After last weekend's disappointment in Colorado, the Reds head to Gillette Stadium. New England is healthy, they have attacking players that can really put a game away - but they've yet to put together a strong performance. Their strategy in the past had heavily relied on Jermaine Jones and his ability to switch the field to quick, goal-dangerous wingers like Diego Fagundez or Juan Agudelo. Add in Lee Nguyen and other attacking pieces like an in-form Charlie Davies and Teal "it's my name, not a colour" Bunbury, and the Revs had a recipe for fun-to-watch, attacking football.
The fact of the matter is that the Revs could put it together at any moment. They have a capable Jones replacement in Gershon Koffie, and this will be a dangerous game for TFC. The Reds will have Jozy Altidore healthy and ready from the start of the match, and we get the first real chance to see what that means for the TFC lineup. If Giovinco pushes wide, will he pick up the defensive responsibilities as well? Will Altidore start out wide instead and try to tilt the field in that direction? TFC will likely sit in and soak up the pressure - which they've done really well so far, their Eastern Conference-leading 4 goals-against a more respectable number than they've ever maintained in their ten-year history. This game is shaping up to be a cagey affair.
I predict that Jozy goes to the Centre Forward spot, and TFC defends as a 4-4-2, with Endoh running hard to fill out the bank of 4 when the Revs have the ball. Osorio then pushes wide left, which means Giovinco being left higher up the pitch, not needing to defend. In attack, though, Giovinco is pushed a little wider, which allows him to cut in, put the Revs defense on the back foot - Right Back London Woodberry isn't exactly a superstar in 1v1 situations - and create scoring chances. Cheyrou's suspension leaves him ineligible, meaning Osorio, Bradley, Johnson, and Delgado will be the central players available.
If the Revs find their feet this weekend, it could be a tricky proposal to come out of Massachusetts with 3 points. A cagey 1-1 is my prediction.
The game kicks off at 4pm ET, and you can watch on TSN.