MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – Columbus Crew vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: MAPFRE Stadium – Friday, May 22 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST)

Match Odds: Columbus 4/5 – Draw 13/5 – DC United 100/30

Match Preview

Columbus Crew take on Chicago Fire in the first of this week’s Friday night fixtures at MAPFRE Stadium with both looking to bounce back after disappointing defeats last week.

The Crew lost 2-0 at San Jose after playing with ten men for much of the game and will hope the return home can inspire them to record a fourth straight win.

Gregg Berhalter’s side beat Seattle Sounders 3-2 two weeks ago and will be looking to record a fifth win of the campaign against the Fire this week.

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Columbus have not won away from home this year, and with two road games coming up next, it’s important the Crew try to take all three points from their game on Friday.

Chicago Fire are without a win in three now, after going on a winning streak of three prior to that, and Frank Yallop will need to try and steady the ship quickly as they look to move back into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago have not won on the road this season, losing three of their four, with the only draw coming in last weekend’s 2-2 draw at New York City FC. Though they should have won that game after leading 2-0 against an NYCFC team with just ten players.

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A trip to Columbus won’t present the Fire with an easy task though as they have lost their on their last two trips to Ohio, without scoring a goal.

Last season saw them play twice in MLS, with the Crew winning the home game 2-0, before a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park in August.

Team News

Columbus Crew will be without Mohammed Saeid after he picked up a red card last week. Wil Trapp will miss out once again through concussion, while Matt Lampson is struggling with a hamstring strain. Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain will continue to play in attack and will look to cause the Fire defence damage.

Chicago have three injury worries heading into the game as Mike Magee, Patrick Nyarko and Matt Watson are all likely to miss out. Magee has returned to training and will not be too far away from a return to action now so he could even feature here.

Key Points

Columbus Crew’s last five: W/W/L/W/L

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/W/L/L/D

Key Stat: There have been a total of 21 cards in the last six meetings in all competitions between these two, with two of those a red.

Key Player: Kei Kamara – The powerful striker has seven goals already this season and has four in his last three home games. Expect him to be a threat.

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Score Prediction

Columbus Crew 3-1 Chicago Fire – Columbus have scored at least three goals in their last three home meetings and will likely prove too strong for Chicago this weekend. The Fire have struggled on the road and will come unstuck in this one once again.


One thought on “MLS Preview and Prediction: Columbus Crew vs Chicago Fire

  1. I think the key for the Crew will be who they put next to Tchani to play that holding midfield position. With Trapp and Saied out, Gregg is going to have to really explore his depth or make tactical changes. We might see a start by Kevan George. Gregg also has the likes of Romain Gall and Ben Speas to play in the midfield should he try something different tactically.

    As for the Fire, will we see Magee get minutes? Regardless if Magee sees some playing time, he won’t be 100%, and I’m highly skeptical that he’d have any significant impact on the match. This is a local rivalry, and both teams will be steadfast on getting 3 points.

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