MX23RW : Wednesday, May 29 02:31:53| >> :120:59523:59523:
[monks data]
Austin FC
Major League Soccer
Mar 5, 2023 at 1.30am UK
Bold Stadium
Montreal Impact

1 - 0

Urruti (88')
Wolff (22')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Saliba (8'), Piette (57')

Preview: Austin FC vs. CF Montreal - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Major League Soccer clash between Austin FC and CF Montreal, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Austin FC and CF Montreal will both be looking to bounce back from defeats last weekend when the two sides lock horns at the Q2 Stadium in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Both sides finished second in their respective conferences last term, with the Verde and Black being one of the surprise stories, making it to the Western Conference Final, while Montreal were eliminated by New York City in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

Match preview

Austin FC forward Sebastian Driussi (10) gestures after his goal as he walks back to center field with teammates in the first half against St. Louis CITY SC at Q2 Stadium on February 25, 2023© Reuters

Following such a successful 2022 campaign, where they earned a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) for the first time in club history, Austin FC must now withstand something utterly unfamiliar to them in Major League Soccer, the pressure of maintaining their status as a quality side.

The Verde and Black enjoyed a memorable sophomore season, earning 56 points in 2022, a 25-point increase from their debut campaign.

However, Saint Louis City stunned Josh Wolff's side in their opening clash of the 2023 season, winning 3-2 at the Q2 stadium, courtesy of a late strike from Brazilian striker Joao Klauss.

Tim Parker gave the Missouri outfit a historic lead before strikes from Sebastian Driussi and Jon Gallagher put Austin in the driving seat and on their way to their first three points of the season.

The visitors then found the most unlikely of equalizers from Jared Stroud, gift-wrapped on an ill-advised back pass by Kipp Keller, before Klauss's winner four minutes from time.

It is not the start that Wolff will have envisioned, and they face a tough test this weekend against a Montreal side that possessed a fantastic away record last season of 11 wins in 17 games, scoring 33 goals in the process.

Rudy Camacho in action for CF Montreal on September 17, 2022© Reuters

Montreal enjoyed an excellent 2022 season, finishing second in the division with 65 points, just two points behind table-toppers Philadelphia Union, before they were beaten by New York City in the semi-finals of the MLS Cup playoffs.

However, Montreal have been dealt a tough hand in 2023, losing head coach Wilfred Nancy to Columbus Crew, and the club lost three key players in the winter transfer window, which showed in their opening match.

Much like their opponents this weekend, Hernan Losada's side were defeated in their opening fixture of the 2023 campaign, suffering a 2-0 loss at the hands of Inter Miami.

Serhiy Kryvtsov broke the deadlock for Miami four minutes before the interval, before Shanyder Borgelin's strike put the final nail in the coffin in the 76th minute.

Losada will be encouraged by the fact that Montreal had a brilliant away record last season, and the CFM ended the 2022 campaign as the division's form team, as they were unbeaten in their final six games of the campaign, winning five of those matches and scoring 14 goals.

Austin FC Major League Soccer form:
  • L

CF Montreal Major League Soccer form:
  • L

Team News

CF Montreal goalkeeper James Pantemis (41) is helped off the field after being injured in a play against Inter Miami CF during the second half at DRV PNK Stadium on February 25, 2023© Reuters

Austin head into this clash without any significant injury news and will be counting on Gyasi Zardes to shoulder the scoring load this season, with the American finding the back of the net nine times for the Colorado Rapids last season.

Jon Gallagher could be rewarded with a place in the starting XI this weekend after he found the back of the net against Saint Louis from the substitutes' bench.

Sebastian Driussi was the target man up front for the Verde and Black throughout the 2022 campaign, scoring 22 goals, and he opened his account against Saint Louis, so we expect him to retain his place in the starting XI here.

As for the visitors, Aaron Herrera made his debut for Montreal last time out, so he looks set to retain his place here, while it remains to be seen whether James Pantemis will retain his place between the sticks after he was substituted against Inter Miami with a potential arm injury.

Matko Miljevic is expected to be on the treatment table for around 12 weeks after undergoing surgery for a tear to the meniscus in his left knee.

Austin FC possible starting lineup:
Stuver; Lima, Vaisanen, Cascante, Kolmanic; Pereira, Wolff; Rigoni, Driussi, Fagundez; Zardes

CF Montreal possible starting lineup:
Sirois; Waterman, Camacho, Miller; Herrera, Piette, Wanyama, Lappalainen; Saliba; Ibrahim, Quioto

SM words green background

We say: Austin FC 2-0 CF Montreal

Both sides enjoyed fantastic campaigns last year, but with Montreal losing key players in the off-season, we think that Austin will take the three points here.

The Verde and Black will be looking to respond to last week's defeat, and we think that they will have too much firepower for Montreal.

How to watch

You can watch Austin FC vs. CF Montreal and every MLS match this season live on Apple TV. Click here for more details on how to subscribe.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.
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Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami16104238211734
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati1510322314933
3New York City FCNY City158251916326
4Columbus Crew146622113824
5New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
6Charlotte FCCharlotte FC156451413122
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia144642521418
9DC United154652125-418
10Nashville SCNashville143741720-316
11Orlando City144461522-716
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta143471717013
13CF MontrealMontreal143471731-1413
14Chicago Fire152581427-1311
15New England RevolutionNew England132110926-177

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1585230171329
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd137422417725
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy156722722525
4Los Angeles FCLos Angeles147342519624
5Austin FCAustin156542018223
6Colorado RapidsColorado156452726122
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver145452017319
8Houston DynamoHouston145361315-218
9Seattle SoundersSeattle154561818017
10Portland TimbersPortland154472830-216
11St Louis City143742022-216
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas142572226-411
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1532102334-1111

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