New England travel to CF Montreal, having secured a home playoff game

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Montreal, Quebec– There are records in sight for the New England Revolution, and they have already secured a home playoff game. As the results continue to roll through, the Revs’ grasp on the Supporters Shield becomes all the more firm, with CF Montreal in their way next. The Canadians themselves have a lot riding on every individual game as they try to clinch a playoff spot of their own.

The playoff run-in

CF Montreal currently sit seventh in the Eastern Conference which is the final playoff berth. The in-form Atlanta United are close behind them in eighth and there are others snapping at their heels. It has been a season to forget for the defending MLS Cup champions Columbus but Gyasi Zardes’ return to action could be crucial in them mounting a push of their own, not to mention that Inter Miami have come out of nowhere following a great run of results under Phil Neville.

Recent results

The form of New England is well-documented and for good reason. A superb streak with just two losses in their last fifteen, including eight wins-in-a-row on home soil, has earned them a home playoff game. It was a win over Orlando City last time out in which Nani was again denied by Matt Turner from the penalty spot, following on from wins over the likes of Chicago and Philadelphia too.

CF Montreal on the other hand have hit a fork in the road having started this MLS season oh, so well. For the last couple of months, there hasn’t really been any consistency for Wilfried Nancy’s men. From losing to Inter Miami, beating fellow Canadians Toronto, overcoming Orlando on the road and then, in their last fixture being beaten 2-1 at Lower.Com Field, the new home of the Crew. Gyasi Zardes’ scored a brace on his return in that aforementioned defeat at the hands of Columbus and it is hard to predict how CF Montreal will fare in each game in truth.

Tale of the tape

When it comes to the all-time series between CF Montreal and the Revs, it is fairly balanced. The last three meetings have all gone the way of Bruce Arena’s side including a 2-1 win in last season’s playoffs. In general though, CF Montreal have prevailed ten times in comparison to New England’s fourteen, the other three ending in draws. The pair met at Gillette Stadium back in July and in what has been their only clash so far this season, New England again came out on top by two goals to one. Gustavo Bou scored either side of the break for the home side before Djordje Mihailovic added what was, in the end, a mere consolation goal.

In terms of team news and the biggest absentee has to be Mason Toye. He was unable to establish himself as a regular for Minnesota United but the young Canadian forward has been a revelation in this CF Montreal side. He is leading the way when it comes to goals for Nancy’s team even though he has been in and out of action with injury. Toye is the only nailed-on starter missing for either team with Robert Thorkelsson and Kiki Struna also out for CF Montreal. Bruce Arena was without Emmanuel Boateng, Edward Kizza and Maciel in the weekend’s win over Orlando City and the trio are expected to continue their time on the sidelines.

New England have the Shield in their sights as well as the points record but CF Montreal themselves have to continue grinding out results. If Toye is still out, the Canadian side may struggle going forward but they have the blessing of a home crowd at Saputo Stadium. Who will prevail?

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