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PREVIEW: HFX Wanderers FC vs. Cavalry FC – Match #53

Canadian Premier League — Match #53
HFX Wanderers FC vs. Cavalry FC
August 10, 2019 — Wanderers Grounds (1 p.m. ET/2 p.m. AT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca

After righting the ship somewhat with a home win on Monday, HFX Wanderers FC will be happy to remain at home this weekend, kicking off the Saturday tripleheader against Cavalry FC.

The Wanderers snapped a five-game CPL losing streak with their Natal Day win over Valour FC, their second triumph of the Fall competition. It moved them up the table to fifth, albeit with two more games played than any other side in the league. Stephen Hart’s side will now be looking for a confidence-building result against the league’s Spring season champions.

Meanwhile, Cavalry enters on short rest, having taken on the Montreal Impact in their Canadian Championship semi-final tie on Wednesday. They currently sit tied with Forge FC at the top of the Fall table with 10 points, although goal differential puts them second overall. They’re unbeaten in four league matches, although their last outing was a 1-1 draw at Valour FC in which they dropped points by conceding a stoppage-time penalty kick.

The Cavs are the only CPL team to win on the road in Halifax, and they’ve now done so twice. HFX will try to avenge those losses this weekend and maintain their standing as the team that capitalizes most on their home-field advantage.

After this east-coast stop, Cavalry will head home to Alberta for Leg 2 of their CanChamp tie, which goes next Wednesday at Spruce Meadows (9:30 p.m. ET, 7:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer). HFX, on the other hand, will stay in Nova Scotia, with their next contest a home date with Forge FC on Wednesday, August 21 (6:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. AT, on OneSoccer).

KEYS TO THE MATCH

  • Effective depth: It’s very likely that Tommy Wheeldon Jr. elects to rotate his Cavalry squad significantly for this one. They have a hill to climb in their CanChamp match with Montreal on Wednesday, and he’ll want his side as fit as possible for that. So, don’t be surprised to see a few depth players — Gabriel Bitar or Niko Giantsopoulos, maybe — get starting minutes. This will be an opportunity for them to prove themselves and perhaps earn some more minutes down the road.
  • One more shutdown: HFX’s backline was dealt a blow this week with the news that this will be centre-back Peter Schaale’s final game for them this year before he returns to Cape Breton University. He’s been a major part of their defence this season, and before he goes, he’ll have a busy afternoon trying to hold off Cavalry’s potent attack. The Wanderers will certainly be hoping that Schaale is able to help shut down just one more dangerous adversary and leave them with what would be a huge result.
  • Absorb the press: Cavalry has become known this season for their high press, and the damage it has done to opposing sides’ defences, who often pay dearly for small mistakes. HFX, however, has shown themselves to be an excellent counter-attacking team, especially at home, so they’d do well to sit back a little and allow the Cavs to play to them, hoping to nip a couple of goals on the break. That way, they’re less likely to be drawn out of position unnecessarily, opening up space for Cavalry’s attack.

 PROJECTED LINEUPS

HFX Wanderers FC: Christian Oxner; Ndzemdzela Langwa, Matthew Arnone, Peter Schaale, Alex De Carolis; Mohamed Kourouma, Akeem Garcia, Elliot Simmons, Andre Rampersad; Thomasz Skublak, Luis Alberto Perea

Cavalry FC: Niko Giantsopoulos; Nathan Mavila, Mason Trafford, Jay Wheeldon, Malyk Hamilton; Mauro Eustaquio, Elijah Adekugbe, Nik Ledgerwood; Carlos Patino, Oliver Minatel, Gabriel Bitar


HEAD TO HEAD

May 25 – Cavalry FC 2-0 HFX Wanderers FC
June 19 – HFX Wanderers FC 1-2 Cavalry FC
July 13 – HFX Wanderers FC 0-1 Cavalry FC

STATS LEADERS

Sergio Camargo – 5 goals (Cavalry FC)
Akeem Garcia – 4 goals (HFX Wanderers FC)

INJURIES

Chris Serban (Cavalry FC) – Out (Knee)
Dean Northover (Cavalry FC) – Out (ACL)

INTERNATIONAL DUTY

None

SUSPENSIONS

Andre Bona (HFX Wanderers FC)

ACCUMULATION
(Players are suspended for one match 14 days after accumulating a 4th Yellow Card)

Ndzemdzela Langwa (HFX Wanderers FC) – 3
Matthew Arnone (HFX Wanderers FC) – 3
Andre Rampersad (HFX Wanderers FC) – 3
Chrisnovic N’Sa (HFX Wanderers FC) – 3
Elijah Adekugbe (Cavalry FC) – 3
Joel Waterman (Cavalry FC) – 3
Jonathan Wheeldon (Cavalry FC) – 3

REFEREES

Referee: Marie-Soleil Beaudoin
ARs: Chantal Boudreau & Stephanie Fortin
4th Official: Scott Decker


FANTASY PREDICTOR
Download the Centre Circle app to play predictor ahead of each match. 

1. Which team will make more tackles?

A: Of the teams playing this weekend, the top team for each matchup in terms of average tackles per match are: HFX (14.3), York9 (12.4) and Pacific (13.6)

2. Will the team with more possession win?

A: Besides the fact that the more possession a team has in a match the more likely they are to dictate play, the three current top teams in the CanPL Fall Competition are also currently the top three teams in terms of average possession.

3. Will an outfield player have over 70 touches?

A: In last week’s lone matchup, only one player managed to get over 70 touches. Is this an outlier or are players unlikely to posses that much of the ball in a CanPL match?