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Toronto FC vs. Montreal Impact: TV channel, live stream, team news & lineups

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TFC could all but end their rivals’ season on Wednesday night.

Chris Blanchette (@Its_onlyCAB)

The game

Toronto FC face the Montreal Impact for the second time in MLS this season and the fourth time in all competitions. The Reds have had the better of this rivalry of late, winning the past two meetings and going unbeaten since the first leg of last year’s Eastern Conference final.

It’s a bigger game for Montreal than Toronto. While the Reds are in control of first place in the standings and could win the Supporters’ Shield this weekend, the Impact’s playoff hopes are hanging by a thread.

They trail the sixth-placed New York Red Bulls by six points with six games to play. The Columbus Crew are eight ahead of them but only have four games left.

Kick-off: 7.30 p.m. ET

Venue: BMO Field, Toronto

The question

The same as it was on Saturday and will be again this weekend: what does Toronto’s lineup look like? Jozy Altidore will be missing again and Sebastian Giovinco and Victor Vazquez are questionable.

Then there’s rotation to think about. Would Vazquez be rested anyway? What about Michael Bradley, Justin Morrow, Marky Delgado and Eriq Zavaleta, all of whom have taken on a pretty heavy workload over the past couple of months?

I suspect Greg Vanney will want to be full-strength from the New York Red Bulls game onwards in order to go into the playoffs with some momentum. That leaves this match and Saturday’s against the New England Revolution to make some changes.

The matchup

After such a disappointing loss at home to Minnesota United, Montreal might be in need of a spark to keep their belief alive going into this match.

Beyond Ignacio Piatti, no one is more likely to provide it than teenage prodigy Ballou Tabla (as we saw during the Canadian Championship final). I’d expect him to draw in for Michael Salazar on the right and attempt to get the better of Chris Mavinga, assuming he is not given the night off.

The opposition view

Impact owner Joey Saputo released this statement about the club’s 2017 season this week:

I have never been one to hide and not face adversity head on.

Our team’s latest performance has clearly fallen short of our expectations and those of our members, supporters, and city. Rest assured that this message has been conveyed to the technical staff and the players.

Having said that, at the beginning of the year, we presented a timeline with some very clear objectives as to where this club wants to be in the next five years.

Today, our resolve and our objectives have not changed. While this season has been extremely trying on many fronts, we ask for your patience.

The support you have given us has been tremendous throughout the season and instrumental in our progress over the years. We intend to build on this support to continuously improve and make the necessary adjustments in order to reach our goals.

So as the regular season is winding down, please know that we remain, and now more than ever, committed to our loyal supporters to give you the team and brand of soccer you expect and deserve.

That’s the towel being thrown in. Odd timing: could it not have waited until the season was actually over?

Pre-match reading

Predicting Toronto FC’s lineup vs. the Montreal Impact (part deux)

Altidore out, Giovinco and Vazquez questionable for Montreal match

Toronto FC’s determination to dominate road games is now paying off

TV channel & live stream

TV: TSN 1, 4 & 5 (English), TVA Sports (French)

Stream: TSN Go (English), TVASports.ca (French), MLS Live (out of market)

Radio: TSN 1050 (Toronto), 98.5 Montreal (Montreal)

Team news

Benoit Cheyrou and Nick Hagglund have both stepped up their recovery from injury but are not likely to make an appearance before the next international break.

Altidore, as mentioned, remains out with muscle tightness and Giovinco (ditto) and Vazquez (fever) are doubts, with the latter more likely to feature than the former.

Ambroise Oyongo is a long-term absentee for Montreal. Matteo Mancosu missed the loss to Minnesota due to a broken hand but plans to play out the rest of the season with strapping and may be available for this game.

Projected lineups

Toronto: Bono; Zavaleta, Hernandez, Mavinga; Beitashour, Cooper, Bradley, Osorio, Edwards; Vazquez; Ricketts.

Montreal: Bush; Duvall, Cabrera, Ciman, Lovitz; Bernardello, Piette, Dzemaili; Tabla, Jackson-Hamel, Piatti.