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With two games against southern MLS rivals Atlanta United now done and dusted, attention switches to Saputo Stadium where Orlando City SC take on Montreal Impact on Saturday evening.
Now at a crucial stage of the season with just 12 regular season fixtures to go, Jason Kreis‘ Lions have ground to make up after being lodged in seventh place and two points below the red line following Gameweek 21.
The scene of one of our greatest ever Major League Soccer performances to date, Orlando City SC have happy memories from the last time they travelled to Quebec, running out 1-4 winners in September 2016.
Unfortunately proving to be a false dawn in an incredibly challenging 2016 campaign, hopefully that experience will stand Orlando City SC in good stead this time around.
Actually faring better away from home than at Orlando City Stadium recently, Orlando City SC haven’t been losing too many away games recently but we could really do with three points for our own self-belief.
Making his first MLS appearance for Orlando City SC against Atlanta United, 2017 MLS All-Star Game selection Dom Dwyer is getting up to speed with his signing expected to make us far more of an attacking threat in the remaining fixtures.
As for our opponents Montreal Impact, Mauro Biello’s side sit tenth in the Eastern Conference after Gameweek 21 with the 2016 MLS Cup semi-finalists enduring a disappointing campaign so far.
Nevertheless, Impact are only six points beneath Orlando City SC so it’s high time that the Lions started putting some daylight between themselves and the sides beneath them in the East.
2015/17 head-to-head stats
The highest scoring game that Orlando City SC have been involved in so far this season, June 2017’s 3-3 draw between Orlando City SC and Montreal Impact was a crazy affair.
The Lions only took eight minutes to open the scoring through Matías Pérez García but a Blerim Džemaili arrow levelled things up just eight minutes later.
Orlando City SC lost their way from this point however with Impact star man Ignacio Piatti taking over just before the hour mark.
Putting Mauro Biello’s men into a 2-3 lead thanks to some amateurish Lions defending in the 58th and 59th minutes, Orlando City SC were staring defeat in the face.
Orlando City SC 3 Montreal Impact 3 – Highlights – June 17, 2017 (Credit: Major League Soccer)
The good news is that on the whole, Orlando City SC have got the better of Montreal Impact in Major League Soccer so far.
Unbeaten in TWO of our THREE MLS trips to Quebec to date, we have nothing to fear with our road form having picked up lately.
As for our last visit to Saputo Stadium, it was an incredibly joyous occasion with the Lions running out 1-4 winners in a game that had everything!
Montreal Impact 1 Orlando City SC 4 – Highlights – September 7, 2016 (Credit: Sergio Ruiz Torres)
Dig deeper into the head-to-heads between Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC and you’ll find that THREE of the last FIVE encounters have been separated by one goal.
Indeed, Orlando City SC stole all three points off Impact late on in October 2015 (2-1) and May 2016 (1-2) while a solitary Dominic Oduro goal separated both sides at Camping World Stadium in October 2016.
Montreal Impact form
Scoring three goals so far this season, all three of Michael Salazar’s goals have come in THREE of Montreal Impact’s last FOUR MLS fixtures.
One man who has enjoyed facing Orlando City SC in the past is Argentine striker Ignacio Piatti.
The 32-year-old has appeared in SIX of SEVEN MLS head-to-heads between Montreal Impact and Orlando City SC, scoring FOUR goals against the Lions in that time.
The darling of Montreal Impact since arriving in Quebec in 2014, Piatti has now scored 38 goals in 76 Major League Soccer appearances.
Despite Montreal Impact struggling in the Eastern Conference this season, their home form has been mightily impressive of late.
Winning FOUR of their last FIVE MLS fixtures at Saputo Stadium, Impact were humbled 1-2 by FC Dallas on July 22nd but this remains the anomaly in their improved home form.
In NINE home games so far this season, Montreal Impact have won FIVE, drawn ONE and lost THREE.
Orlando City SC form
We’ve long been used to Orlando City SC struggling on the road in MLS but lately, our road form has picked up somewhat.
Although we haven’t won so many on the road, we have at least managed to bring some points back to Central Florida recently.
Drawing 1-1 at Seattle Sounders, winning 0-1 at Real Salt Lake and drawing 1-1 at Atlanta United last time out, we are undefeated in THREE of our last FOUR away fixtures.
Atlanta United 1 Orlando City SC 1 – Highlights – July 29, 2017 (Credit: Atlanta United FC)