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PREVIEW: Valour FC vs. FC Edmonton – Match #86

Canadian Premier League — Match #86
Valour FC vs. FC Edmonton
October 5, 2019 — IG Field (3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca and CBCSports.ca

Valour FC’s three-game September road trip is finally over, as they’ll be back in the familiar confines of IG Field this weekend to host FC Edmonton.

The Winnipeggers saw mixed results away from home, as they downed York9 FC before drawing 0-0 with HFX Wanderers FC and then falling 4-1 to Cavalry FC last Wednesday. They’re right in the thick of the battle for third place in the Fall table, with a 4-7-4 record putting them in a dead heat for fourth (and just one back of York9 above them). Valour lost their last two home games before heading out on the road, so they’d certainly like to re-instate their authority at IG Field.


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Jeff Paulus, meanwhile, has had the Eddies working hard in preparation for next year as he, too, eyes third place. They’ve gone nine games without a win, their last triumph coming on Aug. 10 over Pacific, but in the past two contests they’ve been a very tough side to break down. They fought to take a point from HFX at Wanderers Grounds, and they all but did the same against first-place Forge, were it not for the comedy of defensive errors that led to a first-half goal. FCE is one point behind Valour and Pacific in the Fall standings, although they have the edge in goal differential should they make up that gap.

These two have had some interesting encounters before, as the Eddies claimed a road win over Valour in their first-ever CPL game back in May. The sides also met in mid-August, when Valour’s attack came alive after a summer rough patch to take the contest, 3-1.

Valour’s final home game of the season will be next on the schedule, as they sit out until next Wednesday, October 16 to host York9 FC (8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT, on OneSoccer). Edmonton, too will be off until the 16th, when they’ll be at home to play against Pacific FC (9:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).

KEYS TO THE MATCH

  • Perfect the system: Jeff Paulus has, in recent weeks, moved back to the 4-3-3 tactical system he hoped to instill at the beginning of the season. With young players such as Marcus Velado-Tsegaye and David Doe training in that formation all year, he’s given the Eddies more reps with that setup in order to give youngsters an opportunity to prove themselves in game situations ahead of the 2020 season. That said, the attack hasn’t been quite as free-flowing as intended, with two goals in three games since making the switch. It’s a learning process, of course, but FCE will definitely hope to start playing with a little more speed and incisiveness in the final third.
  • Play wider: Valour suffered against Cavalry by collapsing in on the centre of the pitch far too much. The front three of Marco Bustos, Michele Paolucci, and Dylan Carreiro all played nearly on top of each other in the middle, while a fourth attacker, Tyler Attardo, ended up more like a fullback all on his own on the touchline. That might be helped by Michael Petrasso’s possible return to the starting 11, but regardless, Valour needs to avoid being pushed back by the Eddies. They’re a good team going forward when they create space for themselves, but that won’t happen if all their attacking players are either bunched up or completely isolated.
  • Dual threat: FC Edmonton haven’t quite managed to get both Easton Ongaro and Tomi Ameobi clicking together yet, but the two strikers have enough in the locker that neither can really take a back seat. Ongaro hasn’t seen as much time in his new wider role as he has in the middle of the pitch, but he’s quick enough for a 6’6″ forward that he’s able for it. He cut in from the left a few times on Wednesday and managed to play three key passes, so the partnership has shown signs of coming together, but they haven’t quite linked up for a goal yet.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Valour FC: Mathias Janssens; Diego Gutierrez, Skylar Thomas, Yohan Le Bourhis, Raphael Garcia; Jose Galan, Louis Beland-Goyette; Michael Petrasso, Dylan Carreiro, Marco Bustos; Michele Paolucci

FC Edmonton: Connor James; Allan Zebie, Mélé Temguia, Amer Didic, Kareem Moses; Bruno Zebie, Ajay Khabra, Son Yong-Chan; Easton Ongaro, Tomi Ameobi, Marcus Velado-Tsegaye


HEAD TO HEAD

May 4 – Valour FC 1-2 FC Edmonton
June 2 – FC Edmonton 0-1 Valour FC
July 17 – FC Edmonton 0-0 Valour FC
August 19 – Valour FC 3-1 FC Edmonton

STATS LEADERS

Michael Petrasso, Tyler Attardo & Marco Bustos – 6 goals (Valour FC)
Easton Ongaro – 7 goals (FC Edmonton)

INJURIES

Josip Golubar (Valour FC) – Out (ACL)
Martin Arguinarena (Valour FC) – Doubtful
Dylan Sacramento (Valour FC) – Questionable
Jeannot Esua (FC Edmonton) – Doubtful

INTERNATIONAL DUTY

None

SUSPENSIONS

Jordan Murrell (Valour FC) – Yellow Card Accumulation
Raphael Ohin (Valour FC) – Yellow Card Accumulation

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

Diego Gutierrez (Valour FC) – 3
Amer Didic (FC Edmonton) – 3
Tomi Ameobi (FC Edmonton) – 3
Ramon Soria (FC Edmonton) – 3
Mélé Temguia (FC Edmonton) – 3

REFEREES

Referee: Juan Marquez
ARs: Peter Manastyrsky & Sabrina Ferraz
4th Official: Marko Kalic