Canadian Premier League — Match #36
Forge FC vs. FC Edmonton
July 6, 2019 — Tim Hortons Field (1 p.m. ET)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
It’s a completely blank slate for both Forge FC and FC Edmonton this weekend, as they take part in the matinee tilt of Matchday 1 in the CPL’s Fall season. After they finished second and third, respectively, in the Spring section, they’ll both be champing at the bit to begin their bids to face Cavalry FC in the CPL Championship.
Although they ended up next to each other in the standings, these two clubs took very different paths to the end of the Spring. Forge, emerging from an early gauntlet of games (seven in the first month of the season, in fact), was the only side to truly challenge Cavalry in the title race. They were alive right up until the Wednesday before Canada Day weekend.
The Eddies stirred up some concern in the Spring, as they went goalless in a six-game winless stretch after a victory in their first game. They put an end to the skid with a 3-1 win at Pacific FC, though, and managed to close out the campaign with two more consecutive victories (including one against Forge last Wednesday).
After this clash, FC Edmonton remains on the road, paying a visit to Forge’s 905 Derby rivals York9 FC on Sunday, July 14 (3:30 p.m. ET, on OneSoccer). Forge, too, will next play away from home, as they travel to the west coast to take on Pacific FC (6:00 p.m. ET, 3:00 p.m. PT, on OneSoccer).
KEYS TO THE MATCH
- Oumar Diouck: Although the Eddies’ attack has taken some heat this year, the Belgian forward has been a fairly consistent producer. With four goals, including two in the last two games (plus one in the Canadian Championship), he’s the player who’s been most able to perform with the ball at his feet. His physical, bruising play is something his teammates would do well to mimic a little more.
- Return to focus: Last Wednesday, when Forge took the pitch knowing they’d just been eliminated from the Spring title race, they looked a little deflated and lacklustre in their loss to FCE. With the Fall season starting now, they’ve got something of a target on their backs as the consensus favourite to take on the Cavs in the Championship. Starting with this game, they need to earn that hostility by returning to the lethal attacking football that set them apart in the Spring.
- Keep it tight: One of the ways Forge has dismantled opponents is by spreading out the game, playing with pace and long passes to use as much of the pitch as possible. If they force FC Edmonton into fruitlessly chasing down attackers, the visiting team will be run ragged. Jeff Paulus needs his Eddies to play a tight, well-organized defensive match, since Forge will slice them open with one mistake in a flash.
Forge FC: Triston Henry; Kwame Awuah, Bertrand Owundi, Daniel Krutzen, Giuliano Frano; Kyle Bekker, Alexander Achinioti-Jonsson, Elimane Cisse; David Choinière, Chris Nanco, Tristan Borges
FC Edmonton: Connor James; Allan Zebie, Mélé Temguia, Amer Didic, Jeannot Esua; James Marcelin, Ramon Soria; Bruno Zebie, Oumar Diouck, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye; Tomi Ameobi
HEAD TO HEAD
May 29 – Forge FC 2-0 FC Edmonton
June 26 – FC Edmonton 1-0 Forge FC
Tristan Borges – 4 goals (Forge FC)
Oumar Diouck – 4 goals (FC Edmonton)
Jonathan Grant (Forge FC) – Doubtful
Anthony Novak (Forge FC) – Doubtful
Randy Edwini-Bonsu (FC Edmonton) – Doubtful
Dominic Samuel (Forge FC) – Yellow Card Accumulation
(Players are suspended for one match 14 days after accumulating a 4th Yellow Card)
Kadell Thomas (Forge FC) – 3
Referee: David Barrie
ARs: Melissa Snedden & Peter Pendli
4th Official: Carly Shaw-Maclaren
Download the Centre Circle app to play predictor ahead of each match.
Q: Will the team that finished higher in the Spring Competition standings win?
A: As we saw last week, teams toward the bottom of the table are capable of beating 1st place team Cavalry. This is a question where the underdog pick is not an unwise choice.
Q: Will the home team lead in possession?
A: Unless the home team is playing Cavalry, then yes. On the first day of Fall Competition, expect home clubs to come out with that extra motivation to put in a strong performance for their home crowd.
Q: Will an international player score?
A: Even though a majority of players on CanPL rosters are Canadian, international players have been crucial as offensive focal points for clubs. Expect Dominique Malonga, Oumar Diouck, and Akeem Garcia to continue being the go-to man up top for their clubs.