Montreal Impact vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC | 2017 Can. Champ. Match Preview
Montreal Impact vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
2017 Canadian Championship Semifinals, 2nd Leg
Stade Saputo - Montreal, Quebec
Tuesday, May 30 - 7:30 p.m. ET
WATCH: TSN in Canada
Vancouver Whitecaps FC may have the advantage in their Canadian Championship semifinals series, but the Montreal Impact should be feeling good about their chances of turning it around. The Impact should also be feeling quite fresh.
The Whitecaps defeated the Impact, 2-1, at BC Place in last week's first leg, but head into this second meeting on Tuesday on short rest. Vancouver played an MLS match over the weekend -- which they frustratingly lost to D.C. United via a controversial penalty kick -- while Montreal were fortunate enough to have a bye week.
Dealing with such a short turnaround will be quite a challenge for the Whitecaps, especially since the well-rested Impact will be pushed on by their supporters at Stade Saputo. What's more is that Montreal are in a decent spot on aggregate after scoring an away goal, meaning that one tally at home would suffice to push them into the finals so long as they keep Vancouver off the board.
Head coach Mauro Biello will likely make some changes to the lineup that lost to a reserve-filled Whitecaps side playing in an unconventional formation last week. Among them could be the insertions of star midfielders Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili, both of whom did not dress for the Impact in the first leg.
Patrice Bernier could also get the nod, in the Montreal midfield, after being used as a substitute in Vancouver. His veteran leadership could come in handy, especially since the Impact have to try and score while attempting to limit the Whitecaps' speedy attackers from inflicting damage on the counter.
- Suspended: None
- Int’l Duty: None
- Injury Report: OUT: M - Shamit Shome (foot injury), M - Andres Romero (hamstring injury), D - Victor Cabrera (ankle injury), F - Matteo Mancosu (thigh injury 4/29, out 6-8 weeks)
Projected Starting XI (4-3-3): Maxime Crepeau — Chris Duvall, Laurent Ciman, Hassoun Camara, Daniel Lovitz — Adrian Arregui, Blerim Dzemaili, Patrice Bernier — Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla, Dominic Oduro, Ignacio Piatti
Notes: The Impact have not reached the Canadian Championship final since 2015, when they lost to Whitecaps.
The Whitecaps lost the possession battle at home by a 60-40 margin last Tuesday, but still managed to prevail with a reserve-filled team. While Vancouver would surely likely to do a better job of keeping the ball with more of their regulars in this decisive leg, their tired legs might not allow them to. That is why it is likely that they take a defensive approach against the Impact, prioritizing throwing numbers behind the ball and attempting to hit quickly on counterattacks when possible.
Head coach Carl Robinson has more than just strategy to mull over. With his side having played in Vancouver and traveled to Montreal in the last few days, Robinson needs to figure out if first-choice players like Fredy Montero are ready to go 90 minutes or if they need to be replaced in order to best protect the advantage the Whitecaps currently have on aggregate.
- Suspended: None.
- International duty: None.
- Injury report: OUT: D Brett Levis (ACL tear), M Yordy Reyna (foot surgery), D David Edgar (PCL, MCL tear), F Erik Hurtado (left foot contusion), D Christian Dean (foot injury), F Bernie Ibini (right hamstring strain)
Probable Starting XI (4-1-4-1): David Ousted — Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Marcel de Jong — Ben McKendry — Cristian Techera, Mauro Rosales, Russell Teibert, Alphonso Davies — Fredy Montero
Notes: The Whitecaps have reached the finals of the competition during each of the past two years. They finished as runners-up to Toronto FC in 2016, and won the tournament by topping the Impact prior to that.
The Whitecaps have had the edge when these two clubs have met in the Canadian Championship. With last week's result, Vancouver have two victories all-time over Montreal in the tournament. The Impact are yet to beat the Whitecaps in the competition.
- Overall: Impact 0 wins, 5 goals; Whitecaps 2 wins, 8 goals; 3 draws.
- In Montreal: Impact 0 wins, 2 goals; Whitecaps 0 wins, 2 goals; 2 draws