Competition: CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal First-Leg
Venue: Estadio Hidalgo – Tuesday, February 25 – 10:00PM ET (03:00AM Wednesday, 26 GMT)
Match Odds: Pachuca 1/3 – Draw 7/2 – Montreal Impact 15/2
The CONCACAF Champions League returns this week after a four month break. Montreal Impact are one of the two remaining Major League Soccer sides in the competition and they take on Mexican club Pachuca in the first-leg of their quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
Montreal are the fourth seed of the remaining eight teams in the CCL and take on fifth seed Pachuca at the Estadio Hidalgo before the return leg in Canada next week.
A lot has changed in the competition’s four month break and the Impact go into the game with the disadvantage of not having played a competitive game since their final MLS regular season match against DC United on October 25.
Montreal have seen several changes to their roster over the course of the offseason and have been in good form this preseason, losing one and winning three games – two of those wins saw Montreal seal a 6-0 victory.
Marco Di Vaio scored four of Montreal’s six goals in the group stages of the competition but the Italian striker has since retired and the Impact need to ensure they remain in the tie ahead of the home leg next Tuesday.
Pachuca scored 17 goals in their four group stage games and are currently tenth in the Liga MX table after seven games of the new season.
They come into the game unbeaten in three and claimed a 2-1 win against Leon on Sunday in front of their own fans.
This will be a real test for the Montreal Impact and they must ensure they have a chance of advancing to the semifinals in next week’s second-leg by coming away from Pachuca with a positive result.
Pachuca’s form in the CCL: W/W/W/L
Montreal Impact’s form in the CCL: W/W/W/D
Key Stat: Pachuca have not kept a clean sheet in any of their seven league games this season or in any of their four CCL games in this year’s competition.
Key Player: Erick Gutierrez –The 19-year-old midfielder has scored two in Pachuca’s last three in the league and is in fine form coming into the game.
Score Prediction: Pachuca 2-1 Montreal Impact – The lack of competitive action could cost Montreal in this game but they will remain in the tie ahead of the return leg next week.