WEEK LOOKAHEAD: CFMTL return to SCCL22 action as Herdman prepares latest CanMNT roster
World Cup qualifiers on the horizon and Champions League on two continents? Count us excited!
Here's your Canadian soccer schedule for this week:
Canada roster set to be announced
John Herdman is expected to name his squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Costa Rica, Jamaica, and Panama later this week.
Canada can seal their qualification for the 2022 World Cup with a win in the first game of the window in Costa Rica. A draw will also see them qualify if either the United States fails to beat Mexico or Panama fails to beat Honduras.
It is possible for the Canadians to qualify even if they lose to Costa Rica but in that scenario, they are more likely to have to wait to finish the job in the second game against Jamaica.
The biggest question relating to Herdman’s selection is the status of Alphonso Davies. Davies has resumed light individual training with Bayern Munich after recovering from myocarditis.
No one from Canada Soccer or Bayern has explicitly ruled Davies out of the upcoming qualifiers. But after a lengthy absence and with Bayern looking to get his fitness up ahead of the Champions League quarter-finals next month, it looks increasingly unlikely that Canada’s star man will be able to play a part.
Another big night at the Big O
CF Montreal has enjoyed some memorable nights against Mexican opposition at the Olympic Stadium and will hope to create another when they face Cruz Azul in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie on Wednesday.
Montreal trails 1-0 on aggregate but will consider itself fortunate to be within one goal after a dominant Cruz Azul performance in the first leg at Estadio Azteca.
And Wilfried Nancy’s side will feel that having survived that onslaught, they are in a good position to now take the game to the Liga MX giants on home turf.
Montreal has struggled to balance league with Champions League so far this season, recording an impressive win over Santos Laguna in the previous round but losing its first three MLS games of the campaign.
They will be desperate to now make the sacrifice worthwhile by booking a spot in the semi-finals of the continent’s top competition.
Waiting for the winner of this tie will be either the New England Revolution or Pumas.
David & Lille set for Chelsea rematch
It has been a tumultuous few weeks at Chelsea, who have been put up for sale following sanctions imposed by the UK government against their owner Roman Abramovich.
For the time being, the Blues are operating under strict restrictions with regards to their activity and spending. After the win against Newcastle United on Sunday, Thomas Tuchel joked that he would “drive a seven-seater” if the club was not authorized to book a flight to France to face Lille in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Last post before #ChampionsLeague 🇭🇹 Please help us raise awareness for @TSFHI @Sannehfdn any small amount helps (link bio.) Hope you like my collection with @unionlosangeles 🇭🇹🇺🇸🇨🇦🇫🇷🇧🇪 out now pic.twitter.com/lcx4KeL9OC— Jonathan David (@itsJoDavid) March 13, 2022
Chelsea has a 2-0 lead on aggregate going into the round-of-16 second leg, leaving Jonathan David and his teammates facing an uphill struggle to book their place in the last eight.
Lille’s form has been improving in Ligue 1, however. Les Dogues are unbeaten in five and have not conceded a goal since their 5-1 thrashing at the hands of PSG in early February, although they were held to a draw at home against Saint-Etienne on Friday.