News & Tactics

Charlotte FC

Charlotte FC will face challenges in their upcoming game as they will be missing several key players due to injuries. Ben Bender, Tyger Smalls, Brandon Cambridge, and Brandt Bronico are all sidelined with injuries, depriving the team of their contributions on the field.

In addition to these absences, there is uncertainty surrounding the availability of Enzo Copetti, who is recovering from a thigh injury. Copetti’s absence could further impact the team’s lineup and strategy for the game, as his fitness remains a concern.

Furthermore, Liel Abada, who recently joined Charlotte FC from Celtic, has yet to make his debut for the club. His absence from the lineup adds another layer of concern for Dean Smith against a formidable opponent.

The home side are expected to start in the 4-3-3 formation, with Kristijan Kahlina in goal. He should be protected by the back four of Nathan Byrne, Adilson Malanda, Andrew Privett, and Jere Uronen.

Ashley Westwood should hold down the fort in central midfield, with Brecht Dejaegere and Junior Urso in support. Enzo Copetti is expected to lead the line, with Iuri Tavares and Kerwin Vargas offering width.

Probable Lineup (4-3-3): Kahlina; Byrne, Malanda, Privett, Uronen; Dejaegere, Westwood, Urso; Vargas, Copetti, Tavares

Charlotte vs Columbus Crew: Preview and Prediction.

Columbus Crew

The MLS Cup holders have gotten off to an excellent start and can move to the summit of the Easter Conference should they win this Saturday. However, Charlotte has proven to be a tricky place for them to visit and a first win could be on the cards.

The visitors will be without Alexandru Matan, who is still nursing a thigh injury. Mohamed Farsi was dropped to the bench last time around, and it remains to be seen if he will be restored to the starting XI. Wilfried Nancy is expected to set his side up in a 3-4-2-1 formation.

Patrick Schulte should start in goal behind the back three of Steven Moreira, Rudy Camacho, and Malte Amundsen. Yaw Yeboah and Mohamed Farsi should provide the width with Darlington Nagbe and Aidan Morris in central midfield.

Diego Rossi and Cucho Hernandez should act as dual number tens, with Jacen Russell-Rowe leading the line. The 21-year-old scored against New York Red Bulls and will be keen to keep his purple patch going.

Probable Lineup (3-4-2-1): Schulte; Moreira, Camacho, Amundsen; Farsi, Morris, Nagbe, Yeboah; Rossi, Hernandez; Russell-Rowe

Charlotte vs Columbus Crew: Preview and Prediction.

Key Stats

  • Columbus Crew are unbeaten in their last four away games across all competitions.
  • Columbus will hope for a first victory on the road over Charlotte.
  • Columbus have failed to score just once in their last 29 MLS games.
  • Charlotte have lost just one of their last five games against Columbus.

Player to Watch

Cucho Hernandez

Embed from Getty Images

The Colombian international is in good form and has already scored thrice and assisted once in the MLS so far this season. He is once again expected to start as a number 10 for Columbus Crew and get forward when needed. A solid dribbler and passer, Hernandez is also prolific in front of the goal. A dynamic presence upfront, he could prove to be the difference for the visitors on the night.


Charlotte FC 0-2 Columbus Crew

While Columbus don’t have the best record away to Charlotte, the latter’s injuries and poor form given the former enough reasons to take to the field as favourites. Dean Smith is likely to see his side get stuck in but Columbus’s quality should see them through in the end.

Leave Comment


Welcome Back!

Login to your account below

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.