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Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact: Voyageurs Cup First Leg Preview

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The Reds go to Montreal to kick off the MLS portion of the Voyageurs Cup, significantly shorthanded. We preview the match and discuss what to expect in Montreal.

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Let's start with this:

TFC are going into this with a certain level of expectations - the players remaining in Toronto illustrate that clearly enough. In their place: Jordan Hamilton, Jay Chapman, Chris Mannella and Quillan Roberts.

The Impact haven't played in MLS action since April 11, and even though CCL has kept them active, the schedule logjam that is to come won't be kind to them - 4 games in 10 days. Expect Frank Klopas to manage the minutes of key players like Piatti.

TFC's Twitter projects the starting XI as this:

football formations

There are a number of changes we could see, though. Delgado could slide in at Right Back, Zavaleta could get a start at Centre Back. Depending on how much rotation Vanney wants, Mannella or Chapman could also start in midfield.

The rivalry is always fun. In fact - I'll just leave this here: (skip to the 1:00 mark)

Keys to the Match

The game is a bit of an unknown quantity -- neither team seems to want to prioritize the competition. While the tournament has been maligned of late, perhaps unfairly, from a TFC perspective it's a fairly simple plan - Go and get a result.

CCL play saw Montreal mostly bunker and counter-attack soccer against teams where they were (on paper) quite outmatched. TFC have to be aware on the backline if they want to be successful in the Amway/Nutrilite Canadian Championship.

The game is being streamed for free on sportsnet.ca, with the return leg being played at BMO on Wednesday.

Don't forget to follow along here on WTR, and post your comments below with any thoughts on the game to come.