MLS

Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak

By Sports Desk May 17, 2024

Laurent Courtois has accepted that it is on him to find a winning formula as CF Montreal look to snap their winless run against Toronto FC.

Montreal were beaten 3-1 by Columbus Crew in midweek and are now without a victory in six games in all competitions.

That includes a three-game losing streak in MLS, leaving them 13th in the Eastern Conference, and Courtois is eager to get back on track.

"It's up to me to find the winning formulas and discern the phases of the game," head coach Courtois said after the loss to Columbus.

"We have to grit our teeth and find solutions. The difficult times we are going through help me identify my group. I want to know the players better. 

"From all the negative aspects we can observe, I can identify a few individual aspects to improve the game or the team itself."

Monreal's rivals Toronto have themselves lost back-to-back games ahead of Saturday's Canadian Classique at BMO Field.

Nashville SC scored twice late on to snatch a 2-0 win in the Reds' most recent match, but acting head coach Jason deVos admits there can be no excuses.

"The last ten minutes, two mistakes cost us and that's the cruelty of football sometimes - that it's a 90-minute match and you need to put in a 90-minute performance in," he said. 

"The players are aware of that. They know where the growth areas are for us as a team."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Toronto - Federico Bernardeschi

Bernardeschi missed the loss to Nashville but will hope to start this weekend in a fixture he has fond memories of. 

The Italian has scored in each of his two home games against Montreal, making him the third Toronto player to score in two successive home games against them after Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

Montreal - Joel Waterman

Montreal have conceded three or more goals five times across their 12 MLS games this season, which is tied with San Jose Earthquakes for the most in MLS.

They quite simply need to sharpen up at the back, with Joel Waterman needing to step up and hope others around him also do so.. The centre-back led the way for interceptions (three) and clearances (four) against Columbus, yet it was still not enough.

MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

Montreal have won five successive matches against Toronto, following a run of neither side ever winning more than three on the spin in this fixture.

Toronto have won seven and drawn one of their eight matches in which they have held opponents under two goals since September, while they have lost all 13 in which they have shipped two or more.

Keeping the opposition quiet is therefore key, and this could present a chance to do just that against a Montreal side with fewer points (five) than any side in MLS since mid-March.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Toronto - 39.6%
Draw - 28.5%
Montreal - 31.9%

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