Columbus Crew at Toronto FC Betting Preview

Columbus Crew at Toronto FC Betting Preview

One of the beauties of the MLS is the rivalries and the cups that teams compete for. Some may not seem like traditional rivalries but still have meaning to both fan bases.

Among those is the Trillium Cup, the rivalry between the Columbus Crew and Toronto FC. The rivalry was created by the team fan bases when Toronto joined MLS, and it is named for the Trillium, the official flower of both the state of Ohio and the province of Ontario.

The Crew won the Cup in six of the first eight seasons, but TFC has taken five of the last six, including three in a row. Columbus has the leg up this year thanks to a 2-1 win at home back in March. Since the teams don’t meet again this season, the Crew clinch the Cup with a tie or win on Wednesday, while TFC must win and not allow two goals.

Wednesday’s kickoff at BMO Field in Toronto is set for 7:30 p.m., streaming on ESPN+ and airing locally in both markets. Toronto is a slight favorite at +145 on the money line, with the Crew at +165. A draw is listed at +240.

Columbus Crew Trying to Get By With Injured Stars

After being shutout 2-0 in consecutive games in May, the Columbus Crew have bounced back with a win and a pair of draws. The 2020 MLS champions still sit tied for 11th place in the East with Toronto as they head into their final game of June. Both teams have games this weekend so getting a positive result on Wednesday is key.

Columbus has a number of important players listed as questionable with injury after missing Saturday’s 0-0 draw in Salt Lake. Playmaker Lucas Zelarayan has missed the last four games with a thigh injury and hasn’t scored in the last eight games. Derrick Etienne Jr., who has three goals on the season, is questionable with a leg injury, while forward Yaw Yeboah has an ankle injury.

The Crew should get Kevin Molino back from illness at the least while Artur is definitely out. Help is also on the way for the Crew, but not this week. Cucho Hernandez is signed to join the team on a transfer from Watford in the Premier League, but not until July 9.

Columbus won 2-1 at Atlanta United on May 28 and drew 0-0 at Real Salt Lake on Saturday for two straight positive road games. Keeper Eloy Room got his first clean sheet since April on Saturday. He has allowed 15 goals in 15 games this season with 39 saves.

Toronto Ready For a Boost

Toronto FC got a boost last weekend with new signee Lorenzo Insigne on hand to watch the 2-1 win over Atlanta United FC. The Italian star, signed from Napoli, cannot play until July 9, but he arrived early in Canada and was feted with a hero’s welcome at the airport and at BMO. The Reds expect he will fit in nicely with Jesus Jimenez, Jonathan Osorio, and Alejandro Pozuelo.

Toronto is tied with Columbus, and Wednesday’s contest is the second of a four-game homestand in MLS play. Including games in the Canadian Championships, TFC is unbeaten in six of their last seven, and they have scored at least twice in three of their last four games.

Jimenez leads the way with seven goals and three assists. Osorio scored last week and has four goals with three assists, matching the tallies of Pozuelo. Nine different players have scored for Toronto this season, and they have assisted on 18 of their 22 MLS goals.

Alex Bono has started 13 of the 16 league games in goal, allowing 25 goals and making 55 saves. He does not have a shutout as TFC has allowed at least one goal in 24 straight games.

Columbus Crew at Toronto FC Pick and Prediction

If Zelarayan and Etienne were healthy, this would be an easier pick, even on the road. But with those two likely, not able to play a full 90, if at all, Columbus should struggle to score. They need Darlington Nagbe or Miguel Berry to step up. Toronto has the firepower and is playing with more confidence these days than when the teams met in March.

Look for Toronto to take all three points on the +145 money line.

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