Montreal will have positive feelings coming into the game with NYCFC after going 6 games unbeaten. They’ll know that a positive result will be tougher this weekend though with a weakened side but the self belief in the squad should be enough to see them through to a draw.
They will be without Marco Donadel and Andres Romero through injury whilst both Laurent Ciman and Didier Drogba are likely to be missing as both have knocks. Ignacio Piatti has also been handed a one game ban by the MLS Disciplinary Committee and will miss the game. Evan Bush starts in goal whilst Hassoun Camara will continue at right back after impressing in the absence of Donny Toia. Wandrille Lefevre should keep his place in central defence alongside Victor Cabrera, who is expected to start in place of Ciman. Toia is likely to keep his space at left back but Amroise Oyongo could come into the line up after being rested last weekend. In midfield Kyle Bekker is likely to partner Patrice Bernier with Donadel injured while Harry Shipp should keep his spot in a more advanced role. Dominic Oduro and Michael Salazar are set to come back into the side with Ignacio Piatti injured, with Johan Venegas also dropping to the bench.
Montreal have been lining up with Camara on the right and Toia on the left. Both are fairly attacking full backs, being able to get beyond the opposition defence and get balls into the box. They will need to work hard to pin back the full backs who also like to move forward.The ability of from set pieces is a big plus for the team and he’s played his way into a starting position in recent games. Oduro might need to get higher up the pitch to support Salazar, who is happy to drop deeper to leave space in behind him.
New York City
New York City will come into the game in good spirits despite their loss to Sporting KC last weekend. The result ended a run of four wins in a row and they have cemented their place at the top of the Eastern Conference with some excellent performances in recent weeks.
City have no real first team injury worries but will be without Conor Brandt and Steven Mendoza through injury. There has been further talk this week about Mix Diskerud leaving the club and he is also very unlikely to feature. Josh Saunders will keep his place in goal whilst RJ Allen will switch back to right back allowing Ronald Mataritta to drop back into his natural left back slot. Jefferson Mena and Federic Brillant are expected to play in the centre with Jason Hernandez dropping to the bench. In midfield Andoni Iraola will continue to play as a defensive midfielder with Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard playing either side of him. Jack Harrison should keep his place on the right hand side of midfield after some good performances recently, whilst Tommy McNamara is expected to come back into the side on the left, getting forward in support of David Villa.
Vieira is likely to set the team up to play cautiously as least to begin with. He’ll know an early goal for the opposition could destroy the confidence of his players, so he’ll look to keep things tight for the opening half hour before taking more chances in the final third. The ability of Harrison and McNamara to come back and make a five man midfield could also be vital too, with Montreal looking strong in central midfield and the team could find themselves being overrun at times with Iraola being vital in breaking up the play.
Montreal will have positive feelings coming into the game with NYCFC after going 6 games unbeaten. They’ll know that a positive result will be tougher this weekend though with a weakened side but the self belief in the squad should be enough to see them through to a draw. But on the other side we have New York City, that have performed well away from home so far this year. A fully fit first team squad is also a plus, but the emergence of Harrison will be the biggest confidence booster, with New York City feeling they have the best young player in the league on their hands in the English midfielder. I think NYC have a slight advantage in this match up.
Prediction: New York City + 0.25
Odds: 2.02 Pinnacle