MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: MLS Playoffs (Eastern Conference Semifinal – First Leg) Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Stade Saputo – Sunday, October 30th – 15:00 ET (19:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – Red Bulls 17/10

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome New York Red Bulls to Stade Saputo for the first leg of their Eastern Conference Semifinal clash in the 2016 MLS Cup Playoffs.

This is a huge tie for Montreal, who desperately need to put an end to the Red Bulls’ incredible run of form to give them any chance of reaching the Eastern Conference final.

Mauro Biello will be feeling ecstatic at how his Montreal side demolished DC 4-2 in the Knockout Round on Thursday evening, but he will be slightly frustrated at the way they conceded two very late goals.

The only meeting between these two in Montreal during the regular season ended with a 3-0 win for the Impact. They would definitely take a repeat of that scoreline, but this is going to be a very cagey contest, with both sides looking to ensure there’s still all to play for in the return leg in a week’s time.

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Eastern Conference winners, New York Red Bulls eased past Philadelphia on the final day of the regular season to earn a bye through the Knockout Round. They have had extra time to prepare for this game and should be firing on all cylinders.

Jesse Marsch will have his side pumped and ready to take on Montreal and will be urging them to remember form means nothing when it comes to games as important as this.

The Red Bulls have beaten Impact in their last two meetings, although both of those games were at Red Bull Arena, so they will be expecting a hostile atmosphere here.

If New York keep a clean sheet in this tie you have to fancy them to progress in the second-leg. Montreal know they have to take a lead to Red Bull Arena, so the visitors may well have a slightly more cautious approach this weekend, although an away goal would certainly be a boost.

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Montreal were eliminated from the playoffs last season at this very stage, despite winning their home tie in the first-leg, so they can take nothing for granted against a very strong opponent on Sunday evening.

Team News

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. He sat out of Thursday’s win over DC, with Matteo Mancosu shining up front in the Ivorian’s absence.

New York Red Bulls are expecting to be without four for this tie as Gideon Baah, Connor Lade, Justin Bilyeu and Daniel Royer are all out. Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips will be looking to continue his fine form here.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: W/W/D/L/W

New York Red Bulls’ form: D/W/W/W/W

Key Stat: The Red Bulls are unbeaten in their last 16 MLS outings.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The obvious choice. Montreal Impact need their midfield maestro to be on top form to take a lead into the second leg. He can change a game in a flash and will need to be at his creative best once again here.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 New York Red Bulls – This has the makings of a tight game, as most first legs do. Montreal are going to find the confident Red Bulls difficult to deal with and a draw would be an unsurprising result, but would certainly suit the visitors better.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Montreal Olympic Stadium – Saturday, March 12 – 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 7/5 – Draw 12/5 – New York Red Bulls 15/8

Match Preview

Montreal Impact host New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium for the second game of the 2016 MLS season on Saturday afternoon in an all Eastern Conference clash.

The Impact enjoyed an excellent opening day 3-2 victory away at Canadian rivals Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend, thanks to two goals from Ignacio Piatti and a Dominic Oduro strike.

Mauro Biello will be delighted with the performance of his players, and that win will send out a signal to the rest of the league that Montreal mean business in 2016 and will be out to prove that last year’s surge to the playoffs was no fluke.

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That win at Vancouver also showed that the Impact are more than capable of coping without talisman Didier Drogba who undoubtedly transformed the team towards the end of 2015.

New York Red Bulls suffered a disappointing 2-0 defeat at home to Toronto in their first game and will be looking to bounce back immediately on Saturday.

Despite dominating the play with 63% possession and making 220 more passes than their opponents, the Red Bulls only managed one shot-on-target, with ten off target, which will be a major concern for Jesse Marsch.

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The 2015 Supporters’ Shield winners were the highest goalscorers in MLS last year and will be hoping that their opening day blues were just a case of rustiness and lack of competitive action.

The last meeting between these two sides saw the Red Bulls edge a 2-1 home victory in October 2015, while the last clash in Montreal ended with a 1-1 draw in August 2015.

Team News

Montreal Impact will be without long-term absentee Andres Romero (knee), as well as Patrice Bernier and Cameron Porter (both hamstring). Didier Drogba will also miss the game as he’s struggling with a knee injury and doesn’t want to risk making it worse by playing on artificial turf.

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New York Red Bulls defender Damien Perrinelle remains out (knee), while forward Gonzalo Veron (hamstring) is also struggling with injury. Bradley Wright-Phillips will be hoping to find some form after not even registering a shot last weekend.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s MLS form: W

New York Red Bulls’ MLS form: L

Key Stat: Since Mauro Biello took over as Montreal head coach in August 2015, the Impact have lost just three games in MLS – P15, W10, D2, L3 (including the MLS Cup playoffs).

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Argentinian was inspirational in their away win at Vancouver last weekend, playing a part in all three goals, scoring two and assisting the other. There’s no doubting that the Red Bulls are going to have to work hard to stop Piatti if they want to head home with anything from this game.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-1 New York Red Bulls – Montreal were very impressive against Vancouver, and while the Red Bulls played well in stages in their game, they just couldn’t break Toronto down. They’ll probably get on the scoresheet this time around, but it may not be enough to stop the Impact from making it two wins on the bounce and inflicting consecutive defeats on the 2015 Eastern Conference and Supporters’ Shield winners.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs New York Red Bulls

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. New York Red Bulls

Venue: Stade Saputo – Wednesday, August 5 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Montreal 6/4 – Draw 5/2 – New York Red Bulls 13/8

Match Preview

Montreal Impact host the New York Red Bulls in a key Eastern Conference clash on Wednesday night, with both sides coming into the game in good form.

The Impact beat New York City 3-2 at Yankee Stadium on Saturday night, following up their 1-0 home win over Seattle the week before. They will be looking to win a third straight league game for the first time this year on Wednesday night as they look to move further up the Eastern Conference.

They are now sitting in the final playoff place in sixth place, five points behind the Red Bulls in second with a game in hand, so Wednesday’s game is a big one for both teams.

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The Red Bulls travel to Stade Saputo in fine form themselves after back-to-back away wins for the first time this season. They followed up a 2-0 win at Orlando with a 3-1 road win in Philadelphia last time out and will be high in spirits.

Jesse Marsch will be returning to his former side, as will Karl Ouimette and Felipe Martins, but all three will be looking to bring three points back to New York as they look to remain in second in the East.

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This will be the first meeting between the two this year. New York have a four-game unbeaten league streak alive against Montreal, winning three of the last four MLS matches. Although Montreal won the last home meeting when they met in the CONCACAF Champions League last September.

Team News

Montreal Impact will be without Cameron Porter and Kenny Cooper, while Justin Mapp is a doubt. Dominic Oduro could continue up front as Didier Drogba is not yet ready to make his debut.

New York Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch has two injury worries ahead of the clash as Chris Duvall and Ronald Zubar are set to miss out again. The Wright-Phillips brothers should both start together after Shaun assisted Bradley on Saturday.

Key Points

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

New York Red Bulls’ last five: W/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Montreal have won six of their last seven home games in MLS.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Montreal playmaker leads his side in goals and assists and has been a real star this year. Expect him to be a danger for the Red Bulls defence on Wednesday off the back of his two-goal performance at New York City FC last time out.

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Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 1-1 New York Red Bulls – These two both come into the game in good form and will be looking to extend their unbeaten runs in this midweek clash. But that could lead to a cagey game as neither will want to lose and so a low-scoring draw looks most likely.