Charlotte FC is on the verge of making it five straight wins at home but C.F. Montreal will be looking to spoil the streak.
Here are the three ingredients of the match for Montreal.
Capitalize on Confidence
It’s been a good week for Charlotte – they got a win in their return home against Inter Miami and advanced to the Round of 16 in the U.S. Open Cup with a decisive 5 – 1 win against the Richmond Kickers in their midweek clash.
The team feels good leading up to their daunting task against C.F. Montreal. There’s no way around it, Montreal is a GOOD team, but CLTFC can capitalize on their confidence to match an equally confident team.
“We had the confidence that there is no way that we lose because we feel we are more than 11 players on the pitch,” is what head coach Miguel Ramírez had to say after the team’s win against Miami last week.
Approaching Montreal with the same mentality is going to be key in the team’s effort to keep their home win streak alive. Use the confidence you’ve built from winning two matches in the past week - the confidence that fans instill in you at home, where you haven't lost in four straight matches. Anything is possible in a match where Charlotte is considered by many as the underdog.
In their last outing against Miami, the team shined offensively despite what the final score showed. They were lively and dynamic, threatening when they had the ball. However, some lapses in Charlotte’s defensive structure led to some clear scoring opportunities for Miami. Opportunities that a team like Montreal will exploit with their quality.
Defensive discipline and care in not getting dragged too easily out of position will be vital against a front three of Montreal that likes to combine quickly. It’s a tall order to keep a sizzling Montreal team from scoring but defensive structure and discipline will give you the best shot at it.
The defensive structure will most likely have to be centered around one man, Djorde Mihailovic. Montreal has a lot of attacking quality, but Mihailovic is the guy. With five goals and four assists this season, the attacking midfielder is an MLS MVP contender.
He can beat you a multitude of ways: off the dribble, precise passing, and even with his set piece delivery. Mihailovic is the type of the player that is seemingly everywhere, so tracking him at all times is of the upmost importance.
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