Competition: Major League Soccer – New England Revolution vs Montreal Impact
Venue: Gillette Stadium – Saturday, March 21 – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT )
Match Odds: New England Revolution 17/20 – Draw 5/2 – Montreal Impact 16/5
The Revs have had a poor start to the season with two defeats from two games, and they find themselves rooted to the foot of the Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield standings.
Montreal Impact have only played one MLS game so far and that ended in a 1-0 defeat away at DC United on March 7, however they are in with a great chance of reaching the CONCACAF Champions League final after a 2-0 semifinal first-leg win over Alajuelense on Wednesday thanks to goals from Ignacio Piatti and Victor Cabrera.Embed from Getty Images
The strong form the Impact have shown in that competition will fill them with confidence and they will be hoping to pounce on New England’s slow start on Saturday night.
Frank Klopas has only had two days to recover and prepare his Montreal side following their midweek victory, and a trip to New England could take its toll, so he will be hoping fatigue doesn’t affect their performance on the day.
New England have failed to score in their opening two games for the second consecutive season and they’re experiencing a case of déjà vu as their stats read as played two, lost two, scored none, conceded five – the exact same situation they were in one year ago.Embed from Getty Images
Although it’s obviously a major disappointment for head coach Jay Heaps, he knows how much quality the Revs have in their squad and will point to last season as an example of what can be achieved despite being slow out of the blocks.
The absence of Jermaine Jones has been a clear problem, but once he returns they will be fully confident of turning it around in the long term. In the short term, this game presents the perfect opportunity to kick-start the 2015 campaign.
The head-to-head record between these two Eastern Conference sides in MLS is very tight with New England coming out on top in three of the previous eight encounters compared to Montreal’s four victories, while the most recent clash ended in a 2-2 draw back in October 2014.
New England Revolution’s defensive mainstay Jose Goncalves will miss the game through suspension following his red card against New York City last time out. The Revs are still without the injured Jermaine Jones and Teal Bunbury is also a doubt as he recovers from a shoulder injury. Defenders Kevin Alston (hamstring) and Donnie Smith (groin) are both unavailable.Embed from Getty Images
Montreal impact will be without midfielder Andres Romero and defender Adrian Lopez. Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau is unavailable due to a shoulder problem and Justin Mapp remains a long term absentee with an elbow injury.
New England Revolution’s form: L/L
Montreal Impact’s form: L
Key Stat: New England Revolution failed to score in the opening three games of the 2014 season and history is on course to repeat itself unless they can pull themselves together here.
Key Player: Lee Nguyen – He is the playmaker for the Revs and he really hasn’t got going yet. If he can start performing to the best of his ability then the results will come.Embed from Getty Images
New England Revolution 1-1 Montreal Impact – Both sides will desperate for their first point of the new season and we could see a tightly contested affair.