PREVIEW – The CF Montreal vs Toronto FC game on May 13 will be the second game of the Canadian Classique derby. This time, it is in MLS action as both Canadian MLS clubs will look to earn three crucial points at Saputo Stadium on Saturday.
CF Montreal vs Toronto FC Canadian Classique Preview at Saputo Stadium
CF Montreal (5-0-0)
The team feeling the most optimistic about their chances is probably CF Montreal. They have now won five straight games in all competitions, including three straight wins in MLS play. Montreal is now looking to continue its momentum and win two straight games against Toronto FC. This is what CF Montreal head coach, Hernán Losada, said about the last game (source: Neil Davidson of The Canadian Press):
“We took this game very seriously,” said Montreal coach Losada, who celebrated his 41st birthday Tuesday. “We knew we needed to be super-focused and concentrated,” the Argentine added. “When you play on the road for the Cup against your biggest rival, it’s never easy. But I think we did a very good collective performance and I’m very, very happy for the whole group, for the staff, for the players. For everyone, we have at CF Montreal.”
— Last Word on Soccer (@LastWordSC) May 9, 2023
Montreal is on a roll right now. It showed on the pitch on Tuesday as CF Montreal was the better team with six shots on goal compared to Toronto’s three shots on goal. To double the opposing team’s shots on goal on the road is very impressive. What was more impressive was their ability to limit TFC’s scoring chances in the latter stages of the Canadian Championship quarterfinal game. Goals from Zachary Brault-Guillard and Chinonso Offor came from TFC mistakes and Montreal took advantage.
Toronto FC (1-1-3)
Bob Bradley: “Plain and simple, we’re not where we want to be. Certainly on that end, I take responsibility … we’ve got to continue to work and improve because this club, the fans, and the city deserve a team that’s competing at the top year-in and year-out.”
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) May 11, 2023
Before the game against the New England Revolution, TFC had not lost a competitive game at home this year. They now have lost two straight home games in all competitions. One of them in an MLS competition against New England and one in the Canadian Championship against Montreal. Toronto now travels on the road, where they have not yet won a game on the road. Expectations are not being met, and Bob Bradley knows that, as seen in the Tweet above. However, head coach Bob Bradley sees some positives as he said this:
Lorenzo Insigne scored his second goal in four games this year. Hopefully, this means that he has found his touch as he almost played a role in TFC scoring another goal in the second half. Right now, the two best players on the team are probably Richie Laryea and Federico Bernardeschi and a player to watch is Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty. The bigger concern though is with their defence. Giving up four goals in two straight games is not acceptable at this level, so it will be interesting to see how Toronto deals with it and responds on Saturday.
Unfortunately, for Toronto FC, injuries are a major concern for them (source: MLS). The listed injuries from the MLS website include these six players. Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Jordan Perruzza, and Victor Vazquez are all injured with lower body injuries. Also, both Raoul Petretta (lower body) and Cristian Gutierrez (illness) are questionable for Saturday’s game.
Long list of absences at #TFCLive training:
Jordan Perruzza (doing work on his own)
TFC II CBs Adam Pearlman & Antony Curic training w/ first team pic.twitter.com/xbGTALJdOR
— Michael Singh (@MichaelSingh94) May 11, 2023
These are not the only concerning injuries though. Alonso Coello Camarero’s injury seems to be fairly serious as well as Michael Bradley’s as seen in Singh’s Waking the Red article. Additionally, of the 10 players on the list, it seems like only Sean Johnson seems to be fine according to Singh’s report.
This is while in the MLS article, CF Montreal has its own injuries with Jojea Kwizera (hamstring), Jules Vilsaint (right leg), and Mason Toye (knee) likely not playing on Saturday.
CF Montreal vs Toronto FC Head-to-Head and Predictions
In terms of head-to-head, each team has won and lost 13 games and has drawn against each other five times. TFC has also not won a home game in MLS play against Montreal since 2020. In MLS play, they faced each other twice in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Montreal eliminated Toronto from the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs while Toronto eliminated Montreal from the 2016 MLS Eastern Conference Finals to make their first-ever MLS Cup appearance in 2016.
CF Montreal 2 – Toronto FC 0
This game will be one that Toronto FC will find very hard to win. TFC has never won the road this year. Also, of the two games within this past week, this was always going to be the harder one. In addition to the TFC injuries, Montreal is in good form. Also, Montreal has won four of their last five games against Toronto. That lone TFC win came in the 2022 Canadian Championship semi-finals last year and the last win TFC had against Montreal in MLS play happened in 2020.
— CF Montréal (@cfmontreal) May 10, 2023
Unfortunately, because of the incidents yesterday, TFC road fans will not be in the away Supporters’ Section come Saturday, which was probably the correct decision. This could be because CF Montreal could be afraid of Montreal fans wanting retribution for the events that happened on Tuesday. The opinion on what happened off-the-field yesterday was covered in the CF Montreal-Toronto FC analysis article of Tuesday’s game.
This Canadian Classique derby will kick off at 7:00 p.m. ET on Saturday. The game will be shown live on Apple TV.
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports on May 9, 2023, of a Jahkeele Marshall-Rutty Headshot and a Mathieu Choiniere Headshot.