After playing to a 2-2 draw in Columbus earlier this month, FC Cincinnati and Columbus Crew SC are preparing to do battle again this weekend in Cincinnati.
The game is part of Major League Soccer's "Rivalry Week" and will be nationally televised on Fox Sports 1 at 6 p.m. on Sunday.
"It was a nice game in Columbus and now it's going to be a battle here at home with a full stadium," says FC Cincinnati captain Kendall Waston in a team release. "I know it's going to be packed and everyone is going to be ready and that's going to be a very, very nice environment."
FC Cincinnati began fanning the rivalry flames early in the week, offering discounts on team gear for fans who turned in their old Columbus Crew merchandise. The team is also encouraging fans to wear blue and declaring the game a "blue out."
Prior to the first meeting between the two sides on Aug. 10, the mayors of Columbus and Cincinnati wagered ice cream for their city's respective food banks. After the tie game, Graeters and Jeni's said they both would donate ice cream to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank and the Freestore Foodbank.
Fans early on dubbed the potential of a Cincinnati/Columbus rivalry the "Hell Is Real" derby (pronounced "darby"). It's drawn from a well-known billboard along I-71 between the two cities.