Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire
Venue: Red Bull Arena – Friday, September 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 4/9 – Draw 7/2 – Chicago Fire 11/2
Red Bulls come into the tie off the back of their 3-0 win over leaders DC United, which has put them in a really strong position at this stage of the season. They have three games in hand over DC and are just two points behind.
Jesse Marsch’s side will be feeling confident ahead of this one, but know no tie is an easy three points, but this is a great chance for them to continue pushing for top spot.
New York Red Bulls will be setting their sights on fighting all the way for the Supporters’ Shield. LA Galaxy are in the lead, four points ahead, but have played three games more. It is important for Marsch’s side to finish the season in the best form possible to give them every chance of winning the Supporters’ Shield, but also to ensure they are confident heading into the playoffs.
Chicago Fire sit bottom of the Eastern Conference on 27 points and although making the playoffs seems unlikely they still have to believe anything is possible.
They come into the game off the back of their 4-3 loss to Montreal Impact, which has to be the most entertaining fixture of last weekend.
The Fire haven’t won on the road all season and it will be an extremely tough task to take all three points here. They can take confidence that they won the earlier meeting in the campaign between the sides, 3-2.
Fire fans will be hoping Kennedy Igboananike can reproduce the form he showed against Red Bulls in the 3-2 win, where he netted twice.
New York Red Bulls only injury concern is to Chirs Duvall, who is expected to miss out. Connor Lade and Dax McCarty are both one booking away from suspension.
Chicago Fire have just the one injury concern too. Adailton is expected to be their only absentee. Matt Polster and Eric Gehrig are also both one caution away from suspension.
New York Red Bulls’ last five in MLS: D/W/W/L/W
Chicago Fire’s last five in MLS: D/L/W/D/L
Key Stat: Travel sick – Chicago haven’t won a regular season game on the road all season, drawing five and losing eight.
Key Player: Bradley Wright-Phillips – The Red Bulls forward has hit form at the right time. He netted twice in his last outing and has now scored 13 goals in 25 regular season appearances this campaign.
New York Red Bulls 3-0 Chicago Fire – Red Bulls to prove too strong for the Eastern Conference’s bottom side and come away with all three points as expected.