MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: Avaya Stadium – Sunday, March 22 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)

Match Odds: San Jose 10/11 – Draw 12/5 – Chicago Fire – 3/1

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes entertain Chicago Fire this Sunday in their first-ever game at their new Avaya Stadium.

The Quakes shocked everybody last weekend by beating the Seattle Sounders 3-2 away from home and have put themselves in a really strong position for their home opener.

Chicago Fire have lost their opening two games, without scoring a goal, and will be eager to get off the mark this weekend. They are still not quite on song yet which isn’t too surprising given their changes through the offseason. The players need to gel and get going, and a win will certainly boost confidence.

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San Jose responded positively to falling behind in the first minute away at Seattle last Saturday and the three goals scored after will be a major boost for the side. Given that was an away game it would have been easy for heads to drop and receive a thumping against one of Major League Soccer’s strongest sides, but it was a real signal of intent from Dominic Kinnear’s side in the end.

Chicago are coming into this game as underdogs and the atmosphere will be so intense given the Quakes’ result against Seattle and as it is their first home game in their new stadium, the fans will be buzzing.

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The Fire need to get at least a point out of this game as three losses on the bounce spells trouble even this early on in the season.

Team News

San Jose Earthquakes have five injury concerns ahead of the game as Mark Sherrod (knee), Steven Lenhart (knee), Mike Fucito (hip), Jordan Stewart (calf) all look set to miss out, while Clarence Goodson is a doubt with a foot strain. But the Quakes should start Designated Player Innocent Emeghara once again as he was a real threat in his first start last weekend, scoring a fine solo goal in the second-half. Chris Wondolowski got two last week and they seem to have clicked and will be under the spotlight for this game in attack.

Chicago Fire will be without Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko, who will both be missing for a large chunk of this season. Razvan Cocis, Sean Johnson and David Accam look doubtful so Frank Yallop has his options limited. Shaun Maloney has yet to show his capabilities but should start behind Quincy Amarikwa once again.

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: L/W

Chicago Fire’s form: L/L

Key Stat: Home advantage – Chicago haven’t won away to San Jose Earthquakes since 2010. Let’s see if their fortunes change with the new stadium now in use.

Avaya Stadium San Jose Earthquakes

The San Jose Earthquakes will be looking to win their first game at the new Avaya Stadium on Sunday night

Key Player: Innocent Emeghara – The pacey forward will be high in confidence after such a big goal in a big game last weekend but needs to prove he can do it consistently. What better stage to follow that up than in the club’s first game at Avaya Stadium?

Score Prediction

San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 Chicago – The Quakes will be feeling great ahead of this game and the atmosphere in the Avaya Stadium will be rocking. They can put themselves in a really strong position with two wins from their first three and heap more misery on a struggling Chicago Fire side that doesn’t look good enough to ruin the occasion.


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