New England (11-11-9) at Montreal (13-10-7), 2:30 p.m.
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Impact will look to look to reverse a poor run of form on Saturday when the club welcomes the New England Revolution to the Stade Saputo.
Montreal was in a prime position to finish the regular season atop the Eastern Conference, but a four-match winless run in which the Impact have managed just one point has dropped the club to third place.
Not only would a defeat of New England put the Impact in good stead heading into the postseason, but they could officially clinch a spot in the playoffs with a win over the Revs and an FC Dallas victory over the Chicago Fire, also on Saturday.
"The reality of the situation, as I said this morning, is that if we win on Saturday and Chicago loses in Dallas, we will have our place in the playoffs," Impact captain Davy Arnaud told the club's official website. "Hopefully, the best is yet to come for the club. We have a huge opportunity to experience something special with this team."
'Special' is an apt adjective to describe Montreal's home atmosphere this season. The Impact have posted a 9-3-3 record at the Stade Saputo, though two of those losses have come during the club's current winless run. And with a winnable home clash with the Philadelphia Union looming on Oct. 19, three points against the Revs on Saturday would go a long way toward shoring up Montreal's playoff push.
"The atmosphere at Stade Saputo is incredible at every game," Arnaud continued. "We need that more than ever for these last two home games. It's very important for us as players."
While Montreal is on the cusp of clinching a spot in the postseason, New England's odds are far more speculative.
The Revs come into Saturday's tilt in seventh place in the East on 42 points, three points shy of the fifth-place Union holding down the final playoff berth. That Philadelphia takes on lowly D.C. United on Saturday only adds to New England's urgency to claim maximum points at the Stade Saputo.
But New England will have to be just a bit sharper than it was in its previous outing, a dramatic 2-2 draw with Red Bull New York last weekend.
The Red Bulls led for much of the match until a generous penalty decision allowed Lee Nguyen to equalize from the spot in the 85th minute. Andy Dorman was shown a red card for the Revs just one minute later, but the sending off galvanized New England as Diego Fagundez notched the go-ahead goal in the first minute of stoppage time.
It seemed as though the Revs did enough to claim all three points in a smash- and-grab job at Red Bull Arena, but some late heroics from Tim Cahill in the seventh minute of added time saw the two sides share the spoils.
It's fair to wonder whether that kind of letdown would leave the Revs dejected, but rookie defender Andrew Farrell insists that the team is optimistic.
"Right now I think if we had come away with no points this game, I think it's tough to get back together kind of after such an intense game, but we get the point, we were up until the last play, a questionable call here and there, so I think we're good," Farrell said. "We'll have a week when we go to Montreal, who hasn't been the best right now so far, and I think with this last 45 minutes we're feeling confident in ourselves that we can play with the best in the league, and even a man down. So, we got to just keep pushing, you know, tweak some stuff here and there that we got to look at the first half and see what we could have done better."