Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs Chicago Fire
Venue: Sporting Park – Sunday, May 3rd – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)
Match Odds: Sporting KC 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Chicago 18/5
Sporting KC have had a stop-start campaign so far and losing star centre-back Ike Opara would hurt any defence, and that was seen as they shipped four goals in last weekend’s crazy 4-4 draw with the Houston Dynamo.
A shadow of the side that won the MLS Cup in 2013, Sporting Kansas City will need to dramatically improve if they are to make the playoffs and a surge towards MLS Cup again this season in a highly competitive Western Conference.Embed from Getty Images
One thing that is certain is that Dom Dwyer needs to start replicating his goalscoring form from the previous season pretty soon as he only has two so far.
Sporting KC’s 2015 MLS record: P8 – W2 – D4 – L2
Chicago had the worst start to the season of any MLS side but are now the most in-form team, with three wins on the bounce. What a turnaround!Embed from Getty Images
They are the team to beat at the moment and they will be confident of getting a result from Sporting Park this week as the hosts haven’t won in three now.
Chicago Fire’s 2015 MLS record: P6 – W3 – D0 – L3
The performances of star men Shaun Maloney and Harry Shipp have guided the Fire into a playoff spot at this early stage and now Frank Yallop’s team must maintain their position in the Eastern Conference’s top six for as long as possible.
Sporting Kansas City: Ike Opara has been ruled out for the season so Kevin Ellis will continue to partner Matt Besler in defence. Chance Myers is a doubt, though Graham Zusi is back so could start from the left.
Chicago Fire: Mike Magee and Patrick Nyarko both remain out. David Accam could play as part of a three man attack involving Shaun Maloney and Quincy Amarikwa.
Sporting KC’s last five in MLS: W/W/D/L/D
Chicago’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/W
Key Stat: Chicago haven’t won away at SKC since June 2012 in the MLS regular season.
Key Player: Benny Feilhaber – The man of the moment at Sporting KC as he has racked up five assists already and is providing a core to their midfield that they can build on. Huge asset to Kansas City and will be important in this one too.Embed from Getty Images
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 Chicago Fire – Although form suggests a Fire win, it’s tough to see SKC losing at home here. Score draw the most likely outcome in what should be an intriguing clash.