Canadian Premier League — Match #72 Valour FC vs. Forge FC September 12, 2019 — IG Field (8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT) Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca
It’s do-or-die time for Valour FC.
Coming off an 8-0 loss at the hands of Cavalry FC, the Winnipeg-based outfit will look to rebound against first-placed Forge FC, with the crowd at IG Field hoping to see a more resolute performance from Rob Gale’s side, who remain tied with Pacific FC at 12 points in the standings after 11 matches. As such, Valour has seven tilts remaining in the Fall season – and, thus, the 2019 CPL campaign – so a strong finish can start with a statement showing against the league leaders.
Meanwhile, Forge comes into this match on the back of a 905 Derby win over York9, and sit pretty atop the table with a point lead over Cavalry, and a game-in-hand, too. How Bobby Smyrniotis’ side handles the rigours of a Valour team now looking to prove a point will be fascinating to watch, as the Hamiltonian side has defeated Valour in each of their last four showings. Precedent is on their side in this regard, and the Hammer will enter IG Field brimming with confidence as a result.
Three days later, Valour FC heads to Ontario themselves, taking on York9 FC at York Lions Stadium. (Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m. ET/2:30 p.m. CT, available on OneSoccer). Forge also returns to action three days later, hosting HFX Wanderers FC at Tim Hortons Field. (Sept. 15 at 1:00 p.m. ET, available on OneSoccer).
KEYS TO THE MATCH
Keep an eye on Anthony Novak: The bruising centre-forward has scored three of his four goals against Valour, including a brace in their last meeting, which ended 3-1 in their favour at this very ground. Novak has turned heads with his goal-scoring prowess and penchant for playmaking, and that sort of fleet-footedness, not often seen in players of his ilk, will be a tough match for Valour, who will be without Skylar Thomas for this particular contest.
It’s now or never, right?: Coming off an 8-0 loss, Valour has a huge opportunity to really make a statement this season with a turnaround win. As such, Forge can expect to be taking on a highly-motivated side looking to get back on course in a meaningful way. They would do well not to underestimate Valour, and will instead look to put the team out of Fall season contention as Forge continues their warpath to a CPL Championship berth.
Forget the past: It’s not worth dwelling on if you’re Valour, for more reasons than one. Sure, the 8-0 loss will be fresh on their minds, but there’s no use ruminating upon it, nor these two teams’ last four encounters, which have skewed heavily – well, entirely – in Forge’s favour. It’s time for a clean start for Valour, who would do well to approach this particular match for what it is: an opportunity for redemption against a league heavyweight in front of an eager home crowd hoping for more.
Valour FC: Mathias Janssens; Diego Gutierrez, Adam Mitter, Yohan Le Bourhis, Nicolas Galvis; Jose Galan, Louis Beland-Goyette; Michael Petrasso, Dylan Carreiro, Marco Bustos; Michele Paolucci
Forge FC: Triston Henry; Jonathan Grant, David Edgar, Daniel Krutzen, Dominic Samuel; Kwame Awuah, Kyle Bekker, Tristan Borges; Chris Nanco, David Choiniere; Anthony Novak