Three teams in the Eastern Conference have yet to register a victory.
Two of them are featured in this match. Both have allowed 9 goals through the first five contests and both have attackers that can find the net. Marco Di Vaio missed the first three games of the season due to suspension and predictably Montreal's offense was shut out in two of those three games. The veteran striker is back now and so is the danger in the Montreal attack.
There shouldn't be many surprises in this opponent's game plan. Montreal likes to counter and strike quickly but their defense is questionable. Frank Klopas has teased a potential Di Vaio - Jack McInerney strike partnership but that would seem to go against everything they've shown in the first five games. Furthermore, McInerney and Di Vaio are similar in that they like to toe the offside line by playing off the back shoulder of the last defender looking for opportunities. McInerney may be best suited as an understudy to Di Vaio until they've had more opportunity to work him into the line up in some fashion that would compliment the Italian veteran. Playing them both would remove either a wide player or one of the two holding midfielders, neither of which seems capable of holding down the spot by themselves.
Possible line ups
Johnson; Cochrane, Soumare, Hurtado, Palmer; Nyarko, Larentowicz, Alex, Shipp; Magee, Amarikwa
Top subs: Anangono, Watson, Ianni, Duka
Perkins; Pearce, Ferrari, Camara, Miller; Warner, Bernardello; Mapp, Felipe, Romero; Di Vaio
Top subs: Gonzalez, McInerney, Smith, Bernier, Brovsky
The Fire's first twenty minutes against Philadelphia were very good but the Union took control before the half until a change to a more offensive look turned the tables. If the Fire want to push a shaky defense it would seem that placing Alex back in the starting eleven would be a logical choice. If Yallop opts for a conservative approach on the road it may be Watson getting the call again.
Montreal is much better when Justin Mapp is on form. There are a few weeks every season where Mapp draws some ooh's and ahh's but eventually he settles back into the inconsistency he's displayed over his entire career. If Bernardello can't go due to injury, Patrice Bernier will probably be back into the starting line-up for the first time this season.
OUT: Steven Kinney (hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: Dilly Duka (hamstring tightness), Gonzalo Segares (ankle sprain)
Segares is not fully recovered from an ankle injury although Yallop expects him to return to training next week.
OUT: Adrian Lopez (R knee surgery), Sanna Nyassi (L knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: Nelson Rivas (R thigh), Hernan Bernardello (ankle)
Jose Carlos Rivero
The Fire's recent history on turf has been brutal (0-9-3 in their last twelve) and with that in mind the team trained on Toyota Park's turf field for a portion of the week. Just as ugly has been the Fire's set piece defending this season. This graphic illustrates that Chicago has allowed seven of the nine goals they've given up this season as a result of dead ball sequences. Montreal, however hasn't scored once this year from a set piece.
Both teams are winless and have played the other winless team in the East (New York) to a draw. Games against their other common opponent, Philadelphia, also resulted in stalemates after ninety minutes.
The Impact have played well in spurts this season but not quite well enough to pick up a victory. They've also been shaky in the back and have allowed three scores from dead ball plays. Sound familiar?
Fire 1 Impact 1
The rest of the league
Philadelphia 1 Real Salt Lake 2
Toronto FC 1 Colorado 0
New England 1 Houston 1
DC 2 New York 3
FC Dallas 2 Seattle 1
Portland 3 Chivas USA 1
Los Angeles 2 Vancouver 1
San Jose 1 Columbus 1
Season record 12-31 (almost as bad as the Fire's turf record-picking MLS games is hard)