2022 CPL Regular Season — Match #19 Valour FC vs. HFX Wanderers May 7, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. CT/ 4:00 p.m. AT IG Field in Winnipeg, Manitoba Watch Live: OneSoccer.ca & TELUS Ch. 980 // Tickets available here

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After an unexpected week off after their last game was postponed due to League Covid Protocols and advice from medical experts, Valour FC are back in action on Saturday afternoon, hosting HFX Wanderers in their 2022 home opener at IG Field. Last time out, two weeks ago at TD Place against Atletico Ottawa, Valour exploded offensively for a 6-1 win. Braces from Alessandro Riggi and Moses Dyer, with the other two goals scored by Rocco Romeo and Brett Levis, saw their team pick up their first win of the season. Valour are 1-1-1 through three matches, and sit in fifth entering the fifth weekend of the season, with at least one game in hand over all the teams above them. As for the availability of his squad, Dos Santos suggested that Diego Gutierrez may see some minutes again, while Andrew Jean-Baptiste may be ready in time to play some minutes on Wednesday against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the Canadian Championship, but that they aren't rushing him back. For HFX, Aidan Daniels seems to be nearing a return to the pitch, after missing the last three matches through injury. HFX picked up their second win of the season last Saturday in Halifax, their first home game of the season at Wanderers Grounds in front of an electric crowd. Akeem Garcia and Sam Salter scored their first goals of the season in the second half, earning their side a 3-1 victory after FC Edmonton's Julian Ulbricht and HFX's Cory Bent traded goals in the opening 45 minutes. Wanderers right back Zachary Fernandez impressed in that game, and will look to continue his strong start to the season against a Valour team that have proven to be very good in wide areas this season. Historically, these two sides have been evenly matched. In nine meetings in CPL action, each team has won four times, with one draw along the way. All but one of those nine matches have featured two or less goals, with a 3-0 Valour win in October 2021 the exception. That match was at IG Field, the same location as their two prior meetings in the bubble at the start of the season. Andrew Jean-Baptiste and William Akio both found the back of the Wanderers net in a 2-0 victory for Valour on June 30, before a Pierre Lamothe winner gave HFX Wanderers a 1-0 win a few weeks later. The two sides also met in the 2019 Canadian Championship -- a two legged tie won 4-1 by Halifax. After Saturday's match the two sides will prepare for the Preliminary Round of this year's competition, with HFX facing League1 Ontario side Guelph United and Valour heading out west to play the MLS's Vancouver Whitecaps.

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  • Dos Santos excited for second chance at home opener after postponement last week: Saturday's match will be Valour's first home game of the season, but it wasn't supposed to be. Valour's home opener was meant to be last weekend against Forge FC, but the match was postponed due to COVID protocols and based on advice from medical experts. They have the green light for this weekend's match, and will take to the pitch at IG Field for the first time since October 2021. Their last home game of the 2021 season was a 3-0 win over HFX Wanderers, before finishing the season on the road and beginning 2022 away from Winnipeg as well. "It's great to be back home," Valour head coach Phil Dos Santos told CanPL.ca on Thursday. "We look at how teams have done on the road versus, and there's always a slight competitive advantage by playing at home. We have great fans, we love our field and facility, we think that we've had success in the past playing at home. We're excited, we think it's been too long since the last time we played at home."
  • Aidan Daniels ready to return for HFX?: After impressing in his HFX Wanderers debut on the opening night of the season against York United, midfielder Aiden Daniels is yet to return to the pitch again since after picking up a knock in training. He missed the second game of the season entirely, but has been on the bench for the last two games as an unused substitute. He's with the team again in Winnipeg, and Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart says a decision will be made after another assessment before the match about how much he's able to play. "He's sort of on the mend. He's trained in the last few training sessions, which he needed because he was out for a very long time, and of course he's traveled with us, so we'll see how he goes today make some decisions on how we can use him."
  • Canadian Championship games on the horizon not affecting preparation for either side: The Canadian Championship Preliminary Round takes place on Tuesday and Wednesday, and both Valour and HFX will be in action -- taking on the Vancouver Whitecaps and Guelph United, respectively. Both teams are trying to focus their attention on Saturday's match, however, and trying not to get too far ahead of themselves. "We have to go game-by-game," said Dos Santos. "I always think that the most important game is the next one, and for me the reality is that we're playing a home game, our fans deserve to have our best possible team on the field." HFX, meanwhile, head back to Ontario again for their Canadian Championship tie, against League1 Ontario champions Guelph United. Stephen Hart echoed Dos Santos' sentiments and said that the cup game is in the back of his mind until after Saturday's contest. While Valour are heading west to Vancouver, HFX will travel east from Winnipeg to Guelph for their tie. They'll fit in a training session in Ontario on Monday before they play on Tuesday night.


Valour FC wins: 4 || HFX Wanderers wins: 4 || Draws: 1

Previous match:

October 26, 2021 — Valour FC 3-0 HFX Wanderers


"It's a good team, they've been steady, even in the first three games they played on the road -- it always played out to situations. I think about their game in Ottawa, it's a game that could have gone both ways. I look at their last game at home against Edmonton, where they were clearly the superior team on that day. We know what they are, we know it's a team that likes to be on the ball, they have a midfield that has quality on the ball and if given time and space they could be dangerous." -- Valour FC head coach Phil Dos Santos

"They are extremely aggressive on the press, they press very well, very organized. They rely a lot on the counter-attack, they are very good at that. They move the ball quickly on the counter-attack from one side of the pitch to the other, and I expect no different." -- HFX Wanderers head coach Stephen Hart

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