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MLS CUP FINAL

Columbus Crew - LAFC: possible lineups for the MLS Cup Final 2023

Here’s how we think both teams will line up for the MLS Cup Final at Lower.com Field.

Update:
Here’s how we think both teams will line up for the MLS Cup Final at Lower.com Field.
John David MercerUSA TODAY Sports via Reuters Con

Tick, tock. Tick, tock. The wait is almost over for of the game between LAFC and Columbus Crew (4PM ET / 1PM PT) with the title of best team in the United States on the line. With MLS Cup trophy on offer, a prize that every soccer fan in the US dreams of, we take a look at how both teams might line up for the showpiece event at Lower.com Field on Saturday 9 December.

Follow Columbus Crew - LAFC live online: MLS Cup Final 2023 | Score, stats and updates.

LAFC come into the game as reigning champions and with a good vein of form behind them, having beaten Seattle Sounders and Houston Dynamo on their way to the final. Columbus Crew, on the other hand, have the weight and expectation of history accompanying them, having won the trophy twice before. Playing sublime football at times, they are the slight favourites ahead of the opening whistle.

LAFC’s fabulous form

LAFC come into the game in a fantastic run of form: they are unbeaten in 7 in all competitions and have not lost for 6 consecutive away games: in those ties away from home, they have not been scored against in 4. They also failed to concede a goal in any of their Conference Playoff games.

Steve Cherundolo, who has now led his side to the MLS Cup Final in his first two seasons as manager, swept aside Houston Dynamo in the semi-finals with what many claim to be his strongest starting XI possible. Given the fact that there are no new injury concerns for his side, we expect much of the same from the coach in the MLS Cup Final.

Carlos Vela considers salary cut to secure LAFC extension
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Carlos Vela's contract ends later this month but head coach Steve Cherundolo said that he wants to keep the 34-year-old at the club.Armando ArorizoEFE

Columbus Crew have history - and drama - on their side

As for Columbus Crew, their route to the all-or-nothing game was indescribably more dramatic, coming back against Supporters’ Shield holders FC Cincinnati, eventually winning 3-2 and becoming the first away side in the history of the MLS Cup playoffs to overcome a two-goal deficit and get through from a single-leg round.

The game on Saturday will be Columbus Crew’s fourth appearance in the MLS Cup Final and the third time they host the event. Their record full of ups and downs: the side claimed their first ever MLS Cup trophy in 2008 after beating New York Red Bulls 3-1; their second final appearance was a 2-1 loss at home to the Portland Timbers in 2015 but in 2020 they crushed the Seattle Sounders 3-0 in Columbus.

The Crew go into the game unbeaten in 14 successive MLS encounters at Lower.com Field, losing only once there all year (2-1 vs Inter Miami).

Predicted MLS Cup Final 2023 starting XIs:

LAFC predicted line-up [4-3-3-]:

GK: Crepeau

DEF: Hollingshead - Murillo - Chiellini - Palacios

MID: Tillman - Sánchez - Acosta

ATT: Olivera - Vela - Bouanga

Columbus Crew predicted starting lineup [3-4-3]:

GK: Schulte

DEF: Moreira - Camacho - Amundsen

MID: Farsi - Nagbe - Morris - Yeboah

ATT: Matan - Rossi - Hernandez

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