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Predicting Toronto FC's lineup against the Houston Dynamo

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A third consecutive start for Omar Gonzalez?

MLS: New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto FC are back at BMO Field tonight to take on the Houston Dynamo.

After a pair of well-earned victories, TFC appear to be on the rise again, and will look to make it three wins in a row against a struggling Houston Dynamo side that will be without star forward Alberth Elis.

The 4-2-3-1 formation has been really working for Greg Vanney, and I think that's his go-to formation, especially with the signing of wingers Erickson Gallardo and Jacob Shaffelburg.


Goalkeeper

Quentin Westberg

"Q" has been playing excellent of late, making highlight saves every week and keeping his team in games. He bailed out his teammates a few times on Wednesday night, including this excellent save to deny Kaku:

Defenders

Justin Morrow, Chris Mavinga, Omar Gonzalez, Richie Laryea

I'm a big fan of the Laurent Ciman/ Omar Gonzalez partnership that we saw on Wednesday night. Both were solid defensively, and both looked decent on the ball as well. On paper at least, the ideal lineup probably sees Mavinga paired up with Gonzalez, but if Ciman keeps up his current run of form, he may force his way into the starting lineup. Alternatively (although extremely unlikely), TFC could go back to a 3-5-2/5-3-1-1 formation with all three of them if need be.

Richie Laryea has been on a tear recently, and has surely caught the eye of Canada manager John Herdman. He's been good defensively, but it's his runs down the right flank and crosses/ passes into the box that have been even more impressive.

Midfielders

Michael Bradley, Marky Delgado, Jacob Shaffelburg, Alejandro Pozuelo, Jonathan Osorio

Tsubasa Endoh has been excellent since rejoining the first team regularly again, picking up a goal and an assist, but I think he comes off the bench in this one.

Erickson Gallardo may not be match fit yet, so he may not start this game, but I also think we might finally get a glimpse of him. In the meantime, Jacob Shaffelburg has been causing problems with his speed and energy, and will likely start again today.

With Nick DeLeon still battling a groin injury, I think Jonathan Osorio will slot in on the right side, but move into the middle a bit, allowing Alejandro Pozuelo to dictate play from wherever his free role takes him.

Forward

Jozy Altidore

Altidore scored an goal early in the game on Wednesday with a sublime backheel. His partnership with Alejandro Pozuelo has been excellent thus far, and both will be looking to extend their goalscoring streaks to three games.


My full starting XI: