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Preview: Lowly Reds looking to bounce back in 401 Derby

Toronto is now winless in their last four outings. 

Toronto FC will travel to Montréal hoping to snap a four game winless streak. “(Sean Pollock/Waking The Red)”

TORONTO, Ont. - It’s been another week to forget for Toronto FC. The Reds’ winless streak has now extended to four matches after dropping a 2-0 decision to the Chicago Fire on Wednesday night. A matchup against their Canadian rivals awaits them on Saturday, and a derby triumph might be what this team needs to bounce back.

Kick-off is scheduled for 7:30 pm EST, with the game available to watch on TSN.

Wednesday night’s loss made it 11 defeat on the season for the Reds, the joint most in the MLS along with Sporting Kansas. In addition, the Reds are still looking for their first win on the road in 2022. While this squad is now being rebuilt on the fly, it will take some time for the group to find some consistent chemistry. However, even with the additions of new players in the squad, it is individual mistakes that are punishing the Reds.

“The goals we’ve given up lately have been mostly individual errors,” said head coach Bob Bradley after Wednesday’s loss.

“We’re working hard with all of those guys to correct some things.”

Even with the eventual inclusion of Lorenzo Insigne and newly signed Frederico Bernardeschi whom TFC officially signed on Friday afternoon, TFC is simply not going to outscore their problems and will need to clean up their game on their own side of the field.

To make matters even more complicated for Bradley, he will be without one of his centre-backs, as Chris Mavinga, who departed Wednesday night’s match in the 32nd minute, will be unavailable through a lower body injury. With a shortage of recognized defenders on this TFC squad, Bradley will likely turn to the pairing of Lukas McNaughton alongside Shane O’Neill for this weekend’s Derby.

The Reds continue to be without Noble Okello and Insigne, while Jayden Nelson is unavailable due to yellow card accumulation.

CF Montreal (9-2-8) come into this matchup currently sitting fourth in the Eastern Conference, looking to snap a two-game losing streak. After ending the month of June on a high with consecutive wins against Charlotte and Seattle, CFMTL has started July with consecutive losses - most recently, a 2-1 loss to Sporting Kansas last weekend.

While Montreal has struggled to keep the ball out of their own net this year, conceding 35 times in 29 games - the third most in the Eastern Conference, they have had no problem putting goals past their opposition, tallying the second most goals scored in the East (38).

The Reds are going to have to be much tidier on the defensive ends as both Djordje Mihailovic and Romell Quioto will take their chances to punish the Reds’ defence. Mihailovic and Quioto have each scored seven goals in 2022, leading the way for their club.

Despite Montreal having not been the strongest side at home, they have collected five wins at the Stade Saputo this season. Combine that with the Reds’ woeful record on the road, head coach Wilfred Nancy and his squad will be feeling confident about their chances in this edition of the 401 Derby.

CFMTL will also want to reverse the result from the last time these two clubs met, which was last month in the Canadian Championship semi-final. On that night, the Reds dumped Montreal out of the Voyageurs Cup via a 4-0 victory.

In MLS regular season play, the Reds have not collected three points against Montreal since a 2-1 victory back in 2020.


Match Details

Opponent: CF Montreal
Stadium: Stade Saputo, Montréal, QC
Time: 7:30 PM
Watch: TSN