For the first time in MLS this season, Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact are set to renew the 401 Derby. Lately, it seems like something insane happens every time these teams meet, and with so much on the line for both teams right now, this time is sure to be no different.
TFC and the Impact know each other all too well by now, and both probably have a pretty good idea how the other will look on Sunday. So, it's possible Greg Vanney tries to throw them a curveball by changing things up, like he did on Wednesday against Philadelphia.
The 3-5-2 is still Toronto's best formation, and as such I'll work with that here, but I'd be a little surprised if it stayed that way the entire game. TFC can probably get away with using players who played in midweek, since a Sunday game gives them an extra day off.
Of course. I thought Irwin might get a shot on Wednesday, but he probably won't here.
Eriq Zavaleta, Drew Moor, Chris Mavinga
This one writes itself. These three comprise TFC'S best back line and it's not even close. Unfortunately for Nick Hagglund, it might stay that way even when he's back, just due to the chemistry building here.
Mavinga is blossoming into one of the most reliable defenders in MLS with his pinpoint tackling ability, which was on display on Wednesday night. He cannot be dropped.
Justin Morrow, Victor Vazquez, Michael Bradley, Jonathan Osorio, Steven Beitashour
I thought Beita would get the start on Wednesday, but I was wrong. That could mean he'll be thrown into a more emotional game on Sunday, against the team that injured him. He seems to have a ton of energy since his return, that'll be a nice injection into the lineup.
I also really think Marky Delgado needs a bit of a break after all the work he's done lately. Osorio had a great game on Wednesday, and probably earned himself the right to be considered a little more seriously for a start here and there.
Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore
I still don't think Altidore played particularly well against Philly, despite the goal he scored. I don't think Montreal is the team he'll get a break against, though; even though Tosaint Ricketts scored the winning goal back in November, Altidore will get the call.
I'm hoping for Seba to find a little more goalscoring success from open part, even though his free kicks are sublime. He's getting the assists, but it's time for TFC to start finding him a little better. He also needs to start getting his shots to the net, after a few glaring misses (especially in Chicago). Seba pulled through last time the Reds played Montreal, and he'll surely want to outshine Ignacio Piatti.