Just who exactly is going to play for the New York Red Bulls on Saturday?
The Supporters Shield holders head to Quebec to face the Montreal Impact under the roof at Olympic Stadium this weekend, and the Red Bulls look set to be without at least four starters. Tim Cahill and Richard Eckersley are both recovering from injuries sustained in last week's draw with Chivas USA, while Thierry Henry and Jamison Olave have shown an aversion to playing on artificial turf and will likely hold themselves out of this match.
What that leaves New York head coach Mike Petke with is a patchwork starting XI that will somehow need to replace the quality of its three best players in Henry, Cahill and Olave. That's good news for a Montreal side struggling out of the gate this season, as the Impact have only grabbed one point of a possible 12 in their first four matches in 2914.
Montreal was bolstered by the return of striker Marco Di Vaio from suspension last week, with the Italian notching the game-tying goal in Philadelphia to help secure his club's lone point so far. He'll be looked upon to provide the offensive spark again this week, especially against a New York defense that will be missing two of its four regulars.
Both sides have made less than stellar starts to the campaign, but the Red Bulls are the more surprising of the two given their form over the entirety of 2013. Saturday's game represents a huge opportunity for both Montreal and New York to kick start a stalled season, and with the Impact's stuttering offense matching up against many of the Red Bulls' bench players, it could be an intriguing affair at the Big O.
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