CF Montreal have used their recent MLS bye week to get some injured players back to fitness, says coach Laurent Courtois.

Montreal were not in action last weekend, but kick-start the second half of their 2024 campaign against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

And Courtois revealed that the break enabled Montreal to get three strikers, who had all been injured, healthy.

Josef Martinez, Matias Coccaro and Kwadwo Opoku are now back in the fold after lay-offs, as are Mason Toye and Lassi Lappalainen.

“A big part of it was to get people healthy and to fix a little bit the morale of the troops,” Courtois said of the break. “In that sense, these past two weeks have been really beneficial.

"Having all the people together brings a whole different dynamic. Everybody wants to win his spot.”

Not that Montreal went into the break in poor form. They are unbeaten in three games, having drawn with the Philadelphia Union and Nashville SC either side of beating D.C. United 4-2.

They sit 12th in the Eastern Conference, though going up against RSL presents a stern test.

Salt Lake are top of the Western Conference with 33 points from their 17 matches. They are unbeaten in 13 games in MLS.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

CF Montreal – Sunusi Ibrahim

Sunusi Ibrahim’s goal after 49 seconds on June 1 was the sixth first-minute goal Montreal have scored in MLS play. No team have scored more goals in the opening minute of matches since Montreal joined the league in 2012.

Real Salt Lake – Cristian Arango

Arango’s 16 goals and 10 assists for the season leave him one goal away from equalling Alvaro Saborio’s single-season club goals record of 17 set in 2012 and one goal contribution away from equalling Jeff Cunningham’s single-season record of 27 set in 2006.

MATCH PREDICTION: RSL WIN

RSL are on the second-longest single-season unbeaten run in club history (after going 14 straight games without defeat in 2010). The last team to go more than 13 straight games without defeat in a single regular season was the Portland Timbers (15) in 2018.

Montreal, though, are unbeaten in three straight matches (W1 D2) following a four-match regular-season losing streak. Montreal have not gone unbeaten in four straight league matches in over a year, since winning four straight games in April-May last season.

RSL recorded a 2-1 win at Montreal in the last meeting between the sides in May 2022. It was the first away win in the nine all-time meetings between the sides.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Montreal – 30.1%

RSL – 45.1%

Draw – 24.9%