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Massive Predictions: Crew at Montreal Impact

How will the Black & Gold do heading north to Canada?

MLS: Montreal Impact at Columbus Crew SC Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Crew SC head back on the road on Saturday afternoon to take on the Montreal Impact. It will be the first contest away from MAPFRE Stadium since the 3-0 loss to the Philadelphia Union on March 23. Can the Black & Gold return to Columbus with a better result this time around? Let’s see what our staff thinks of this game.

Nick Hudak

The Crew have proven, not in the best of fashions, to show up against oppositions with suspect defenses. Montreal is much of the same, conceding a conference-high 11 goals through six games. While their seven-goal loss against Sporting KC was an absolute meltdown, they do look much improved coming off scoreless draws with New York City FC and D.C. United.

Columbus will look to maintain its hot start to the season and to extend its win streak to three and the extensive shutout period over another 90 minutes. I fully expect them to do so, given the promise they’ve shown as long as the trio of Gyasi Zardes, Wil Trapp and Zack Steffen remain in the lineup. Head coach Caleb Porter has acknowledged the team’s offensive struggles and that will have been a point of emphasis after Saturday’s win against the New England Revolution.

Even away from home, the Black & Gold will head up north and bring three points back to Columbus.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 0

Elmer Plasencia

The Crew will be the first team to visit Montreal this season as the Impact have been on a six-match road trip to start the 2019 campaign. The Impact have been competitive in all their matches (besides the 7-1 blowout against Sporting KC). Despite decent results, they will be without playmaker Ignacio Piatti for this match, which leads me to question their ability to create offensively going up against a superb Crew defense.

Without Piatti this weekend, I think it will be a tough go for Montreal to score on Columbus but with a solid defense that was able to hold a strong D.C. United attack at bay earlier in the week I could see this being a match with limited opportunities for both sides. Last season, Montreal was stellar at home with an 11-4-2 record.

Even though I think Columbus will have a tough match at Stade Saputo, the team’s strength all over the pitch and the Impact’s reliance on Piatti, I believe will simply be too much for Montreal to overcome.
Columbus Crew 1 Montreal Impact 0

Mike Crosky

Alright, so this match is a head-scratcher and could go either way. In favor of Montreal, it is the Impact’s home opener, and home teams generally do well in Major League Soccer. Additionally, the Crew generally struggle to earn winning results while traveling to Montreal. However, in favor of Columbus, the Impact will be without soccer player extraordinaire, Ignacio Piatti. This will also be the third game in eight days for Montreal, so you may see some tired legs out there in blue kits. With all of those various factors, I am going to go with a draw. A road point is always welcome in the wacky world of MLS.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 1

Guilherme Torres

The Crew goes on the road for just the third time this season and I expect this game to be something between the encouraging victory over the New England Revolution and the embarrassing loss to the Philadelphia Union.

The Impact is currently occupying the seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, but the Canadians have played all of their first six matches on the road, in which they managed to get a pair of wins. Scoring goals hasn’t been the main strength of either team, so I’ll settle for a scoreless tie.
Columbus Crew 0 Montreal Impact 0

Jay Homan

I am not for sure what we will see out of Montreal this Saturday. They have started their season with six consecutive away matches and are now finally coming home to face the Crew. The Bleu-blanc-noir will either be exhausted from their month of travel or hyped up to come home and play in front of their supporters. After facing a 7-1 thrashing in Kansas City, Montreal has settled back into rhythm with back-to-back draws in the last week. Expect a low scoring affair with a lot of Crew possession.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 1

Ralph Schudel

I think Columbus could once again taste victory this week against Montreal. The Black & Gold looks to beat the aggressive high-press of the Impact and will likely find success on the counter. I expect Caleb Porter to have a few of the midfielders sit back and look to jump lazy passes and quickly turn the action the other way. Expect Columbus to feed on a lackluster build-up out of the back from Montreal and create easy scoring chances.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 0

Collin Johnson

The Crew catch the Montreal Impact at nearly the best possible time. The Impact will be without do-everything midfielder Ignacio Piatti and are in the midst of a three-game, one-goal winless streak. Columbus has had its own issues with scoring, but has been able to get by with suffocating defense. Road points are difficult but the Black & Gold will head into this match expecting at least a point, while three points would help create more distance ahead of the rest of the East during this hot start.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 0

Patrick Murphy

This is an early-season test to see how good the Crew really is. If the Black & Gold really are the top team in the East, then they should go into Montreal and defeat an Impact team that is playing without their best player. The challenge is, it is Montreal’s home opener after six games away to start the season. That will provide some life to a team that not so long ago lost 7-1 to Sporting Kansas City.

With that said, the good teams find a way to get three points, even on the road, in this one. I think Columbus has an elite defense but am not buying the offense until the attackers prove they can score goals regularly.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 1

Jimmy Lentz

The Montreal Impact have played six consecutive road games to open the 2019 season and are 2-2-2. The two ties were 0-0, one of the wins was 3-1 and one of the losses was 7-1 (yes, you are reading that correctly). And the Impact has already earned two red cards this season. It’s safe to say that Montreal’s identity is unpredictable so far this year.

As Montreal will be motivated to make a statement in its April homecoming in front of their patient fans in Saputo Stadium this Saturday afternoon, the Crew will need to counter this energy with sustained possession to organize and to find/create 1 v. 1 opportunities out wide to attack the Impact’s back line. The defense for Columbus will probably bend, but it won’t break this weekend.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 2

Tyler Fisher

Columbus is strong favorites to win this match against the Impact who are missing Ignacio Piatti, a key part to their offense. The form the Crew has is working, so the team shouldn’t change much for this match. As for Montreal, life without Piatti against the top team in the East is devastating. Trying to play the same as if he’s there will be challenge, because Piatti has a certain spark about his playing style that can be lethal to the Crew backline. In my opinion, no one can reciprocate the talent Piatti has, which will cause them to lose the match.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Montreal Impact 1

Patrick Guldan

The Columbus Crew are off to the best start in nearly a decade, but they’ve played a home-heavy schedule and some questions remain if this team is a top-of-the-table contender. A road game against the Montreal Impact may be the best measuring stick of the young season to see just how good this team is. The Impact have muddled through their six game season-opening road trip with a respectable 2-2-2 record and will be playing their home opener. Even with the superlative Ignacio Piatti sidelined, this is a dangerous team offensively that is very solid in defense.

A Crew win in Montreal underscores that the Black & Gold can get results and do what it takes to scrap to a win. The Impact defense is more solid than the New England defense that gave them fits last week. That leaves the Crew trying to find goals while remaining mistake free. That’s a hard task to pull off all of the time and a recipe for dropped points. The game can break open if Columbus is forced to push forward for scoring chances. More likely, neither team’s offense can break down dedicated defense.
Columbus Crew SC 1 Montreal Impact 1

How do you see the Crew doing on the road in Montreal? Let us know your score prediction in the comment section below.