Huge Predictions: Columbus Crew vs. CF Monterrey

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That’s it! The Columbus crew is in Mexico and ready for the second leg against Monterrey in CONCACAF Champions League Quarter finals. Last Wednesday’s first leg was full of drama and controversy when Rayados scored an equalizer to draw a 2-2 draw in Ohio.

The task gets tough when Black & Gold is set in the city of Monterrey, playing the game without the best attacker in midfielder Lucas Zelarayan. Rayados have star attackers Vincent Janssen and Max Meza back as all four-time Champion League winners will need a 0-0 draw on Wednesday to advance.

Columbus have drawn their last three competitive games with only two goals scored. Can this team make history again and reach the semi-finals for the first time in the club’s history? We asked our employees for their predictions.

Thomas Costello

Columbus looked nervous and was in a hurry in the opening minutes of Wednesday’s first leg against Monterrey. The Black & Gold won’t come into the second leg with the same intimidation of David versus Goliath. All the crew has to do is win and the team can accomplish its mission. Rayados won’t have an easy time playing against a returning partnership between Jonathan Mensah and Josh Williams.

Pedro Santos will play with his 2020 midseason which has seen him at his most creative side. The pace of Derrick Etienne Jr. and Luis Diaz will keep the Monterrey backline busy. Diaz, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Gyasi Zardes all face a side from Monterrey who will be confident and panic the game.

PS the office will be bad
Columbus Crew 3 CF Monterrey 2 (total crew advance 5-4)

Collin Johnson

After a disappointing but exciting 2-2 draw in Columbus, the crew set off for Monterrey, with every win guaranteeing an overall win. The Black & Gold would be in full strength if Lucas Zelarayan didn’t receive a strange yellow card in the home game that would push the crew’s number 10 out of Wednesday’s game. Monterrey will have the benefit of an even stronger line-up that could see Vincent Janssen and Maxi Meza return after Rayados secured a reunion in the Liguilla first round.

Getting a win in Monterrey is sure to be a big job for Columbus. The Black & Gold will have to play a near-perfect defensive game if they hope to keep Rayados off the scoreboard for Jonathan Mensah to return at the right time. I think the crew have an early lead and defend for the rest of the game to get a MASSIVE win.
Columbus Crew 1 CF Monterrey 0 (Overall Crew Progress 3-2)

Side Benatar

It will be a hostile environment for the crew to enter on Wednesday night. The challenge will be greater without Lucas Zelarayan, and I believe this will be a situation that may be too great for Black & Gold to conquer. If Victor Janssen and Maxi Meza are back for Rayados, the attack will be a lot more deadly than what we saw in Columbus last week. In addition, Monterrey is likely to be more aggressive in the future if the home crowd is behind it.

It was supposed to be another exciting game but Monterrey has the great gaming experience and has owned the Champions League almost every time he competes in it. Rayados will move forward as the crew shift focus to defending their MLS Cup championship.
CF Monterrey 2 Columbus Crew 1 (Monterrey advances 4-3 total)

Drew Niccum

The math is simple, Columbus needs a win (or a very high score tie) to move forward. Unfortunately, that’s the only easy part of this matchup. MLS teams have historically fought Mexican teams in Mexico, and the crew is no different. While Monterrey are not in the best shape, winning only one of their last five games (with three red cards), Rayados should be able to build a very strong line-up after securing a reunion in the Liga MX playoffs.

In the meantime, the crew will be without Lucas Zelarayan and possibly Gyasi Zardes, but Jonathan Mensah will return. In all honesty, I think this game could go either way, but the odds aren’t in the crew’s favor. I’ll draw with a Bradley Wright-Phillips goal but like I said I wouldn’t be shocked by any other result.
Columbus Crew 1 CF Monterrey 1 (Monterrey advance 3-3 on away goals)

Adam Miller

This is going to be one of the toughest games in recent history for Black & Gold. Against one of the best teams in CONCACAF, on the road, with away goals and without Lucas Zelarayan, it will certainly not be an easy task. Nevertheless, the way to the semi-finals is not completely blocked. The crew was the better team last week and was a difficult matchup for Monterrey. Plus, head coach Caleb Porter knows how to win tough games, as evidenced by the crew’s historic MLS Cup win. Porter and Company will find a way to enable the crew to win.

Ultimately, it seems like a monumental task for Black & Gold, but I choose to believe in Porter and the guys. The crew makes it in an epic game that will be remembered for a long time. Goals from Luis Diaz and Zardes.
Columbus Crew 2 CF Monterrey 1 (crew advance 4-3 total)

Thomas Babcock

The quality of MLS versus Liga MX in the Champions League has certainly improved over the years and the first leg of that game was a perfect example of the exciting 2-2 draw in Columbus. If we move to Mexico, a big mistake for the crew will be the absence of Lucas Zelarayan due to the accumulation of yellow cards (I won’t go into how soft that was). This is a huge mistake for the crew, who must either win or have a tie where they will score at least three goals to advance to the next round.

Pedro Santos will most likely take Zelarayan’s place in midfield and is a great option for Columbus. Another player in question is Gyasi Zardes, who dislocated his shoulder in the first leg and may not play tonight. It is important for Monterrey to know that they did not have their strongest team in Columbus. Make no mistake, it will be a tough game to win. I want to be wrong here and don’t doubt the passion and heart of this crew team, but I think the first leg was the opportunity to really put Monterrey under pressure and the opportunity has passed.
CF Monterrey 2 Columbus Crew 1 (Monterrey advances 4-3 total)

Patrick Murphy

The crew will certainly have a tough job on Wednesday evening in Mexico. Had Columbus held the late 2-1 lead at the historic Crew Stadium, I would have felt that Black & Gold would have a much better chance of advancing in this race.

All the crew has to do is win in Monterrey. Of course, that’s easier said than done, especially when Lucas Zelarayan is serving his game suspension. Apart from number 10, I expected a strong line-up from Columbus.

For me this game depends on the balance of the visitors. They have to defend just as well as they did in the MLS game this year while still finding ways to bring some numbers up. As long as the game stays 0-0, there can be no panic if Black & Gold throws too many players forward and is caught without enough residue.

Unfortunately, I think Monterrey is too much for the crew. Another goal in the first half allows Rayados to take control of the game and advance to the semi-finals.
CF Monterrey 1 Columbus Crew 0 (Monterrey advances 3-2 overall)

You saw our result predictions. Now let us know in the comments section below how you think this game is performing.