Thursday, November 5, 2009

Quick Facts for Tonights Matchup and Lineup Info

A couple of quick facts as time for kickoff nears in Columbus:

Columbus at home: 9-2-4
Real Salt Lake away: 2-11-2
  • With a 1-goal lead RSL merely needs to escape this match with a draw or better to advance to the ECF's. Unfortunately this is something that RSL only managed to do in 4 out of their 15 matches (26%) on the road this season.

  • Columbus needs to win by 2 or more in order to ensure advancing something that they have done only 3 times this season (20%) at home. Unfortunately, RSL was one of those victims with their 3-1 loss on July 18th.
  • The more likely scenario is that Columbus will win by 1-goal, something they have done 6 times at home this season (40%).
  • This coupled with the fact that RSL has lost by a goal 5 times this season (33%) could cause someone to put down a few Benjamin's on a 1-0 or 2-1 result. Overtime and penalty shootouts would then ensue to determine who moves forward.

Despite all of this I'm sticking with a 1-1 draw. Why? Simply because Columbus isn't firing on all cylinders right now.


I'm expecting much of the same lineup from RSL, but Yura could start in place of Espindola. Why? He's a little better (and faster) at tracking back on defense when really needed, and then getting back out on the break when the opponent turns over the ball. Plus, he's shown to bring some magic to the show when it's needed most over the last two seasons.

In the case of Columbus you'll see Barros Schelotto and Moreno start in place of Lenhart and Rentaria. This will pump some offense into the team, but will also leave the team more vulnerable as GBS helps out little defensively. Ekpo will also likely start in place of Robbie Rogers who was ineffective in round 1.