Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Toyota Park – Thursday, October 13 – 20:30 ET (01:30 BST)
Match Odds: Chicago 17/10 – Draw 23/10 – Columbus 29/20
The Fire are still bottom of the East on 27 points, with nine points left to play for the highest place they could finish if all results go their way is 8th.
This has been another difficult season for Chicago fans who are likely to see their side finish bottom of the overall standings by the end of gameweek 34.
Chicago come into this tie without a win in five, picking up one point from a possible 15. This is the second meeting in a row between these two sides, Chicago lost 3-0 to Columbus less than two weeks ago.
Columbus Crew have a very slim, outside chance of still making the playoffs, they are reliant on winning all three of their remaining games and other results going their way.
Though finishing in the top six seems extremely unlikely, Crew have to do everything possible in their remaining three.
Columbus have picked up nine points in their last five games and if they had shown form like that throughout the season they could well have been in the mix for a playoff spot.
Their 3-0 win over Chicago last time out will give them great confidence of making it two on the bounce in this fixture.
Chicago Fire have just two injury concerns ahead of this tie as Matt Lampson is out while Nick LaBrocca is a doubt.
Columbus Crew could be without as many as seven players as Matt Pacifici, Ben Swanson, Cedrick Mabwati, Tyson Wahl and Waylon Francis are all expected to be out, while Federico Higuain and Conor Casey are both doubts.
Chicago Fire’s last five: L/D/L/L/L
Columbus Crew’s last five: L/W/W/L/W
Key Stat: Chicago Fire are unbeaten in 14 of their last 15 home games against Columbus in all competitions.
Chicago Fire 1-2 Columbus Crew – Columbus to pick up their second win in as many games against Chicago. Although Fire can take some confidence into the game with their home form against Crew, avoiding defeat in this one looks a step too far.