Will the Newly Signed Krkic and Tabla Make an Impact at Montreal?

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Montreal Impact has decided to strengthen their squad with two new players! A former Barcelona youth prodigy Bojan Krkic joins the Impact after his contract with Stoke City was mutually terminated. Additionally, they will be bringing back homegrown Ballou Tabla on loan after spending a year and a half with the Barcelona B side.

Montreal have hit a rough patch in the season and have greatly endangered their playoff chances. Will these two new signings help the Canadian MLS franchise improve?

Improve the Offence

What most people are hoping for is that the duo strengthens the team’s offence! Both Krkic and Tabla are stellar scorers and have proven themselves as reliable offensive footballers. Unfortunately, both of them have been quite inconsistent in their last couple of seasons. Krkic had problems staying put with one team while Tabla went on loan after not meeting expectations at Barcelona B. Nevertheless, both seem to believe that MLS is a good option for the time being.

The Montreal team has had problems in finding a reliable player in front. Saphir Taider has been the team’s most reliable scoring option bagging 9 goals so far. Ignacio Piatti is by far their most experienced player up front, but an injury prevented him from showing what he is truly capable of. The Argentine only managed to score 3 times in 9 games in the 2019 MLS season.

Bojan Krkic

Bojan Krkic of Barcelona celebrates goal during a Spanish League match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Nou Camp Stadium on April 3, 2010 in Barcelona, Spain – Maxisport / Shutterstock.com

Defense is Still Important

Although Rémi Garde seems thrilled with the prospect of adding such talented attacking players, he still feels that the defense has plenty of room for improvement. As Garde stated: “I believe that we have to defend well and the offence will come!” Montreal’s defense has been horrific in recent times. They even conceded as much as six goals in a 6-3 away loss against the Colorado Rapids.

Protecting their net has to be the first thing on their mindin the forthcoming games. Montreal is currently sitting in 7th spot of the Eastern Conference standings, followed by FC Toronto and Orlando City. With only eight matches to go, they will be fighting for their dear life just to qualify for the playoffs. William Hill prices them at 40/1 for taking the US Major League Soccer title.

Bojan Krkic Career

At one point, Bojan Krkic was considered a player who could replace Lionel Messi himself. He reportedly scored more than 400 goals at youth levels and after making 22 appearances for Barcelona B debuted for the first team at only 17 years of age. Unfortunately for Bojan, his development didn’t go as everyone hoped it would.

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He stayed at Camp Nou for four years and scored 26 goals in total. Krkic finally departed Barcelona and was sold to Roma. That is when his journey began. Since 2011 to this day, Bojan changed seven clubs. His most prolific period was probably the 2015/2016 season where he scored 7 times for Stoke City in the Premier League.

Krkic is only 28 years old and still has a lot to show. The Spaniard hopes that going to the Impact will help him get his career back on track. Bojan signed a one-year deal with an option of extending the contract for additional two seasons.

Ballou Tabla Career

Ballou Tabla is a 20-year old Canadian winger. He was born in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, but moved to Canada as a child and grew up in Quebec. This will be his second stint with the Montreal Impact as he was previously sold to Barcelona B.

Unfortunately, Ballou scored only three goals in a year during his time there and was shipped off on loan to Albacete. He managed only two appearances in the Segunda Divison for the Spanish side after which he returned to Blaugrana.

This will be Tabla’s second loan spell, but this time he is going back home. The forward hopes to reach a playoff position with Montreal and at the same time is trying to prove that he still has a lot to offer.

Montreal Impact Recent Form

  • Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC 0-2
  • Columbus Crew vs Montreal Impact 2-1
  • Montreal Impact vs Philadelphia Union 4-0
  • Colorado Rapids vs Montreal Impact 6-3
  • Chicago Fire vs Montreal Impact 3-2

The Odds

Montreal Impact dug themselves in a hole in the worst possible time. Both Rémi Garde and his players have to view every upcoming game as an elimination match. Adding two stellar attackers will certainly benefit the team. Scoring goals was a bit problematic for the Impact but they had more trouble protecting their own net.

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With the addition of Krkic and Tabla, and the previously acquired Finn Lappalainen, the Impact has a lot of scoring options up front. We can’t forget Piatti as well, who came back with two goals in the Canadian Championship game against Cavalry.

Montreal welcomes FC Dallas on home soil in their next game. William Hill sees the home team as a favorite at odds of 2.05. However, since the Impact’s goalkeeper is not capable of getting a clean sheet this season while the offense has been doing their job, a more likely outcome is that both teams will score in this match. This pick is available at the rate of 1.66.