Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire
Stade Saputo – Wednesday August 16 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Montreal 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – Chicago 2/1
Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Preview
That result moved the Impact up to seventh in the East and five points behind Atlanta in the final playoff spot. Montreal have won three of their last five MLS games and have picked up form at the perfect time.
Mauro Biello’s side weren’t expected to make the top six after an underwhelming season. But their recent performances will have lifted the mood around the club. Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili have been standout performers and could yet lead the Canadian side into their third-straight playoffs.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 13, 2017
Chicago Fire were having an incredible season. But a recent dip in form has seen their hopes of winning a first Supporters’ Shield since 2003 fade. Saturday’s 3-1 loss at the Columbus Crew was their third in their last four games.
The Fire still have 11 games to play but they are six points behind Toronto FC coming into Wednesday’s match.
A win in Montreal would put them straight back into contention and would see them move back into second, ahead of NYCFC. But a loss would put their credentials into serious jeopardy. The likes of the Red Bulls, Columbus and Atlanta are all close behind, so Chicago can’t afford many slip-ups.
Veljko Paunovic’s men haven’t kept a clean sheet in five outings. But Chicago know that they still have the tools to hurt any team. They won 3-0 at Montreal last season and a repeat result would settle any nerves starting to creep in.
The reverse fixture this season ended 2-2 a Toyota Park back in April. Both sides had a man sent off on that day, and both scored in stoppage time in a dramatic clash. Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla looked to have won it for the Impact in the 90th minute. But Luis Solignac ensured the points would be shared as he equalised in the 93rd minute.
Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Team News
Ambroise Oyongo is still Montreal’s only injury absentee. Mauro Biello would probably like to name an unchanged side but he does have Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake to consider as well.
Chicago Fire boss still has four players sidelined through injury. John Goossens, Jorge Bava, Brandon Vincent and Daniel Johnson are all out. Michael Harrington is a doubt as he’s been struggling with illness. Juninho has recovered from a knee injury and should be in line to start.
Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Key Points
Montreal Impact’s last five: W/L/L/W/W
Chicago Fire’s last five: D/L/L/W/L
Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won five of their last six home matches in MLS. They’ve outscored their opponents 12-5 in that time.
Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The fact is, Montreal are a better side when Piatti is in the team. The Argentine playmaker leads the team with ten goals, despite starting just 15 games this season. He has two goals and an assist in his last two outings and will look to keep his strong form going here.
Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Prediction
Montreal Impact 2-1 Chicago Fire – This isn’t an easy game to call. Yes the Fire are out of form. Yes, they’ve been leaking goals. But they are still one of the East’s most well-rounded sides. However, Montreal are on a roll. They are looking for a third consecutive win and confidence seems to be growing with each game. If Piatti and Dzemaili are on song, they could once again prove the difference.