Competition: Major League Soccer – Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire
Venue: BMO Field – Friday, April 21 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)
Match Odds: Toronto 8/13 – Draw 11/4 – Chicago 4/1
Toronto FC welcome Chicago Fire to BMO Field on Friday night. The two sides have reversed roles early on in the season with Chicago battling at the top of the Eastern Conference, while Toronto are sitting 9th.
Greg Vanney’s side have won just once so far in the 2017 campaign, while Toronto are far from a one-man team their poor run of results have conincided with Sebastian Giovinco struggles.
It is no time to panic for Toronto, they may be outside the top six but they have only lost once in their six fixtures. Their problem is not being able to outscore their opponents and holding onto winning positions.
That first loss of the season came last time out, a disappointing one considering Jozy Altidore had given them the lead in the first half, but he and Giovinco have been linking up well so far this season.
Chicago Fire are making huge progression so far in the 2017 regular season. They have won three of their six fixtures and are only four wins away from their overall tally of seven wins for the whole of the 2016 campaign.
The Fire are come into this one off the back of their 3-0 demolition of New England and their second win on the bounce. The impact of Bastian Schweinsteiger is there for all to see and his quality in the middle will only continue to shine as gets even more of an understanding with his teammates.
The test Chicago now face is improving on what can only be described as dismal away form. They have lost 15 of their last 17 on the road, so if they are to make this a season where they push for a playoff spot, they’re going to start winning games like this.
Toronto are looking set to be without three players for this one as Clint Irwin, Drew Moor and Ashtone Morgan are all out.
John Goosens is the only expected absentee for Chicago Fire’s visit to Toronto.
Toronto FC’s form: D/W/D/D/L
Chicago Fire’s form: W/L/D/W/W
Key Stat: Chicago Fire have won just once away from home in 44 attempts in a run stretching back to 2014.
Key Player: Sebastian Giovinco – The Atomic Ant has got off to a slow start in terms of goalscoring but it’s not for the want of trying. His luck in front of goal is bound to change and Chicago Fire will be all too aware of the threat he poses.
Toronto FC 2-2 Chicago Fire – A favourable result for the visitors as they continue their impressive start to the season. Toronto aren’t far away from clicking into gear so it is difficult to see them losing this game.