Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Orlando City
Stade Saputo – Saturday, August 5 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Montreal 10/11 – Draw 5/2 – Orlando 14/5
Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Preview
Montreal Impact host Orlando City in a key Eastern Conference battle on Saturday evening. Both sides come into the weekend outside the playoffs. But both know a win could fire them straight back into contention.
Montreal come into Week 22 in 10th place in the East. They are closer to DC in last place than they are to Columbus in 6th, highlighting how tough a year it’s been so far for the Canadian side.
The upside for the Impact right now is that they’ve played 20 games. That’s the fewest in the conference and means a win over Orlando on Saturday would leave them three points behind the Lions with two games in hand.
But with just one with from their last four MLS outings, it’s tough to see where the Impact’s late season surge towards the playoffs is going to come from.
Orlando City are in a better position coming into the final three months of the season. They are just two points outside the playoffs coming into the weekend and have been boosted by the signing of Dom Dwyer from Sporting Kansas City.
Dwyer’s arrival has injected life back into the Lions’ season. The fans are optimistic and you’d expect them to kick on and make the playoffs for the first time this year. But they must find a way to win road games such as this one if they are to make it.
Orlando are winless in their last three. They were desperately unlucky to concede away at Atlanta in stoppage time last weekend. That Hector Villalba goal stunned them but they must show character and respond with a win here.
With neither side in any kind of strong form, this is a really tough game to call. Both teams have potential match-winners at their disposal. And so this could come down to which stars shine brightest in what should be a hard-fought battle.
Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Team News
Montreal Impact will still be without Ambroise Oyongo, while Victor Cabrera remains doubtful. New signing Samuel Piette should be in line to start after joining the club on Thursday.
Orlando City remain without Rafael Ramos. Kevin Alston is a doubt. Jason Kreis will likely start Dwyer alongside Larin once again as he tries to get the best out of two of Major League Soccer’s most talented strikers.
Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Key Points
Montreal Impact’s last five: W/L/W/L/L
Orlando City’s last five: L/W/L/L/D
Key Stat: Differentials – Montreal Impact are five points worse off than they were at the same stage last season. Orlando City are four points better off than they were at the same point last year.
Key Player: Dom Dwyer – There’s no question that Dwyer will be at the centre of attention again here. The returning Orlando hero kept an incredible summer going with a goal for the MLS All-Stars against Real Madrid on Wednesday. He’ll be desperate to open his tally with the Lions in MLS. And you’d expect him to, given the fact the Impact have the East’s third-worst defensive record.
What a summer Dom Dwyer's had…
✅ Goal on USMNT debut.
✅ Wins Gold Cup.
✅ Record MLS transfer to Orlando.
✅ All-Star goal vs. Real Madrid. pic.twitter.com/8O8DQ6sftw
— MLSGB (@MLSGB_) August 3, 2017
Montreal Impact vs Orlando City: Prediction
Montreal Impact 1-2 Orlando City – This is a really tough one the call. Both sides are in poor form. Both need a win to pick back up. But it’s unclear exactly where the magic spark is going to come from. Dwyer’s signing has left Orlando fans in a better mood than Montreal’s coming into the game. That could well be enough to separate the sides, as the visitors’ attack could be too much if they start to find form.