Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Toronto FC
Venue: Toyota Park – Saturday, April 4 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST)
Match Odds: Chicago Fire 6/4 – Draw 11/5 – Toronto FC 7/4
The Fire picked up a crucial three points in their first victory of the season when they beat Philadelphia Union 1-0 last weekend thanks to headed goal from Adailton.
Toronto succumbed to their second straight defeat in dramatic fashion away at Real Salt Lake last time out as an injury time goal by Jordan Allen stole the points just minutes after Jackson Goncalves has equalised for the Canadians.
After a slow start to the season for Chicago, head coach Frank Yallop will be delighted to have seen his side get their first win after three successive defeats to LA Galaxy, Vancouver Whitecaps and San Jose Earthquakes.
A win in this one for the Fire would see them onto six points and would also take them above opponents Toronto in the Eastern Conference, although they have played one game more.
Greg Vanney‘s Toronto side looked to have got off to a flying start to the 2015 MLS season when they beat Vancouver 3-1, but it’s all ground to a rather disappointing halt after two consecutive defeats against Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake respectively.Embed from Getty Images
Toronto will be pleased to welcome Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore back to the squad and will be confident of returning to winning ways against a Chicago side that haven’t exactly been convincing just yet.
All three meetings between these two sides in 2014 ended in a draw, with the most recent clash a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park back in September, although both squads have a very different look to them now.
Chicago Fire are still without Patrick Nyarko and Mike Magee, while Razvan Cocis, Alex and Sean Johnson remain doubtful. Shaun Maloney and David Accam could return to the side after missing Chicago’s first win of the season because of international duty.
Toronto will be without defenders Steven Caldwell, Damien Perquis and Mark Bloom because of injury, while striker Luke Moore is suspended. Eriq Zavaleta may not be at full fitness after missing the game at Real Salt Lake with a knee problem. Toronto will be pleased to welcome Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore back to the squad following their international break with the USMNT.
Chicago Fire’s form: L/L/L/W
Toronto FC’s form: W/L/L
Key Stat: Toronto FC haven’t beaten Chicago Fire in their last 11 attempts in MLS (D6, L5).
Key Player: Michael Bradley – If the USMNT midfielder returns to the starting line-up, then Toronto have a real chance. He was one of the stand-out players for the USA last week and is instrumental in any team.Embed from Getty Images
Chicago Fire 1-1 Toronto FC – Chicago picked up a vital win in their last game so should be confident, while Toronto will be desperate for any kind of result after back-to-back MLS defeats.