LIVESTREAM CFL: Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Montreal Alouettes, July 1, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

MONTREAL — The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Montreal Alouettes will take center stage on Canada’s 156th birthday Saturday night.

The Blue Bombers enter the Week 4 matchup coming off their first loss of the season to the BC Lions, while the Alouettes moved to 2-0 with an impressive victory over Hamilton.

The loss column has been unfamiliar territory for quarterback Zach Collaros and the Blue Bombers over the past few seasons and he’ll attempt lead his team to a rebound performance.

» Depth Chart: WPG | MTL

Collaros was held to 15 completions, 159 yards and no touchdowns against a stout Lions defence.

It will be another test for the offence this week as the Als have allowed just 24 points in two games.

After having their entire playbook held in check, receivers Dalton Schoen and Drew Wolitarsky will be motivated to break out and show last week’s performance was a one-off.

Carlton Agudosi has been a pleasant surprise in the receiving game early in the season. He had his six catches for 61 yards against the Lions. However, both Agudosi and Nic Demski are listed as game-time decisions.

If those two are ready to go, there will be several weapons the Als will need to be concerned about.

Running back Brady Oliveira missed time in practice earlier in the week with a thorax issue. While he’ll be in the lineup, head coach Mike O’Shea could shift some of the rushing load to Johnny Augustine.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Montreal Alouettes, July 1, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

Whoever carries the ball will have their work cut out for them as the Als defensive front has surrendered 92 rush yards in two games, including holding Hamilton to 38 a week ago.

The Bomber defence that will lineup opposite Als quarterback Cody Fajardo that comes into the game off a three-sack performance.

And if there’s an area of weakness for the 2-0 Als, its been their ability to protect Fajardo as they’ve given up 10 sacks in two games.

Defensive lineman Jackson Jeffcoat returned to practice this week and will join Willie Jefferson and Ricky Walker in trying to add to that total.

Demerio Houston, who missed last week’s game with a non-injury related issue, returns to lead the secondary. Houston has the only two Bomber interceptions this season.

O’Shea says nothing changes heading into this week’s game after the letdown against the Leos.

“They just need to go play,” O’Shea told “That’s it. There’s no magic to it. They just need to go out and be physical and play. They’re a good group. That doesn’t change overnight.”

The pressure Fajardo has been facing hasn’t impacted his ability to lead his team to victory. He’s averaging 276.5 passing yards per game but will be put to the test against one of the tougher defensive fronts in the league.

As he looks downfield he’ll certainly be targeting rookie Austin Mack, who is establishing himself as one of the CFL’s top receivers early in the season.

With Kaion Julien-Grant pulling down 94 yards against Hamilton and the talents of Hergy Mayala also possessing the ability to make big plays, Winnipeg’s defence will be spread across the field.

Fajardo says being able to stretch the offence has been crucial to his team’s success early on.

“Coach Maas does a great job of moving guys around,” Fajardo told “You watch our offence and there’s a lot of motion, a lot of movement. When you spread the ball around as a quarterback it makes it difficult on a defence key in on one player. We have the dogs to do it, a lot of players call them underdogs because they’re young but we have the horses to make big plays in this league.”

On the ground, Maas is still trying to get his run game going.

Running back William Stanback rushed for 69 yards on nine carries but continues to look for his previous form.

He’ll be supported by the return of rusher Walter Fletcher but facing a Bombers front known for its physicality, finding gaps won’t come easy.

Defensive back Wesley Sutton, who had his first pick a week ago, Najee Murray and Marc-Antoine Dequoy will test Collaros’ ability to protect the football in the secondary.

They’ll be without talented defensive back Ciante Evans who’s sidelined with a leg injury. It’s a significant loss for the Als as Evans has been one of their best defenders against the pass.

The Bombers offensive line anchored by Stanley Bryant and Jermarcus Hardrick gave up seven sacks to the Lions and will face a skilled Als front on Saturday night looking to make their life difficult for the second week in a row.

Linebacker Tyrice Beverette has been a thorn in offence’s sides, while defensive lineman Mustafa Johnson is coming off a two sack game.

If the Bombers want to avoid falling to .500, they’ll need to find a way to better protect their quarterback.

Fans will be treated to a clash of two teams in the upper half of their respective divisions on Canada Day.

Watch live. Winnipeg Blue Bombers @ Montreal Alouettes, July 1, 01:00 CET (1 am, 7 pm EDT)

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