The hosts are the reigning champions of the Liga Primera de Nicaragua and have just two wins in their last five outings.
Columbus Crew lifted the MLS Cup in December and haven't played a competitive fixture since their 3-0 win over Seattle Sounders.
Real Esteli vs Columbus Crew Head-to-Head
The two clubs have never faced each other. This will be the first time The Crew will be taking on a Nicaraguan side in a competitive fixture.
Real Esteli form guide in Liga Primera de Nicaragua: L-W-D-D-W
Columbus Crew form guide (friendlies): L-L-L-L
Real Esteli vs Columbus Crew Team News
The hosts will have a full-strength squad for the first leg fixture. There were no fresh injury or suspension concerns for them heading into the game.
The visitors have some injury concerns for this first leg fixture. Midfielder Artur has been ruled out on account of a hernia injury. Darlington Nagbe will likely fill in for the influential midfielder.
Milton Valenzuela has not featured in the friendlies and is a doubt for this fixture. Kevin Molino has been dealing with a hamstring issue but featured in the latest friendly fixture against Orlando City.
Alexandru Matan has been ruled out of the first leg as his signing is not officially complete.
Injured: Artur, Milton Valenzuela
Doubtful: Kevin Molino
Unavailable: Alexandru Matan
Real Esteli vs Columbus Crew Predicted XI
Real Esteli Predicted XI (4-4-2): Álvaro Gabriel Rezzano; Oscar López, Rodrigo Bronzatti, Oscar Acevedo, Manuel Rosas; Harold Medina, Niko Kata, Juan Barrera, Francisco Esteban Paz; Jorge Betancur, Edgar Josué Castillo Bellorin
Columbus Crew Predicted XI (4-2-3-1): Andrew Tarbell; Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Josh Williams, Aboubacar Keita; Darlington Nagbe, Perry Kitchen; Derrick Etienne, Lucas Zelarayan, Pedro Santos; Gyasi Zardes
Real Esteli vs Columbus Crew Prediction
Columbus Crew have not won a game since their victory in the MLS final. Some of their key players were busy with international duty and missed their friendly games. This game provides Crew with an opportunity to return to winning ways in style.
Real Esteli have just two wins in their last five outings and lost their latest game against Real Madriz at home. It is difficult to predict the outcome of this game as both clubs have produced inconsistent results in their recent outings.
Columbus Crew are the better side on paper and should be able to record a win here.
Prediction: Real Esteli 0-2 Columbus Crew