These two teams only met for the first time in a U.S. Open Cup tie five years ago, but the Hell is Real Derby is already one of the league’s fiercest rivalries.
Cincinnati have only won one of the eight MLS encounters, with Columbus winning both of the last two, including a 2-0 victory at Lower.com Field in July.
Right now, it’s the Crew who are two places above their Ohio neighbours, occupying the final Eastern Conference play-off place.
Although, the Black and Gold were held to a 2-2 draw by Atalanta United last weekend, with Cucho Hernández scoring twice in just six minutes.
The Colombian is just the fifth player in MLS history to score eight goals from his first eight appearance.
The others are Adama Diomande, Juan Pablo Ángel, Giovanni Savarese and Didier Drogba.
More importantly, Caleb Porter’s team have only lost one of their last 13, meaning the 2020 MLS Cup winners are, just, in a play-off spot.
FC Cincinnati meantime have only ever finished rock bottom of the overall standings, but would leapfrog their rivals with a victory here.
The Orange and Blue drew 1-1 with New York at Red Bull Arena last weekend, taking the lead through Matt Miazga, against the club he represented from aged 14 until 20.
So, Pat Noonan’s team have now drawn nine of their last 12, the first team to endure this many stalemates in a 12-game period since Chicago 11 years ago.
So, with eight regular season games to go, Cincinnati need wins if they’re to get into the play-offs for the first time ever.
Who will claim three points and Hell is Real bragging rights at TQL Stadium?