|Indy have the leadership and quality to win in Edmonton|
By: James Cormack
After two big winning weeks at home for Indy with wins over Miami FC and the New York Cosmos the boys in blue hit the road again, this time to the far flung outpost of Edmonton. If you have ever thought about traveling to FC Edmonton for a game and don't like to fly it's only around 28 hours of driving.
This is the final stage in a series of three games against top four opposition for Indy, and another test of the teams not so great road form. For the entire year Indy Eleven have a 1-6-5 record with a solitary away win at Rayo OKC, for the seven road games of fall so far Indy have only collected 2pts and are 0-2-5.
FC Edmonton's strong run that saw them become a fixture in the top four of NASL has been faltering lately, but they still have a considerable lead over the teams chasing a playoff spot in the combined table.
|Head to Head history and current form.|
The Eddies have now gone seven matches without a win and astonishingly five games without even scoring a goal. They will be returning home after three consecutive road games, the last of which was on Wednesday in Jacksonville so they will be much less rested than Indy Eleven. FC Edmonton have not scored a goal at home since the 14th of August.
However despite having only scored 11 goals for the entire fall season FC Edmonton have conceded less goals than any other team, and by a long way, only 8 goals conceded in 16 matches is a pretty incredible stat. It is little wonder most punters will be scrambling to predict another 0-0 draw this weekend.
Indy Eleven will need to play with the same conviction that saw them put up three goals against the Cosmos without reply and also overcome the mental or physical barriers of playing away from home. Indy have won in Edmonton before, it may have been 2014 but we know it can be done, we also should have won there in 2015 but for some reason decided to make 9 changes to the first team lineup and gift the then struggling Eddies a rare win.
Indy Eleven have only scored one goal in the two matches they have played in Edmonton, Kléberson found the net in 2014. Sometimes it is only that one goal that is needed to win these games, Indy will have to unlock the tightest back four in the league and then get the ball beyond one of NASL's finest keepers Matt Van Oekel.
After the midweek games this week all of the top four outside of Indy Eleven took to the field. FC Edmonton drew 0-0 in Jacksonville, Miami FC and Cosmos both won. This brings Miami and FCE back in line with Indy as far as games played and Cosmos have now played one more game than the others in the top three. Miami FC moved back to second with a win over Ottawa. Indy are now third, level on points with FCE in fourth and a point behind Miami FC in the fall standings.
Will we lineup the same?
I think the key to keeping our current form consistent would be to make as little changes as possible to start the game, it's working so why change it? Greg Janicki will again be the only unavailable player.
In the home wins against Miami FC and New York Cosmo only one change was made, Marco Franco replaced Lovel Palmer. The 3-0 victory over the league leaders was definitely the best performance of both those games, I would be very loathe to change the starting lineup at all. One of the advantages for us in the last two games is just how strong our bench is at the moment, it gives us a great lift in the second half to bring in players who have been regular starters this year.
Indy Eleven need to focus on the football and not the location or the home support, if they can play as they did in the last two weeks they can win away from home, and my feeling is they may well do that in this game, FC Edmonton are a tough nut to crack and Indy Eleven likes a challenge.
Starting XI: Busch, Franco, Miller, Falvey(c), Vukovic, Mares, Torrado, Ubiparipović, Smart, Braun, Zayed
Subs: Cardona, Ring, Paterson, Lacroix, Gordon, Keller, Palmer
Éamon Zayed scored his thirteenth NASL goal and fourteenth competitive goal for Indy Eleven last weekend, don't forget Bloody Shambles and Permanent Relegation are supporting Playworks Indiana children's charity with our #EamonZayedRule initiative. We are donating money for every goal Éamon Zayed scores this year and you can choose to play along or just make a one off donation to help us reach our target of $2000. Click Here for More Information.