New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact – MLS, November 20, 2020
New England welcomes Montreal Impact to Gillette Stadium on Friday, November 20, for the first of two play-in matches before the new-look MLS Cup playoffs commence.
The Revs finished eighth in the Eastern Conference – six points ahead of ninth-place Montreal. The two sides will now battle it out to remain in the postseason.
I assess the bookmakers’ odds before giving my New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact prediction and betting pick.
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact Odds
Considering that this is effectively a one-off shoot-out, the odds gap for this matchup seems pretty big. There is no denying that New England (1.68) deserves the favorite tag, but Thierry Henry’s men will give everything they’ve got.
Montreal (4.15) is the deserved outsider here. However, the draw after 90 minutes (3.85) looks like a tasty option.
New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact Preview
New England ended the regular season locked on 32 points with New York Red Bulls and Nashville SC. The Red Bulls snatched the sixth and final automatic playoff spot in the Eastern Conference thanks to their winning record, while Nashville’s superior goal difference ultimately saw the Revs finish eighth.
I think Bruce Arena’s men can count themselves unfortunate to be taking part in a play-in game. New England has been in and around the top six for much of 2020, yet the Greater Boston club dropped out at just the wrong time.
In fairness, the Revs didn’t exactly finish the regular season in good form. They only managed to win one of their final five games, with a narrow 4-3 victory over DC United coming in their penultimate outing.
Having said that, New England can take confidence from their impressive record against Montreal this year. Arena’s men have faced the Impact three times this year, and they have won on every occasion.
Montreal will also be well aware of their recent record in this fixture. Thierry Henry’s side does not have fond memories of playing against New England, and that could have a negative impact on the team.
After a dreadful run of just two wins in 12 matches, the Canadians secured their place in the postseason with a 3-2 victory over DC last weekend. It’s safe to say that the Quebec outfit endured a nervy end to the regular season.
Following goals from overseas stars Bojan Krkic, Victor Wanyama, and Romell Quioto, Samuel Piette was sent off last time out. The midfielder has been a key figure for the Impact this year, but he will now miss the play-in game through suspension.
With Piette on the sidelines and the defense leaking goals at an alarming rate, Montreal will have their work cut out against the Revs.
My Prediction and Betting Pick
New England Revolution to Win1.68
With so much at stake, this is bound to be a tense encounter with very few clear-cut goalscoring opportunities. The Revs don’t tend to score many goals as it is, but I can see their defense winning them this game.
Montreal finished the regular season with the poorest defensive record in the East (43), while only three teams ended up conceding fewer goals than New England (25). Arena’s side has been far better than the Impact throughout the year, so I’m backing the Revs to come out on top here.