Orlando City, who boast the joint-fourth best five-game form in the Eastern Conference (W2, D1, L2) ahead of this round, welcome Columbus Crew after beating the visitors 2-0 last month. They’ll be hunting a third consecutive H2H victory here, in a clash that has seen both teams score in five of the last six MLS meetings at Orlando.
The hosts are looking to do the double over their Eastern Conference rivals for the first time ever, but the ‘Lions’ will have to sharpen up in the first half hour – they’ve conceded eight goals at home this MLS season by the 30th minute, netting just once in reply.
Their opponents travel here hoping to end an eight-game winless MLS streak (D1, L7), and currently sit as the joint-worst eastern side at home with three points (W1, L7). The Crew will be seeking revenge after Orlando scored two goals from just three shots in the reverse fixture, and stopped Columbus from scoring for the first time in the MLS H2H history.
As the lowest away scorers in the conference, averaging just 0.63 goals per road trip, the visitors could struggle to score again here. Indeed, Columbus have failed to score in five of their last seven MLS away fixtures (L7), losing at half-time in five of those games.
Players to watch: Orlando’s MLS top scorer Nani (eight goals, seven assists) contributed to both of his team’s goals in last month’s H2H victory.
Pedro Santos ended Columbus’ three-game MLS goal-drought thanks to his 13th minute penalty kick versus Seattle Sounders last time out.
Stat attack: Seven of Orlando’s last nine MLS home victories were decided by a single-goal margin.
Orlando City Stadium has witnessed an average of 3.56 goals per MLS game, making it the second most entertaining venue in the Eastern Conference.
Five of Columbus’ eight MLS away fixtures have produced under 2.5 goals.
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