401 Derby finds CF Montreal and Toronto FC in desperate need of win
Saturday night will see the renewal of the best Canadian soccer rivalry at Saputo Stadium in Montreal when CF Montreal host Toronto FC in the Canadian Classique, known locally as the 401 Derby.
This will be the first encounter of the current Major League Soccer campaign with the previous two matchups coming in the Canadian Championship tournament.
Last season, CF Montreal knocked off Toronto FC to claim their 4th Voyageurs Cup as an MLS franchise. Earlier this year, these two foes met in the semifinal and Toronto FC absolutely destroyed CF Montreal at BMO Field winning 4-0.
This visitors come into the match sitting 1 point from last place in the Eastern Conference table and TFC are in search of their first road win of 2022. The club has just 3 points in nine road matches.
Toronto fans will be disappointed as the long awaited debut for Lorenzo Insigne will be delayed another week or so as the ex Napoli striker is still nursing a knock to his calf.
CF Montreal sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference table, but only have a 3 point advantage over Charlotte FC which sits in the final playoff spot. Losers of their last two matches, Montreal will look to turn things around and stay afloat in the playoff race as the East table is bunched up and with a few poor results Montreal will be outside looking in.
CF Montreal will be absent their star midfielder Djordje Mihailovic. The 23-year-old was having a remarkable campaign until he suffered an ankle injury in May. In 14 matches, he found the back of the net seven times and registered 3 assists. Since Mihailovic’s injury, CF Montreal has lost four of their last six matches in all competitions.
Just past the halfway point of the MLS campaign, it’s a little early to be in a must-win situation but both clubs find themselves in that scenario.
Toronto FC don’t want their playoff hopes to slip away especially after their recruitment of Italian stars. And CF Montreal need to collect all 3 points to distance themselves for the last playoff spot.
This will be the 55th all-time meeting between these two rivals. Toronto leads with 27 wins, Montreal has 17 and they have split the points 11 times. Both clubs enter this game with high stakes on the line, setting up what should be another Canadian Classique to remember.