Columbus Crew vs Portland Timbers MLS Preview: Predictions, team news, lineups, and more

The Columbus Crew is back in action at Field as they take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday evening for MLS matchday nine. Team news, lineups, predictions, and more to follow.
Jul 15, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Columbus Crew midfielder Sean Zawadzki (25), right, blocks a
Jul 15, 2023; Portland, Oregon, USA; Columbus Crew midfielder Sean Zawadzki (25), right, blocks a / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew currently holds the fourth spot in the MLS Eastern Conference standings, showcasing strong form throughout the season. Last week, they ended in a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake at home and are looking to elevate their performance in their next game.

Meanwhile, the Portland Timbers are in 10th place in the Western Conference standings, displaying a mixed performance this season. They managed a 2-2 draw against LAFC in their last match and are aiming to make a statement this upcoming weekend.

How to watch Columbus Crew vs Portland Timbers

  • What day is the match? Saturday, April 20th, 2024
  • What time is kickoff? 7:30pm (EST)
  • Where is it played? Field, here at Columbus, Ohio
  • How to watch/listen from home? MLS Season Pass on the Apple TV app, La Grande 102.5 FM | Alt 105.7 FM | iHeart Radio app

Columbus Crew team news

The team's health is on the mend, with only forward Christian Ramirez and goalkeeper Evan Bush out due to injuries. Ramirez has started training again and is expected to rejoin the team shortly.

Players such as Darlington Nagbe and Patrick Schulte will return to the squad after being rested in the previous match, which saw a heavily rotated Crew side escape Salt Lake with a point. Cucho Hernandez also missed the draw against RSL, serving his suspension after picking up a red card against DC United earlier in the month.

Portland Timbers team news

2023 MLS Cup runner-up medalist and new Portland Timbers starting goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau, will miss Saturday’s match after receiving a red card last week against his former club, Los Angeles FC. Marvin Loria and Zac McGraw are both doubtful to play.

Predicted XI

Columbus Crew XI: Schulte; Farsi, Moreira, Camacho, Cheberko, Yeboah; Morris, Nagbe; Rossi, Hernandez, Hinestroza

Portland Timbers XI: Pantemis; Mosquera, Araujo, K.Miller, E.Miller; Paredes, Chara; Antony, Ferreira, Rodriguez; Mora

Columbus vs Portland score prediction

The Timbers have the utmost upper hand on the Black & Gold in previous meetings, securing seven wins in their last 13 encounters, compared to just three victories for the Crew. In their most recent matchup last July, the Crew fell 3-2 to Portland in a game that concluded well after midnight. Dairon Asprilla netted two early goals in the first half, but Lucas Zelarayán brought the game level with a brace in the second half. Sebastián Blanco then clinched the victory for Portland with a decisive goal in the 80th minute.

This time around, Portland has been struggling, without a win in their last five games, which includes three losses and two draws. The Crew needs to overcome past challenges and beat their bogey team, while also ending their own winless streak. Despite beating Tigres UANL in PKs, Columbus hasn't won a game in regulation since mid-March, when they secured a convincing 3-0 win against the New York Red Bulls. Since then, the Black & Gold have drawn five times, including a shootout win to advance to the semifinals of the Champions Cup, and suffered one loss against Charlotte FC.

I believe the Crew will be motivated this time with the first leg of the CCC around the corner and will aim to end their winless streak and settle scores with Portland on Saturday night. I'm predicting a narrow 1-0 victory for Columbus.

What are your predictions?