2. Franco Escobar
Franco Escobar is going to be a very key player to watch this Sunday. Escobar should be fresh and well-rested. He is coming off a one-game suspension for yellow card accumulation, plus the team’s weekend off from league action.
Escobar was missed against Toronto in Atlanta’s last match. Although Jeff Larentowicz did a decent job in the backline, the team’s formation had to change because of Escobar’s absence. With Escobar most likely starting on Sunday, the team can switch back to its preferred 4-2-3-1, instead of the 3-5-2.
Escobar’s defensive skills will be important this weekend, especially on the wing. Justin Meram rejoined the Crew just a couple of weeks ago. His sole purpose is to provide Columbus with production on the wing. If Escobar is playing well, that won’t happen on Sunday. He will have to shut down Meram or Atlanta is going to have a difficult time leaving the stadium with all three points.