FC Edmonton kicks off its second game of the Island Games in PEI against their provincial rivals Cavalry FC Thursday.
Here are five talking points ahead of FC Edmonton’s game against Cavalry FC Thursday.
1. Last season’s record against Cavalry FC deceiving
Last year, the Eddies failed to beat Cavalry FC and drew only once in five attempts, scoring only a single goal. But that record could be deceiving.
Of those five games, three games were within a goal – a draw and two 1-0 defeats. And the other two had a combined seven goals scored in a matter of 30 minutes of play and occurred in the final 30 minutes of both games.
The two clubs could be closer than last season’s final results suggest.
2. FC Edmonton will need to capitalize on the few chances they get
Cavalry FC will not give the FC Edmonton many opportunities to score with the likes of Dominik Zator Mason Trafford and Dean Northover on the backline, especially considering the 90 minutes of hell style of pressing Cavs’ coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. urges his team to play.
While Sunday’s performance against Forge FC showed improvement in ability to create chances, it also proved FC Edmonton needs to work on finishing those opportunities. The Eddies will need to capitalize on the few chances they are likely to get anything against the Cavs if they are to get anything from the game.
3. Counterattacks could prove decisive
If FC Edmonton’s defense use their 5-4-1 strategy against Cavalry FC, as they did against Forge FC, they may be able to use the Cavs’ press against them. With Kevan Aleman, Hanson Boakai and Zetterberg, the Eddies counterattack will be key to securing a result.
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FC Edmonton will need to use both wings to be effective and will need to move the ball quickly to avoid the impressive Cavalry FC press. Easton Ongaro will be integral to that plan – increasing his touches in the middle of the park and leading the counterattack through the centre will help create space out wide for Zetterberg when Cavalry’s defense steps up in the centre.
4. Injured Amer Didic leaves large hole in defense
Canadian international defender Amer Didic’s injury status is week-to-week and his presence will be missed.
Didic’s absence will test the Eddies depth but could provide an opportunity for the recently signed additions to show they’re ready to contribute – most notably Terique Mohammed who played well as a sub for Son Yong-Chan on Sunday.
5. No Wildrose Cup this year
When the dust settles on this edition of the Alberta rivalry however the Wildrose cup will not be awarded this season. The Wildrose Cup is the fan-funded trophy awarded to the Alberta club that has the better head-to-head record each season.
“After having a discussion with the board and coaches regarding the 2020 season, we have come to the conclusion that the Wild Rose Cup will not be (a)warded this season,” announced the Wildrose Cup Twitter account recently.
But Thursday’s match should still prove exciting. The Al Classico always is.
Cavalry FC vs FC Edmonton can be seen on OneSoccer.ca Thursday at 6 p.m. MT.