Sports Mole previews Saturday’s Major League Soccer clash between CF Montreal and Charlotte FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Still kicking their wounds from the Canadian Championship semi-final exit, CF Montreal play host to Charlotte FC at the Saputo Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors, on the other hand, head into the weekend as one of just two sides yet to pick up a win away from home in their Eastern Conference and will look to end this dry spell.
CF Montreal were sent crashing out of the Canadian Championship on Thursday morning as they fell to a humbling 4-0 defeat at the hands of Toronto FC.
Canadian midfielder Ayo Akinola scored a brace to put the Reds two goals up before Jesus Jimenez and Alejandro Pozuelo netted in a three-minute spell to extend the margin.
Montreal now turn their attention to the MLS, where they are currently on a run of three defeats from their last four outings, with May’s 4-3 win at FC Cincinnati being the exception.
With 23 points from 15 games, Wilfried Nancy‘s side are currently fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, level on points with sixth-place New England Revolution.
Elsewhere, Charlotte FC failed to make it two wins from two last time out as they could only salvage a 1-1 draw away to Columbus Crew.
In a cagey affair at the Lower.com Field, Erik Hurtado netted in the 41st minute to put the hosts ahead before Brazilian forward Andre Shinyashiki restored parity five minutes into the second period.
Prior to that. Christian Lattanzio‘s men snapped a run of two consecutive defeats on June 11 when they saw off New York Red Bulls on home turf courtesy of goals from Benjamin Bender and Derrick Jones.
While Charlotte will look to return to winning ways, they have struggled to get going away from home, where they are yet to taste victory and have managed just two points from a possible 24 this season.
With 20 points from 16 games, this weekend’s visitors are currently seventh in the conference standings, level on points with eighth-placed FC Cincinnati, who have one game in hand.
CF Montreal Major League Soccer form:
CF Montreal form (all competitions):
Charlotte FC Major League Soccer form:
Charlotte FC form (all competitions):
Canadian midfielder Tomas Giraldo is currently recuperating from a long-term hamstring injury and is out of contention for the hosts.
He is joined on the Montreal injury table by 30-year-old forward Bjorn Johnsen, who has been sidelined since last November.
Djordje Mihailovic is also set to sit out his third game on the bounce after coming off with an ankle injury 17 minutes into the game against FC Cincinnati on May 29.
As for Charlotte, Lattanzio will be unable to call upon the services of the attacking duo of Chris Hegardt and Vinicius Mello, who have been ruled out through meniscus and foot injuries respectively.
American defender Adam Armour is set to sit out his 11th consecutive game after coming off with a knee problem in April’s against Greenville.
CF Montreal possible starting lineup:
Breza; Waterman, Camacho, Corbo; Choiniere, Piette, Wanyama, Brault-Guillard; Torres, Kamara, Miljevic
Charlotte FC possible starting lineup:
Kahlina; Afful, Corujo, Walkes, Mora; Bronico; Gaines, Ortiz, Bender, Shinyashiki; Rios
We say: CF Montreal 2-1 Charlotte FC
Charlotte FC have struggled to get going away from home, where they hold the conference’s worst record with two points from eight games. Montreal were narrowly beaten in their last league outings but we are backing them to bounce back this weekend.
For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.