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PREVIEW: Pacific FC vs. FC Edmonton – Match #73
Canadian Premier League

Canadian Premier League — Match #73
Pacific FC vs. FC Edmonton
September 14, 2019 — Westhills Stadium (3 p.m. ET/12 p.m. PT)
Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca and on CBC

Two sides reeling from midweek losses are right back at it on Saturday, as Pacific and FC Edmonton meet for the fourth time (just the second on Vancouver Islands).

After keeping pace at the top of the table for much of the Fall season, the Eddies are now facing a bit bleaker future. A 1-0 loss to Albertan rivals Cavalry FC on Wednesday means FCE find themselves nine points back of leaders Forge FC (and eight behind the Cavs), with just seven games left to mount a challenge. They haven’t won since Aug. 10th, despite holding a trio of teams (York9 FC, HFX Wanderers, and Cavalry) to draws, so the pressure is on for the Eddies to start firing again.


RELATED READING: FC Edmonton, Cavalry, Forge locked in ‘great triangular series’


Pacific’s prospects are even bleaker, with 12 points from the Fall season putting them fifth. They squandered an opportunity to climb into third place on Wednesday by losing 2-0 to York9 at home, a game in which the Tridents played on the front foot for extended stretches. The loss was a step back for Pacific after they drew 1-1 with Cavalry and Forge in successive matches, as they seemed set to go on a tear in the homestretch of the season.

The Eddies have been a bit of a bogey team for Pacific, with the last two meetings ending in 3-1 wins for the Alberta-based side. Michael Silberbauer’s team has never managed to beat FC Edmonton in three attempts, although they scraped a 0-0 draw back in May.

Both sides will be relieved to have no midweek fixture straight after this one, although they’ll both return to action next weekend. FC Edmonton is back home on Saturday, Sept. 21 to host York9 (3:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer), and Pacific plays the following day when they travel to take on Cavalry (3:30 p.m. ET, 1:30 p.m. MT, on OneSoccer).

KEYS TO THE MATCH

  • Trust the backline: Wednesday’s loss was the first time Pacific lost with both first-choice centre-backs Lukas MacNaughton and Hendrik Starostzik in the lineup. York9 was able to find a way through, with Simon Adjei picking the ball off Starostzik and dancing around MacNaughton for his second goal. Still, the experienced pair’s body of work can’t be discredited by one poor performance. Expect coach Michael Silberbauer to return to the same backline, and expect it to be as stingy as ever.
  • Stay disciplined: The latest edition of Al Classico saw the Eddies concede 11 more fouls than their opposition, which put them at a disadvantage on far too many occasions (including the penalty that won Cavalry the match). Jeannot Esua will miss this match after his ejection on Wednesday — although that particular call was a deeply controversial one. Still, the cheapest way to give an opponent an opportunity at goal is to foul them; much of FC Edmonton’s success comes from their physicality, but they’ll have to toe the line.
  • No rest for the wicked: As is typical in the Canadian Premier League, neither of these sides will have had much time to make tactical adjustments after midweek defeats. With injuries plaguing both teams all year, the focus will surely be on recovery in the days leading up to this fixture, so don’t expect wildly different tactics from Wednesday for either club — instead, coaches will hope for better execution from their players, who (in fairness) only faltered in small moments in the two very close games.

 PROJECTED LINEUPS

Pacific FC: Mark Village; Kadin Chung, Hendrik Starostzik, Lukas MacNaughton, Blake Smith; Alexander Gonzalez, Matthew Baldisimo, David Norman Jr.; Victor Blasco, Terran Campbell, Marcus Haber

FC Edmonton: Connor James; Allan Zebie, Amer Didic, Mélé Temguia, Kareem Moses; James Marcelin, Ramon Soria, Ajay Khabra; Oumar Diouck, Tomi Ameobi, Easton Ongaro


HEAD TO HEAD

May 12 – FC Edmonton 0-0 Pacific FC
June 23 – Pacific FC 1-3 FC Edmonton
August 10 – FC Edmonton 3-1 Pacific FC

STATS LEADERS

Terran Campbell – 10 goals (Pacific FC)
Easton Ongaro – 6 goals (FC Edmonton)

INJURIES

Marcel De Jong (Pacific FC) – Out (Achilles)
Randy Edwini-Bonsu (FC Edmonton) – Questionable
Tony Tchani (FC Edmonton) – Questionable
Bruno Zebie (FC Edmonton) – Questionable

INTERNATIONAL DUTY

None

SUSPENSIONS

Jeannot Esua (FC Edmonton)

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

Victor Blasco (Pacific FC) – 3
Emile Legault (Pacific FC) – 3
Amer Didic (FC Edmonton) – 3

REFEREES
Referee: Alain Ruch
Assistants: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt & Evan Fryer
4th Official: Carley Shaw-MacLaren