Houston Dynamo are without 3 key players due to international duty, with Quioto, Elis and Boniek Garcia all unavailable. The hosts should name the same defensive unit, with Machado and Leonardo the main centre back pairing. Cabezas will sit in front of the defence, whilst Alex provides creativity from deep. Going forward, Torres will look to use his movement to get on the shoulder of defenders. Despite going 4 league games without a win, Houston will be confident of getting a win at home. The hosts have played 9 matches at BBVA Compass Stadium this season and are yet to taste defeat, the home supporters create a great atmosphere which lifts the players. Anything less than a win would be disappointing for the hosts going into a 2 week break and with a tough away schedule on the horizon. 4-3-3 is the formation preferred by coach Cabrera and Houston like to use the transitions and have the pace to turn defence into attack in an instant. Scoring first would allow the hosts to maintain this approach, sitting deep and forcing the opponents to take risks. Houston have scored in every home league game this season, which should be a source of comfort if they fall behind.
Montreal Impact could name the same team which secured a much-needed victory just days earlier. Piatti remains a big doubt because of injury, whilst Bernier and Jackson-Hamel are away on international duty. Montreal changed to a 4 man defence which worked well, with Fisher picked ahead of Cabrera. Montreal will have pace on both wings, Dzemaili has provided creativity in midfield to find the runs. The visitors ended a 3 game winless run in the last match which lifted the spirits of both the players and coach Biello. The visitors are determined to build on this win and are motivated to end the unbeaten home record of their opponents. Montreal have conceded 7 goals in their last 2 away matches, which has affected the confidence of the team on the road. A win would be significant. Montreal will rely on the counter attack for this match. Expect the visitors to defend deep without the ball, inviting the hosts forward and using the transitions to create chances. If Montreal take the lead they will aim to protect the result and could change shape to a 5 man defence. The longer the game remains level the more likely the visitors accept a draw and take few risks to win the game.
Verdict & Prediction
Houston Dynamo are without a win in 4 league games, which has seen the side drop down the table in recent weeks. The hosts are playing with less confidence, with away form a concern. The poor results on the road are placing pressure on Houston winning their home matches. A win would be a relief. The hosts will take comfort from their record at BBVA Compass Stadium this season. In 9 home league games, Houston are still yet to suffer defeat. The fans create a great atmosphere for the players to perform, with the players speaking openly about how excited they get playing in front of own fans. A win will be the aim for Houston, who face an opponent who have struggled for long spells this season. Houston are looking to recapture the form shown in the earlier stages of the season, playing at home is a big advantage with Houston yet to lose in front of their own supporters in 2017.
Prediction: Houston Dynamo -0.75 Asian Handicap
Odds: 1.83 Pinnacle
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