Toronto FC-CF Montreal Preview

National Sports

Wilfried Nancy is paying no attention to the Eastern Conference standings ahead of Friday’s Canadian Classique between CF Montreal and Toronto FC.

Toronto enter the match at Stade Saputo winless in six and have lost the last three of those to remain at the bottom of the division.

The Reds have won their last three meetings in Montreal, however, and Nancy insists form does not come into the equation when these sides meet.

“I don’t add much importance to Toronto’s standing because it’s a derby,” he said. “It means a match that is different, it means that the two teams want to win for their supporters.

“Yes, they have lost games, but the players who played the last few games were dangerous offensively, they created chances.

“In each of their last games that I have seen, they have always been dangerous in attack.”

Montreal have drawn back-to-back matches with FC Cincinnati and Philadelphia Union, yet they remain sixth in the East with 21 matches of the regular season played.

Nancy’s side enter this derby as favorites, but Toronto FC boss Javier Perez is determined to pick up a potentially season-changing victory.

“It’s difficult, yes, but we are not going to quit, we are not going to give up on this,” he said. “We’re the only ones that can get ourselves out of this.

“And so as we look to this game against Montreal, we have to focus, and we have to be on the same mission and that’s getting a result against Montreal.

“The group acknowledge that we are in a difficult situation, and it’s a hard one to take. It’s the Classic. Everybody is going to be motivated for the game.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CF Montreal – Romell Quioto

Honduras international Quioto has not played since sustaining an injury at the Gold Cup a little over a month ago, but he returned to training on Monday and could feature here. The 30-year-old scored on his most recent club outing on July 7 and has a combined five goal involvements in 2021, making him a key player for Montreal.

Toronto FC – Dom Dwyer

Dwyer’s availability for Friday’s match remains questionable at best, but Toronto will be desperate to have the forward back in their ranks. He has scored a career-best 10 goals against Montreal, which includes nine during his time with Sporting Kansas City and one while at Orlando City SC.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– Toronto have won the last three editions of this rivalry played in Montreal, the only time in the history of the fixture that either team has won consecutive road matches.

– Montreal have lost only two of their last nine matches in Montreal (W5 D2), including recording two wins and a draw since returning to Stade Saputo last month. Both of those defeats came at the hands of Toronto in August-September 2020.

– Toronto are winless in six straight matches (D2 L4), including losing the last three in a row, and have just three wins in 21 matches this season. The Reds’ 15 points are the fewest they have ever had at this stage of an MLS season, two fewer than the 17 they had collected at this stage in 2013.

– Djordje Mihailovic has been involved in three of Montreal’s last five goals, including scoring the team’s only goal against the Union on Saturday. Mihailovic has been involved in a career-best ten goals this season (four goals, six assists).

– The 10 goals scored by Dwyer against Montreal is the second most of any player in the club’s MLS history, behind only Kei Kamara’s 13.

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