Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Atlanta United
Venue: Toyota Park – Saturday, June 10 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: Chicago 7/10 – Draw 14/5 – Atlanta 100/30
Chicago Fire host Atlanta United in one of just three MLS games on Saturday due to the international fixtures across the globe.
Chicago are looking to stretch their remarkable unbeaten run to seven as they continue to prove they have come on leaps and bounds from last season. The Fire drew 0-0 at Orlando last weekend but had won four on the spin prior to that and will fancy their chances of getting all three points here.
The Fire have been excellent at Toyota Park this season, winning six of their seven home games. They are unbeaten in ten home games stretching back to last season and are rightly favourites as a result.Embed from Getty Images
Atlanta will be hoping they can put an end to their tough run of form on the road in Chicago this weekend. Their 3-1 loss at Vancouver last week means the expansion franchise have only won one of their last seven road trips.
Gerardo Martino’s side haven’t been good enough defensively and must start keeping clean sheets if they are to earn a playoff spot come the end of their debut season.
They attack with promise and have scored in nine straight games, however the problem is they’ve also conceded in nine consecutive matches.
This will be the second meeting between the two sides this season after Atlanta blew Chicago away in the reverse fixture, winning 4-0 at Bobby Dodd Stadium back in Week 3.
Chicago Fire will be without Dax McCarty as he is away on international duty with the US Men’s National Team, while they are also still without the injured John Goossens.
Atlanta boss Gerardo Martino remains without Jacob Peterson, while Josef Martinez is thought to be nearing a return and is listed as ‘questionable’. Miguel Almiron is away on international duty with Paraguay but is expected to return in time to be a part of the squad on Saturday, although Kenwyne Jones will remain away with Trinidad and Tobago.
Chicago Fire’s form: W/W/W/W/D
Atlanta United’s form: L/D/W/W/L
Key Stat: Chicago Fire have won their last five home games in a row, outscoring their opponents 13-2 in that strong run.
Key Player: Nemanja Nikolic – The Chicago Fire striker has been excellent since joining and has fired in 11 goals in 14 games so far this season. He has scored nine in seven games at home and should add to that tally against a leaky Atlanta defence here.Embed from Getty Images
Chicago Fire 2-1 Atlanta United – The Fire should be able to get revenge for their early-season drubbing at the hands of Atlanta here. Chicago have been a real force at home and look poised to get three more points, which would leave them just one point behind Toronto at the top of the East.