MLS Preview and Prediction: Toronto vs Montreal Impact

Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto vs. Montreal Impact

Venue: BMO Field – Wednesday, June 24 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST – Thursday, June 25)

Match Odds: Toronto 5/6 – Draw 11/4 – Montreal Impact 3/1

Match Preview

Toronto FC and Montreal Impact clash in a crucial MLS Canadian derby at BMO Field on Wednesday night.

Toronto come into the 401 derby following an extremely disappointing 2-0 home defeat to New York City at the weekend, which marked their first loss in five games.

Greg Vanney’s side had previously won three on the bounce and they currently sit fourth in the Eastern Conference with 19 points from their opening 13 games.

The Reds also have numerous games in hand on the teams above them, so they’re in a good spot as it stands and a win over their Canadian rivals could lift them into third depending on other results.

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Montreal Impact will arrive in high spirits after an impressive 2-0 win against Orlando City last time out and have won five of their last seven games.

The Impact secured a first MLS away win since September 2013 when they beat the Columbus Crew 2-1 on June 6, so that’s a burden they will be happy to have off their back and should give them a real incentive to believe they can win the derby.

Frank Klopas’ side are fifth in the Eastern Conference with 17 points from 12 games and will leapfrog Toronto with a victory as their challenge for a playoff spot this season is in good shape.

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The last MLS meeting between the two sides was a 1-1 draw back in October 2014. They most recently met in the 2015 Canadian Championship with the Impact winning the first leg 1-0 and Toronto winning the second leg 3-2 as Montreal progressed on away goals.

Team News

Toronto’s Clement Simonin (knee), Steven Caldwell (achilles), Mark Bloom (leg) and Daniel Lovitz (knee) are all out injured.

Montreal Impact will be without the injured Adrian Lopez (knee), Justin Mapp (elbow), Cameron Porter (knee) and Kenny Cooper (knee). There’s also doubts over the fitness of Hassoun Camara (knee) and Eric Miller (hamstring).

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Key Points

Toronto’s last five in MLS: D/W/W/W/L

Montreal Impact’s last five in MLS: L/W/W/L/W

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have failed to win 27 of their last 28 away matches in MLS (D7, L20). The Impact have also never beaten Toronto away from home.

Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Italian has been a revelation so far and if ever there is a game that the Toronto fans want see him provide the goods, then this is it. He could make the difference as he has done so many times this season already.

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Score Prediction

Toronto 2-2 Montreal Impact – This is a clash that has the potential to be a fascinating watch. And it’s likely it will be, as both sides will hopefully serve up an entertaining affair that should provide us with goals.

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Montreal Impact new signing Eric Alexander says players “have to push” each other

Midfielder Eric Alexander has recently joined Montreal Impact following two successful seasons at New York Red Bulls and has already spoken positively of how the team can improve.

When speaking to his new club’s YouTube channel this week, he said, “competition is always good in positions and it brings out the best in players. There are a lot of good players here, especially in the middle so it’s going to be tough but I think it’s going to be good for the club overall because we’re going to have to push each other.”

He also added that he hopes to bring “competitiveness” into positions where he may be playing and will “push” his teammates in order to try and “make everybody better.”

Eric Alexander is an experienced MLS player and has also had spells with FC Dallas and Portland Timbers before his time in New York.

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Settling in at a new club can sometimes be a daunting prospect, even for the most decorated professional players, but it isn’t something that fazes the 26-year-old.

“It’s my fourth team in six years so being traded is nothing new. You always know it can happen, but I’m pretty excited to be here and I’m looking forward to getting started.”

Alexander sees his strongest position as a central ‘box-to-box’ midfielder and said, “my better stretch of games came last year when I played in the middle, I think that’s my more natural position, but I don’t mind playing out wide at all. I’m not your typical winger but I still feel I can contribute.”

How important will Eric Alexander be for Montreal Impact in the 2015 MLS season?