When the New England Revolution take the field on Saturday, it’s likely they’ll be facing one of the league’s most effective strikers, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Ibrahimovic has scored goals everywhere he’s played and defending is no easy task. That said, the Revs are ready for the challenge.
Since joining the LA Galaxy in March, the Swedish striker has contributed 11 goals and three assists. This output has been a big reason why the Galaxy are currently on a five-game unbeaten run (2-0-3).
The Revs know that if they’re going to hand the Galaxy a loss, they’ll have to limit Ibrahimovic.
“I think he’s one of the guys that you don’t want to play against,” Antonio Delamea said on The Far Post Podcast. “He’s fast, he’s big, he’s strong. He can holdup the ball. He can score from actually anywhere.”
There have been some questions about whether Ibrahimovic will forgo playing at Gillette Stadium, as has been the norm for past superstars. All signs, including the fact that he played 18 minutes on Portland’s turf, point to him making some sort of appearance this Saturday.
With or without Ibrahimovic, the Galaxy have plenty of firepower. Ola Kamara is sitting on seven goals while Romain Alessandrini has five. The Revolution also have to keep an eye on Emmanuel Boateng and Ashley Cole, who each have five helpers.
If the home team is going to keep the Galaxy off the board, or at least avoid a shootout, they will have to be on top of their game.
“There are just talented players all over the field that can hurt you if you give them an inch of space, so it’s going to take focus for 90 minutes,” Matt Turner explained. “It’s probably going to be hot, it’s a summertime game, and kill them off and work hard for 90 minutes, come out with three points.”
The Revs are coming off of their fourth shutout of the year, which is a source of confidence heading into Saturday’s game. Furthermore, the team has traditionally played well at home.
To Delamea, this all means that Ibrahimovic will have additional pressure when he comes to Gillette Stadium.
“It’s really up to us to be good enough to cover him, to accept the challenge,” Delamea said. “I think we’ve been playing really good, especially in the home court. I think Zlatan should be afraid of this game, not us.