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Predicting Canada’s lineup against Dominica

The men’s national team has a crowded group of attackers... but who should start on Tuesday?

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC Gerry Angus-USA TODAY Sports

On Tuesday night Dominica visit Toronto’s BMO Field to take on Canada in their second Concacaf Nations League match. Dominica, ranked 177th in the world by FIFA, are expected to struggle against 79th-ranked Canada, who won 8-0 in their first match of the Nations League against the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the aforementioned 8-0 victory over the U.S. Virgin Islands, John Herdman played a 4-2-3-1 formation (some might call it a 4-2-4 considering how far forward some midfielders were), including Alphonso Davies at left back, trends I think will continue.

Goalkeeper

Simon Thomas

Thomas, goalkeeper for Norwegian side Strømmen IF, has made 17 appearances in competitions this season, allowing 31 goals. It might also be a good idea to give a start to Juventus academy product Alessandro Busti to cap-tie him and get him some senior minutes while number one keeper Milan Borjan is out of the Canada squad.

Defence

Zachary Brault-Guillard, Derek Cornelius, Doneil Henry, Alphonso Davies

Canada only have two full-backs with them in the squad, Ashtone Morgan and Zachary Brault-Guillard, so with the plethora of attacking options Canada seems to have all of a sudden, I think Alphonso Davies might move back into the left-back position for this one. He started at left-back in the game against U.S. Virgin Islands and has played there for Vancouver several times this season, as well as in the MLS All-Star game against Juventus.

Derek Cornelius and Doneil Henry, albeit against a much weaker side, had a clean sheet against the U.S. Virgin Islands in what was Cornelius’ international debut. Henry has earned 23 caps for Canada.

Midfield

Atiba Hutchinson, Ballou Tabla, Jonathan Osorio, Junior Hoilett,

Scott Arfield and Jonathan Osorio were the two main men in the midfield I originally constructed, forming a link up the middle that will likely remain the top midfield pairing for the rest of Canada’s Gold Cup and World Cup qualifying campaigns. The attacking ability of those two, along with the balance of defensive prowess that Atiba Huchinson brings, forms a steady midfield trio in between the promising wingers that Canada have access to. Arfield, however, picked up an injury in practice on Sunday and might not be able to start this one, so I think Osorio will drop back a bit, allowing in-form forward Jonathan David to get another start after scoring a brace on his debut for the national team.

If Arfield, who John Herdman recently named captain of the national team, is forced to sit out, it will be either Hutchinson or Osorio taking the captain’s armband.

In wide areas, Canada has an unprecedented amount of depth not really seen before, as Junior Hoilett, Alphonso Davies, Jonathan David, Liam Millar and Ballou Tabla are all available for John Herdman. I think that Cardiff’s Hoilett and Barcelona B’s Tabla will get the starts, especially Tabla — who recently committed to Canada and will probably play so he’s cap-tied.

Forward

Lucas Cavallini, Jonathan David

This was another difficult position to pick for Canada, as both Cavallini and Cyle Larin scored two goals in the last game, playing 45 minutes each. Cavallini’s better club form mixed with Larin’s inconsistency for his country are why I went with the former, but don’t be surprised to see one start alongside the aforementioned Jonathan David, and the other come off the bench.