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Preview: Battered TFC take on the Revolution

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TFC head to the great green rug in New England without Bradley and (probably) Giovinco to take on the sputtering, on-again, off-again Revolution.

Always love coming back to this.
Always love coming back to this.
Winslow Townson/Getty Images

A moment of silence for Danny Koevermans and his ACL.

Gillette Stadium has a history of being cruel to TFC players and fans. Earlier this year, Jozy Altidore picked up a hamstring injury in eerily similar fashion to Koevermans' season and TFC-career ending ACL injury.

Speaking of injuries: Michael Bradley has one. It's a calf strain and according to the club, he should be back in a week or so. Giovinco is still struggling with a heel injury that (blessedly) kept him out of the All Star game. He could be available, though odds are Vanney rests him on the green monster.

Throw in the continued absence of Ashtone Morgan - from the injury he picked up in the definitely worth it friendly against Sunderland - and Nick Hagglund's recovery from an appendectomy and the team starts looking thin.

Also, Collen Warner (last week's Man of the Match - who'd thought he'd be such a key piece this year?) is suspended from Yellow Card Accumulation. In short - three first team regulars are out for a road game against a conference rival. Expectations are tempered.

In the New England camp, Jermaine Jones is close to making a return, though probably not against the Reds. Chris Tierney missed the All-Star game as well, and like Giovinco is "questionable" for Saturday.

Match Talking Points

TFC score 1.63 Goals/90. That leads the Eastern Conference, and a lot of that comes from having the best player in the league. If the Atomic Ant isn't ready to go, who will step up? Jozy had a few bright moments against Columbus, including earning and netting the game-tying penalty, but he appeared switched off at times.

Part of me would love to see Jozy and Bright Dike start up top together and batter the opposition into tiny little rubber pellets until they merge with the turf at Gillette.

Friday signing Josh Williams is unlikely to feature, but the other TFC new boy Ahmed Kantari is set to make his first start in Red. Shame he doesn't play left back, but his defensive experience should provide stability against the Revs dynamic attack - who've admittedly been sputtering lately, having only scored more than one goal twice in their last nine outings (both times against the Chicago Fire).

TFC Starting XI

football formations

Lovitz makes a return to Left Back, where he did well filling in over the previous two outings. Warner is suspended and thus Osorio draws back into the lineup.

Key to the Game

TFC will have to be strong at the back and take their chances. Not exactly a keen insight but I'd consider a trip to New England a roaring success if nobody got hurt and we didn't lose badly. The Revs aren't exactly in great form, and TFC should be able to take it to them. Though they sit side by side in the standings, the Revs and their traditional tire-fire slump have played 4 more games than the Reds, including a wonderfully entertaining 12 game stretch with only 1 win (against Chicago). That being said, a streak has to start somewhere. Last year, New England rode those streaks into the MLS Cup Final.

Don't forget to put your predictions in at Are You Smarter Than Ryan Nelsen?, read the New England side of things and more in-depth analysis at Know Your Enemy and follow along tomorrow during the game.