Atlanta United wiped a 1-0 loss against Philadelphia from memory with a tight victory by the same scoreline over Inter Miami. But there’s no rest for the weary. The Five Stripes are back on the road this weekend at CF Montreal in yet another play-off six-pointer.
Despite Thierry Henry’s surprise preseason resignation, Montreal is very much in the mix for the playoffs as October nears. Club de Foot has lost its last two games to the Columbus Crew and New England Revolution, however, and has fallen out of the postseason. It’s two points behind the red line and Atlanta, but only one win out of fourth. Wilfried Nancy favors a 3-4-2-1 formation, giving the attacking trio freedom to create and finish. Montreal’s emphasis on MLS talent in the transfer market has paid off, rather than foreign imports. Mason Toye leads the team with seven goals (though he’s out injured currently), Djorde Mihailovic has 4 goals and 10 assists, and Romell Quioto has 6 goals and 5 assists. Montreal has the sixth-best attack in the East thanks to that trio, scoring 38 times in 27 games. The Canadian’s side defense is a bit more suspect, though, and hasn’t kept a clean sheet against playoff opposition since a June 23rd draw with DC United. Montreal has conceded 36 times so far for the 8th-best record in the East. As was the case in the last meeting between these two teams (a 2-2 draw) goals look to be on the cards at the Saputo.
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: CF Montreal 1-3 Atlanta United
The short rest could cause Atlanta a few problems but with adequate rotation/subs, it shouldn’t be much of an overall factor (after all, Montreal played midweek as well). A brace from Josef Martinez and a late Ezequiel Barco strike will seal the three points against Montreal.