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MLS Preview and Prediction: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire

Second face third in crucial battle as New York City FC take on Chicago Fire on Saturday

NYCFC vs Chicago Fire Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: New York City FC vs Chicago Fire

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Saturday, July 22 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST)

Match Odds: New York City FC 4/5 – Draw 5/2 – Chicago Fire 16/5

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Preview

New York City FC host Chicago Fire in the prime time match at 7pm BST on Saturday evening. It’s a big clash between two strong teams. It’s second against third in both the Eastern Conference and the Supporters’ Shield standings. So this is an important one for both sides.

Both NYCFC and Chicago come into the weekend’s clash with a good run of form behind them. Both have recorded four wins from their last six. However, without a win in their last two, New York City will want to return to winning ways with a big scalp in front of their own fans.

NYCFC should take confidence into the game, knowing they have scored in every league game since their opening day loss to Orlando City.

Patrick Vieira’s men put two past league leaders Toronto on Wednesday night in that 2-2 draw. They will be pleased to have not lost such a big game, but the truth is the home fans know they were in a solid position to win that game. The hosts can’t afford to drop more points on Saturday.

Chicago Fire are without doubt the big storyline of the 2017 season. They finished bottom of the entire league last season and now they are just a couple of places below the summit. Their transfer business was excellent during the offseason, but Veljko Paunovic deserves great credit for the way he has drilled the team.

Chicago are unbeaten in their last eleven, winning eight and drawing three. The Fire are in blazing form and do not look to be fading anytime soon. Having only failed to score on two occasions thus far this season, goals could be in abundance in Saturday’s battle.

This will be the first game between the two sides this season. Their last meeting came in September 2016, with NYCFC running out 4-1 winners at Yankee Stadium. Chicago are still looking for their first away win at New York City.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Team News

New York City: Khiry Shelton (hamstring) and Ronald Matarrita (foot) are both still out with long-term injuries. Miguel Camargo is no longer at the Gold Cup with Panama but might not be ready to feature here.

Chicago Fire: John Goossens (ankle), Jorge Bava (elbow) and David Arshakyan (ankle) are all out. Bastian Schweinsteiger is listed as questionable with a hip injury. Matt Polster is a doubt with a leg injury but could feature. Dax McCarty is away on international duty.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Key Points

New York City’s last five: W/W/W/L/D

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/W/W/W/D

Key Stat: Chicago’s only league victory over New York City FC came in their first meeting in April 2015. A 1-0 win at Toyota Park. They haven’t won any of the four clashes since, conceding ten times.

Key Player: David Villa – It’s becoming very common for the Spaniard to be named as key player. But when you have been involved in 17 goals (13 goals, 4 assists) in 19 league appearances, it’s hard not to be. Villa scored again on Wednesday night and will look to carry NYCFC to victory against the Fire on Saturday.

New York City FC vs Chicago Fire: Prediction

New York City FC 2-2 Chicago Fire – Both teams are bang in form and despite a slight blip for NYCFC, they are still unbeaten at home. Chicago will provide stiff competition but we expect an entertaining score draw.

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About Jamie Ives (324 Articles)
MLS expert and writer for mlsgb.com. All views are my own

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