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Revolution vs. Impact: 4 Storylines to Follow

Just a point out of playoff contention, the Revs have work to do vs. Montreal

MLS: New England Revolution at Montreal Impact Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off a U.S. Open Cup performance that ended in a 4-2 drubbing at the hands of FC Dallas, the Revolution travel to Montreal in hopes of staying hot in league play.

Now just a point out of the eighth spot in the East, the Revs (8-12-9, 33 pts.) still have playoff aspirations. The club has helped itself in September, winning against formidable opponents NYCFC (3-1) and Colorado Rapids (2-0). With sixth-place D.C. United off this weekend—and hosting seventh-place Orlando City SC next weekend—the Revs could easily improve its standing with a win against Montreal tonight.

The Impact (9-8-11, 38 pts.) currently occupy the fifth spot in the East. In recent weeks, the club has struggled to string together consecutive quality outings, winning just once in its past five matches. A poor midweek performance against Philadelphia—which favorably ended in a 1-1 draw—helped Montreal distance itself from D.C. United (34 pts.), but hardly helped turn the tide during a frustrating stretch of matches.

Ahead of tonight’s showdown, here are three storylines to follow:

1. Will fatigue play a factor?

Both the Revolution and Impact enter tonight’s match on the heels of a midweek game, and neither team earned the result it was looking for. But for both clubs, the quest for a rebound could be thwarted by the presence of fatigue. Juan Agudelo and Lee Nguyen, in particular, have played a combined 169 minutes since last Saturday.

2. Revs look to flip the script on road struggles

Road matches have not been kind to the Revolution, who hold a dismal 1-8-5 record away from Gillette Stadium. On a positive note, the club’s lone road win did come north of the border against the Vancouver Whitecaps. Now, the Revs must find a way to win on the road when it matters most.

3. Can the Revs continue its September hot streak?

During each of Jay Heaps’ campaigns with the Revolution, fans have wished summer away, as the club has consistently struggled in the hotter months. But historically, all of that has changed in September. Since 2014, the Revs have recorded an impressive 10-2-1 record in September, scoring 24 goals in that span.

4. Revs defense seeks a return to top form

In its previous four league matches, the Revs have conceded just one goal. But during the U.S. Open Cup Final on Tuesday, the unit turned in a disastrous performance, conceding three first-half tallies and four goals overall. Can the Revs’ back line regroup and find its early-September form?