Montreal is coming off back-to-back MLS wins at home including the most recent 5-0 drubbing of Houston which put them back at the top of the eastern conference standings for the first time since early July.
And with those two wins, it now appears that perhaps for the first time this season the team has found a real balance between attack, defense and personnel on the field.
Playing a 4-4-1-1 with identically starting XI for two consecutive games hasn't happened since the away victories at the beginning of the season against Seattle and Portland. A rarity it would seem for Montreal.
However, in this league, champions are measured on how well they perform away from home. It's just the way it is. And with 10 games remaining, only 4 of them are in Montreal, at Stade Saputo.
If the Impact intends to make the playoffs, they'll have to do so by playing better than they've done all season,away from home. It starts with the 2-game road trip to Philadelphia and New England.
The City of Brotherly Love
The Philadelphia Union currently sits in 3rd place just 3 points behind Montréal, having played 2 additional games. The last meeting between the two teams was on May 25th when Di Vaio bagged a first half hat trick on the way to a 5-3 home win.
With 2 wins from their last 5, the Union will be seeing this match as an opportunity to jump into first place in the East, as much as a platform to push for the playoffs.
The Impact will have to be mindful of Jack McInerney who's sitting on 10 goals this season. He's already scored once against the Impact and will be looking to get on the score sheet once again - with the help of Sebastien Le Toux , no doubt.
On Le Toux's second stint with Philadelphia he's already amassed 12 assists and is on pace to finish the season with 17, a truly staggering number. A striker by trade and name, he's been clinical from the wide midfield areas this season and will give Jeb Brovsky plenty to do all night up and down the flanks.
The midfield pairing of Hernan Bernardello and Patrice Bernier have been sensational together thus far. Expect to see Bernardello put another stellar performance in while Bernier picks his moments (and runs) carefully to move onto the attack.
It'll be interesting to see if Schällibaum - who'll be serving the 2nd and final game suspension for his touchline infraction against DC - decides to change from the 4-4-1-1 after such success at home.
With the team finding good form and chemistry, I wouldn't be surprised to see the same starting XI that faced DC and Houston reprive their roles against Philadelphia come 7:30 on Saturday night at the gorgeous PPL Park.