Montreal Impact will look to protect their home field once again when they welcome Orlando City to Stade Saputo on Saturday. This will be the clubs’ second meeting of the season, with the Impact winning the first by three goals to one in Florida.
This game is actually the perfect scenario for Montreal Impact. They have just come off their first win in a while and are looking to build momentum. Orlando having struggled recently, losing four of their last five is the ideal opponent. Like Montreal, they are also a team that doesn't score enough goals; even with the addition of Nani they have not found their offensive rhythm yet this season.
This gives the Impact an excellent opportunity to tighten their grip on an Eastern Conference play-off spot. It is now time for the offense that showed life last match, to explode. If the Impact are calm under pressure and clinical with the chances that come their way, they should come out on top. Currently a top three seed in the East, in Orlando they face a bottom three team from the same division, at home; the type of game Impact must win if they are to be taken seriously.
However not all news is good news. Per TSN - Montreal forward Ignacio Piatti is expected to be out 2-3 months with a knee injury. This is heartbreaking not only for the team, but also for the player.
But it does provide an opportunity for the other front men in the squad to step up and gain some confidence. Whether they rise to the challenge and get the job done is the big question.
Will Piatti`s absence afect the Impact`s ability to secure a playoff spot?
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Sure to get a hot welcome from the Montreal faithful is Dom Dwyer, and maybe less so, Luis Nani, after their involvement in the incident that brought a red card for Zakaria Diallo in the dying moments of the previous meeting in Orlando.
Dwyer also has a sterling scoring record against Montreal, another reason why his presence should attract attention.
The Englishman’s scoring rate may have slowed somewhat, but he remains a player Montreal must monitor closely.
Line-ups (Projected) -
IMFC - Bush - Sagna, Raitala, Diallo, Lovitz - Shome, Piette, Taider - Browne, Urruti, Olwonkwo
OCSC - Rowe - Ryan, Sane, Jansen, Joao Mourinho - Higuita, Mendez, Johnson - Akindele, Nani, Mueller.
Referee: Christopher Penso
Assistant Referees: Brian Poeschel, Philippe Briere
4th Official: Marcos DeOliveira
VAR: Geoff Gamble