Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: Stade Saputo – Saturday, August 6 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST – Live on SS1)
Match Odds: Montreal Impact 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Houston Dynamo 16/5
Montreal Impact host Houston Dynamo on Saturday night in a battle between teams experiencing contrasting seasons. It should be an entertaining fixture as both sides have won only once in their last five and so there is all to play for here.
Montreal currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, with hopes still very much intact of earning an automatic place in the Conference semifinals of the playoffs at the end of the season.
Despite their league position, their form is currently preventing what could be an easier task. Winning one of their last five, coupled with the absence of Didier Drogba means Saturday night could be a difficult fixture for the Impact.
Houston, meanwhile, are stuck at the bottom of the Western Conference and to put it bluntly, deserve to be there. The club has struggled over the last two years and the departure of manager Owen Coyle mid-season wasn’t going to aid their efforts in making a surge up the standings.
Wade Barrett has come in and so far steadied a sinking ship but there is a lot of work to do to get this franchise back to the level it should be at. The club traded former captain Giles Barnes to Vancouver last week and so their strike force is all the weaker for it.
The project at Houston has halted for the moment. Let’s hope they find stability and success sooner rather than later.
This will be the 12th all-time meeting between the two sides and their only clash this season. Houston won last year’s contest 3-0 and are looking to record a third-straight win over Saturday’s opponents.
Montreal Impact are only without two players through injury as Andres Romero and Wandrille Lefevre will miss the clash. However, star man Didier Drogba is suspended following his red card last weekend, so Dominic Oduro is expected to start in his place.
Houston Dynamo are definitely without DaMarcus Beasley and Tyler Deric through injury. Raul Rodriguez and Agus are both doubts but are fighting to be fit in time for Saturday’s contest.
Montreal Impact’s last five: D/D/L/W/D
Houston Dynamo’s last five: W/D/L/D/D
Key Stat: Houston haven’t won away in MLS since July 2015 – a stretch of 19 matches.
Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – Montreal’s creator has been sensational thus far this season and will have to step up once more in Drogba’s absence. He has the quality to change a game in a flash and will relish the prospect of facing a Dynamo defence that has only kept one away clean sheet all season.
Montreal Impact 3-0 Houston Dynamo – Montreal are in the playoff places for a reason and have an abundance of creative talent. We expect them to dispose of Houston easily on Saturday, even without star striker Didier Drogba. Houston can’t seem to buy a win away from home and their luck doesn’t look likely to change here.