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PREVIEW: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

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The Gotham Blues continue their preseason this week against MLS competition when they face off against Didier Drogba and the Montreal Impact.

New York City FC and Montreal Impact square off tonight in a Preseason match
New York City FC and Montreal Impact square off tonight in a Preseason match
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

New York City FC is on a bit of a preseason winning streak as they enter tonight's matchup. After a 1-0 scrimmage victory versus FGCU and another 1-0 victory versus OKC Energy to open up their preseason, Patrick Vieira's side looks to continue their march to the 2016 season with another victory this evening, this time against much tougher competition. The Impact will serve as the team's first true challenge - as you'd expect from any team that is trotting out a legend like Didier Drogba. So here's what to look out for this evening:

What to watch for:

Montreal Impact

Expect the Impact to attack, attack, attack. What was already a stout attack at the end of last season sporting the likes of Didier Drogba and Ignacio Piatti, the Impact look to be even more lethal this upcoming season. They've recently traded for Chicago Fire Homegrown Player Harry Shipp - an attacking midfielder many around the league classifies as a true no. 10. Along with the addition of Shipp, the team is also reintegrating CONCACAF Champions League sensation Cameron Porter, who's on the mend after suffering an ACL tear early last season. In case you forgot about him, here is his sensation CCL goal again:

While the attack will get most of the attention for Montreal, their defense can't be ignored as well. With players like Laurent Ciman, their back line is pretty formidable as well. Ciman also acts as an igniter of the attack as well, like he against NYCFC last season.

New York City FC

Who plays, who sits

Facing tougher competition tonight, let's see if Vieira is ready to start all three DP's together, something we've yet to see in the 4-3-3 formation. Also, look to see where Matarrita plays tonight as well. In the last match versus the OKC Energy, Matarrita played the first half as a left winger further up into the attack, and then the second half played the left back role as Martinez was subbed off.

Also look to see if Andrew Jacobson sees any minutes tonight as well. He's been strangely absent from the last two matches.

Formation switching

The preseason match versus OKC also saw the club try out a new formation: a 3-4-3. Ethan White came in as a sub for Iraola, and acted as the third CB, but at times also acted more as a right back and joined the attack. It'll be interesting to see if this formation is used again in tonight's matchup. Also interesting to consider if Vieira sees White more as a hybrid RB/CB utility type rather than strictly as a CB. Stay tuned.

How to Watch:

New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact FC

Wednesday, February 17th, 7:00 PM
Al Lang Stadium; St. Peterburg, Florida
Stream online via nycfc.com

Note: This game will be streaming live via nycfc.com for free. Yay!