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Preview: Canada continues World Cup prep with friendly against Bahrain

This is the penultimate tune-up match before Les Rouges begin their World Cup quest in Qatar.

Richie Laryea and Liam Fraser during Canada’s training session on Wednesday in Bahrain.
(Flickr/Canada Soccer)

In less than two weeks, Canada will be playing their first World Cup game since 1986. But before that, they have two more friendlies to partake in - with the first being a match against Bahrain in Isa Town.

Head coach John Herdman revealed the squad last Wednesday that will be at his disposal for this game, which includes players from MLS, along with midfielder Liam Fraser, who currently plays in Belgium’s second division. Goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau was initially named to the squad, but he has sadly been ruled out due to an unfortunate injury while playing for LAFC in MLS Cup on the weekend. Crépeau is Milan Borjan’s backup, and not having the Longueuil native for the World Cup is indeed a big loss. Vancouver Whitecaps ‘keeper Thomas Hasal was called into Canada’s current camp to replace Crépeau.

There are other notable inclusions on this roster such as Toronto FC defender Lukas MacNaughton, Los Angeles Galaxy defender/winger Raheem Edwards and soon-to-be permanent Nashville SC winger Jacob Shaffelburg.

Canada’s last result was a 2-0 defeat to Uruguay on September 27th. Bahrain also played a friendly that day and lost with the same scoreline against Les Rouges’ CONCACAF rival, Panama.

This is the first of two games for both of these nations within the span of a week - Canada plays Japan on November 17th, and Bahrain will play another World Cup nation in the form of Serbia on November 18th.

It seems that Herdman will opt for a lot of rotation in this match, most likely substituting out most of the starting XI at some point. Don’t be surprised if he experiments with different formations to see which players work best in a given system.

Predicted Lineups:

Bahrain: Jaffer; Hassan, Bennadi, Al Hayam, Al-Hooti; Al-Shaikh, Abdullatif Ali, Al-Malood; Madan, Yusuf, Al-Aswad

Canada: St. Clair; Johnston, Henry, Miller; Laryea, Osorio, Piette, Kaye, Shaffelburg; Edwards, Cavallini