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Match Preview: Real Salt Lake tasked with tricky tie against Columbus Crew

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Real Salt Lake faces Columbus Crew at Rio Tinto Stadium tonight, and while the match isn't part of the MLS-wide 'Rivalry Week' they're promoting, it's a match that could have a big impact on the Utah side's season.

With their form mixed at best, RSL will be looking to steady the ship and get through a potentially tricky match with an Eastern Conference opponent.

How to watch

Who: Real Salt Lake vs. Columbus Crew

Where: Rio Tinto Stadium; Sandy, Utah

When: 8 p.m. MDT, 10 p.m. Eastern

TV details: KMYU (2.2 over-the-air, 12 satellite, 22 Comcast)

Stream details: MLS Live

Absences and injuries

Suspensions: Javier Morales (red card, appealed but not rescinded), Demar Phillips (red card)

Injuries: Jamison Olave (hip/quad)

International duty: Alvaro Saborio (Costa Rica), Elias Vasquez (Guatemala / visa issue)

Short-term loan: Chris Schuler (Real Monarchs)

Predicted lineup

Rimando; Beltran, Maund, Glad, Mansally; Beckerman, Mulholland, Gil; Plata, Sandoval, Allen

Bench: Attinella; Kavita, Okwuonu, Pecka, Stertzer, Saucedo, Jaime

Potentially available players not on the predicted bench: Lalo Fernandez

Key players

Kyle Beckerman: The captain will be tasked with unifying a mix-and-match squad, and he'll probably also have to shoulder more creative load than is optimal. But he's the leader of this group and he'll want to move forward.

Luis Gil: Having not really been fantastic this season, Gil will need to take this rare opportunity to play in the attacking midfield spot with, as they say, both hands. He's increasingly a reasonable midfielder, but he's still not showing the spark RSL needs.

Jordan Allen: The youngster could be in line for a start after coming on as a substitute on Wednesday, and a good showing for him would serve him well — he'll want to earn more minutes in the coming weeks, but with Sebastian Jaime looking better at times, he might find that hard.