MLS preview: Toronto & Montreal battle it out for the East

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

The second leg of Major League Soccer's Eastern Conference Final takes place tonight - we preview Toronto FC v Montreal Impact.

Toronto FC v Montreal Impact

(Montreal lead 3-2 on aggregate)

2016 Eastern Conference Championship – Leg 2

BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario

Wednesday 30th November 2016

7pm ET/12am GMT

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact
After Seattle Sounders defeated the Colorado Rapids to take the West, Montreal Impact visit Toronto FC's BMO Field on Wednesday night for the second leg of the MLS Eastern Conference Final - with a place against the Sounders in December's MLS Cup at stake.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

The Impact take a slender lead into the game after defeating Toronto 3-2 in the first leg, thanks to a blistering performance from their forward line - especially the explosive Dominic Oduro.

However, it wasn't all good news to Montreal in the first leg - as Toronto fought back from 3-0 down to score two potentially vital away goals. 

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

Toronto will pose a significant challenge for the Impact tonight, as before last week's first leg defeat TFC were on an impressive post-season winning streak after finishing third in the East during the regular season.

With a place in MLS Cup anyone's for the taking, the likes of Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and the mercurial Sebastian Giovinco will be hoping for a much improved second leg showing - particularly the diminutive Italian forward, who did not meet his usually high standards in leg one.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

Indeed, Toronto will certainly look towards their three Designated Players - Bradley, Altidore and Giovinco - for inspiration and direction against their Canadian rivals. 

Montreal will also be wishful that their talisman - Ignacio Piatti - will experience another influential performance in the hope that his side can hold on to their one goal advantage - knowing that Toronto are the only side that need the win. 

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

Team News

Toronto have no suspensions or injury concerns ahead of the game, but in light of the first leg first half performance, manager Greg Vanney may make alterations to the recent set-up.

Toronto had far more influence on the first leg once they introduced Will Johnson and Tosaint Ricketts from the bench, so Vanney may decide to start both if he switches from his 3-5-2 to a 4-2-3-1.

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

If 3-5-2 prevails, then the most likely change would be Johnson - who in partnering Bradley, would provide a little more structure in central midfield over either Jonathan Osorio or Armando Cooper.

Montreal Impact are expected to be unchanged from their starting line-up in leg one. This means that Didier Drogba would start as a substitute in what could be his last game in MLS and perhaps the swansong of an eventful and successful career. 

MLS: Eastern Conference Championship-Toronto FC at Montreal Impact

Predicted Line-ups

Toronto FC (4-2-3-1): Clint Irwin, Steven Beitashour, Drew Moor, Nick Hagglund, Justin Morrow, Michael Bradley, Will Johnson, Jonathan Osorio, Armando Cooper, Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore 

Montreal Impact (4-3-3): Evan Bush, Hassoun Camara, Laurent Ciman, Victor Cabrera, Ambroise Oyongo, Hernan Bernardello, Patrice Bernier, Marco Donadel, Dominic Oduro, Matteo Mancosu, Ignacio Piatti 

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