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Preview: Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact

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For the first time since their rival from Montreal eliminated them from the playoffs, Toronto FC will meet the Impact in MLS play.

Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Out here looking for revenge: Summer Sixteen

Although it is not quite summer 2016, a warm breeze sails through the streets of Toronto as fans gear up for the highly anticipated 401 derby this weekend. Montreal is the one team everyone circles in their calendar prior to the season starting and no matter what the situation in the standings, each match is of considerable significance.

Last Saturday, Toronto was able to equal their minimum objective of 8 points from 8 road matches with two games to spare. This came courtesy of an important victory against D.C. United in which Sebastian Giovinco scored within the first minute of the match. However, despite that minimum target being met, Toronto is not finished yet and pressure will be on in their final two games of this extensive road trip. With Montreal Impact up next, the club is desperately looking to secure another important road result against their fiercest rival.

In addition to the competition between the two cities in other sports and politics, Montreal knocked Toronto out of the Voyageurs Cup and MLS Cup last season. It was a difficult pill to swallow as Montreal dominated in every way during that dreadful playoff match last October. Couple that with the likelihood that both clubs are set to finish near the top of the Eastern Conference, this game will mean a lot more than just bonus points to Toronto. As a result, although the players will never admit it, Saturday is going to be even more important than previous games this season and fans should expect the team to come out looking for revenge.

Coming into their seventh straight road match to start the season, Toronto has not had the opportunity to play in front of their home fans yet. With Saturday's match expecting to have well over 300 travelling supporters attend, Toronto will finally be able to see some familiar faces in the crowd. The club will be poised to not send their travelling supporters home empty handed for a third straight match within six months.

Saturday presents Toronto with the opportunity to move within a point of the conference leaders, without having played a single home match. Toronto will also have the chance to test their stingy defense against two of the league's best attacking threats in Ignacio Piatti and Didier Drogba. The match will determine just how far Toronto has come from last season and will dictate how Toronto deals with one of the hottest teams in the league in high-pressure situations. 

Now more than ever, Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact has become a true and paramount rivalry in Major League soccer. Both teams can expect to be playoff teams once again this season and have star-studded designated players craving to win for their respective clubs. As a result, it is no surprise that two Canadian teams feature in MLS's most anticipated match this weekend. Although it is difficult to predict the outcome of the game, one thing is for sure: Toronto will not duplicate their performance last October and will come out animated from the opening whistle.