MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: DC United vs Montreal Impact

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Knockout Round) – DC United vs Montreal Impact

Venue: RFK Stadium – Thursday, October 27th – 19:30 ET (00:30 GMT)

Match Odds: DC United 21/20 – Draw 12/5 – Montreal Impact 12/5

Match Preview

DC United welcome Montreal Impact to RFK Stadium on Thursday evening in the first round of the playoffs with a place in the semifinal looming.

DC come into the tie on an incredible run of home form. They haven’t lost in nine at RFK and have won their last four on the bounce there.

However, Ben Olsen will have his side fully aware that form isn’t everything heading into this game and will be the first to remind his players they conceded four times in their last game of the regular season.

DC haven’t beaten Montreal in their last three attempts in all competitions, so there is work to be done for them to overturn that run of form.

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Montreal Impact have won just two of their last eight games ahead of this knockout round. There have been problems ongoing off the field with Didier Drogba, so a win in this one would bring a huge amount of pleasure to Mauro Biello.

Impact finished the regular season in 5th place, but they suffered a heavy 3-0 final day defeat to New England.

Biello rested a couple of key faces in that tie, most notably Ignacio Piatti, who has been their standout player this season. A lot rides on the Argentine’s shoulders but he is a man who has oozed confidence for the whole of the 2016 campaign.

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Team News

DC United have six injury concerns heading into the playoffs as Chris Korb, Chris Rolfe and Charlie Horton are all expected to be out, while there are still questions over the inclusion of Kofi Opare, Sean Franklin and Marcelo Sarvas.

Andres Romero remains Montreal Impact’s only injury concern. It remains to be seen whether Didier Drogba will return to the side following his soap opera saga in the last few weeks.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s form: L/W/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United are unbeaten in their last nine home games and have won their last four on the bounce at RFK Stadium.

Key Player: Bill Hamid – The DC ‘keeper will need to be at his best to shut out a Montreal side with plenty of attacking threat.

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Score Prediction

DC United 2-1 Montreal Impact – DC United to make the most of their incredible home form and progress to the semifinals. Montreal Impact have won just two of their last 13 away games and this one looks like it will a step too far for them.

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MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Western Conference Knockout Round) – LA Galaxy vs. Real Salt Lake

Venue: StubHub Center – Wednesday, October 25 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 8/11 – Draw 5/2 – RSL 15/4

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Real Salt Lake to StubHub Center on Wednesday night in a Western Conference Knockout Round tie, with a place in the semifinal up for grabs.

The Galaxy will be looking to make home advantage count and secure their place in the next round. They come into the tie having drawn with Dallas on Decision Day, a solid result considering how many players Bruce Arena rested.

LA will at least be looking to go one better than they did in the 2015 playoffs and advance through this stage, but they know this won’t be an easy tie.

Galaxy were unbeaten against Real Salt Lake in the regular season, with the meeting at StubHub Center ending 5-2.

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Real Salt Lake come into the playoffs off the back of a poor run of form. They were forunate results went their way on the final round of fixtures, otherwise they may not have made the knockout rounds.

This is a huge chance for Salt Lake to put a disappointing end to the regular season behind them. While form is important, knockout rounds are a completely different game and Jeff Cassar has to ensure his players are ready to give their all.

RSL didn’t make the 2015 playoffs, so there is an added incentive to do well and prove to any doubters that they deserve to have made it this time around. This is also a chance for Salt Lake to put to bed a run of four consecutive losses away to LA.

Seattle Sounders vs Real Salt Lake - RSL Celebrate

Team News

LA Galaxy will be without Gyasi Zardes and Steven Gerrard. Robbie Keane could return after he has been in full training this week. Arena did rest a few of his key faces at the weekend and they will more than likely return to the starting XI here.

Real Salt Lake could be missing three here as Emery Welshman, Aaron Maund and Jeff Attinella are all expected to be unavailable for this crucial knockout tie.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/L/W/D

Real Salt Lake’s last five: L/D/L/D/L

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake haven’t won in their last seven games.

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican was Galaxy’s highest scorer in the regular season with 14 goals. He was rested at the weekend and will be looking to make a huge impact and fire his side into the next round here.

Giovani dos Santos, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 Real Salt Lake – LA Galaxy to progress and leave Real Salt Lake heartbroken. This tie has the makings of a comfortable Galaxy win, but RSL aren’t going to make things easy, expect two sides to give everything to eliminate one another.