MLS

CF Montreal v New York Red Bulls: Schwarz not worried about misfiring front line ahead of Stade Saputo trip

By Sports Desk June 19, 2024

New York Red Bulls head coach Sandro Schwarz insisted he is not worried about his side's lack of firepower as they travel to the Stade Saputo on Thursday.

The Red Bull Army failed to find the back of the net in their encounter against Nashville last time out, registering 14 shots with only six on target in front of their home supporters.

Schwarz's side sit third in the Eastern Conference table, six points behind second-placed FC Cincinnati, but are hopeful of closing the gap with a win over their opponents.

The Red Bulls head coach has said he will pass on his own experiences he went through as a player to try and combat their recent struggles in front of goal, but is confident his side can create those moments against Montreal.  

"I am not worried about that," Schwarz said. "The only way, and this is my experience as a player and as a head coach, is to create every time in the next situation and to try it again in the next situation.

"To come into the box position, this is what we have to do. I am sure, and I think this season we have scored a lot of goals, but against Nashville it was 0-0.

"It is good that if you don’t score it is not necessary you didn’t concede a goal. Now, we have to create these moments against Montreal on Wednesday."

Meanwhile, Montreal played out the same scoreline in their encounter with Real Salt Lake last time out but remained in 12th place in the Eastern Conference.

Laurent Courtois' side are now unbeaten in their last four matches (W1 D3) in all competitions for the first time since a six-match winning streak between April and May last year.

Montreal had lost five of its previous six games (D1) and will be looking to continue their recent momentum in front of their home supporters.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Montreal – Joaquin Sosa

Sosa won five of the nine tackles he attempted against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, which is the most tackles won in a match by a CF Montreal player this season.

Sosa had won just 10 tackles in his first nine appearances for the club.

New York Red Bulls – Elias Manoel

With top scorer Lewis Morgan away with Scotland at Euro 2024, and Emil Forsberg out with a foot injury, it offers the chance for Elias Manoel to take centre stage.

The Brazilian has scored three goals in 17 appearances this season, with his last coming in May against DC United.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEW YORK RED BULLS WIN

It looks set to be a tightly contested affair at the Stade Saputo on Thursday, but NYRB should have enough to edge the contest away from home.

The Red Bulls' defensive rearguard was a big positive from their goalless draw with Nashville, not allowing their opponents a shot on target – the fourth time they have managed this since 2022.

Schwarz's side reached the 30-point mark on Sunday with their draw at home to Nashville, reaching that total in fewer games just twice in the club's history, which came in the 2012 and 2018 campaigns, taking just 16 games to achieve.

The two sides have alternated wins over the last eight meetings, with New York winning the last match 2-1 in May 2023. None of the last 17 regular-season meetings between the sides have ended in a draw.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Montreal – 31.6%

Draw – 25.3%

NYRB – 43.1%

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