MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire

Major League Soccer: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire

Stade Saputo – Wednesday August 16 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – Chicago 2/1

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Preview

Montreal Impact take on Chicago Fire on Wednesday night as Week 24 kicks off with a midweek matchup. The Impact come into the game high in confidence, after winning 3-0 at Philadelphia on Saturday.

That result moved the Impact up to seventh in the East and five points behind Atlanta in the final playoff spot. Montreal have won three of their last five MLS games and have picked up form at the perfect time.

Mauro Biello’s side weren’t expected to make the top six after an underwhelming season. But their recent performances will have lifted the mood around the club. Ignacio Piatti and Blerim Dzemaili have been standout performers and could yet lead the Canadian side into their third-straight playoffs.

Chicago Fire were having an incredible season. But a recent dip in form has seen their hopes of winning a first Supporters’ Shield since 2003 fade. Saturday’s 3-1 loss at the Columbus Crew was their third in their last four games.

The Fire still have 11 games to play but they are six points behind Toronto FC coming into Wednesday’s match.

A win in Montreal would put them straight back into contention and would see them move back into second, ahead of NYCFC. But a loss would put their credentials into serious jeopardy. The likes of the Red Bulls, Columbus and Atlanta are all close behind, so Chicago can’t afford many slip-ups.

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Veljko Paunovic’s men haven’t kept a clean sheet in five outings. But Chicago know that they still have the tools to hurt any team. They won 3-0 at Montreal last season and a repeat result would settle any nerves starting to creep in.

The reverse fixture this season ended 2-2 a Toyota Park back in April. Both sides had a man sent off on that day, and both scored in stoppage time in a dramatic clash. Ballou Jean-Yves Tabla looked to have won it for the Impact in the 90th minute. But Luis Solignac ensured the points would be shared as he equalised in the 93rd minute.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Team News

Ambroise Oyongo is still Montreal’s only injury absentee. Mauro Biello would probably like to name an unchanged side but he does have Saturday’s game against Real Salt Lake to consider as well.

Chicago Fire boss still has four players sidelined through injury. John Goossens, Jorge Bava, Brandon Vincent and Daniel Johnson are all out. Michael Harrington is a doubt as he’s been struggling with illness. Juninho has recovered from a knee injury and should be in line to start.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Key Points

Montreal Impact’s last five: W/L/L/W/W

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/L/L/W/L

Key Stat: Montreal Impact have won five of their last six home matches in MLS. They’ve outscored their opponents 12-5 in that time.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The fact is, Montreal are a better side when Piatti is in the team. The Argentine playmaker leads the team with ten goals, despite starting just 15 games this season. He has two goals and an assist in his last two outings and will look to keep his strong form going here.

Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire: Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-1 Chicago Fire – This isn’t an easy game to call. Yes the Fire are out of form. Yes, they’ve been leaking goals. But they are still one of the East’s most well-rounded sides. However, Montreal are on a roll. They are looking for a third consecutive win and confidence seems to be growing with each game. If Piatti and Dzemaili are on song, they could once again prove the difference.


MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs Atlanta United

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

Match Preview

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.

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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.

Team News

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.

Key Points

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.

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Score Prediction

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.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Chicago Fire
Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, May 6th – 22:30 (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 3/4 – Draw 13/5 – Chicago 16/5

Match Preview

LA Galaxy take on Chicago Fire on Saturday as they look to try and build some form after a poor start to the season.

Curt Onalfo has struggled to bring success through this period of transition so far, with last weekend’s frustrating 0-0 draw against Philadelphia another reminder that the Galaxy have a lot of work to do.

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They come into the weekend in tenth place in the West, just three points outside the playoffs, but are in real danger of falling behind if they fail to pick up their form soon.

The Galaxy are historically a really strong side at home, but they’ve only won one of their five games at StubHub this season, scoring just three goals in that time and losing three.

Chicago will arrive in California with more confidence than usual as they look to end a seven-year winless run against the Galaxy.

The Fire fell 2-1 at the Red Bulls last week, suffering a second-consecutive away defeat after having won back-to-back home games beforehand.

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They have yet to win away this season as their road woes have continued despite an upturn in quality following the arrival of Dax McCarty, Bastian Schweinsteiger and former Galaxy man Juninho.

Chicago have now only won one of their last 46 away games in MLS, stretching back to 2014. But given the Galaxy’s struggles, they will feel they can leave with three valuable points on Saturday night.

Team News

Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget remain long-term absentees for the Galaxy, who are also without goalkeeper Clement Diop, who is sidelined with a hip injury.

John Goossens remains out for the Fire, who are also set to be without the injured Matt Polster and Patrick Doody.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: L/W/L/L/D

Chicago Fire’s form: D/W/W/L/L

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in eight MLS games against Chicago, last losing to them seven years ago.

Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – Despite a terrible season so far, LA Galaxy have at least had Alessandrini’s performances to enjoy. The French DP has impressed since joining over the offseason, scoring four times in eight games, while picking up two assists along the way. If LA are to get out of this rut, you feel the attacker will need to play a leading role.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-2 Chicago Fire – It feels way too early to call this a must-win game for LA. But the fact is they must start improving quickly to give fans a reason for optimism over the remainder of the season. Chicago are the league’s worst side on the road, but will arrive with hope of further damaging the Galaxy’s poor run of form. Either side could win this, in what should be an open contest, but we see the sides settling for a point apiece.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs Columbus Crew

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew
Venue: Toyota Park – Saturday April 8 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST)
Match Odds: Chicago Fire 11/10 – Draw 12/5 – Columbus Crew 9/4

Match Preview

Chicago Fire host Columbus Crew SC on Saturday night as the two Eastern Conference rivals meet for the second time already this year following the clash at MAPFRE Stadium on opening weekend, which finished 1-1.

Chicago have yet to pick up the sort of form which some expected of them after they strengthened in the offseason. The additions of Dax McCarty and Juninho in midfield have been followed by the star signing of Bastian Schweinsteiger, all of whom should strengthen a Fire side that have been fragile too often over the past few seasons.

Having conceded seven goals so far in their four games, Chicago still have work to do defensively. However, much of this may come down to ill-discipline as the Fire have had a sending off in their last two matches. Sorting that out will instantly help their cause.

On the other hand, Columbus have won their last three on the bounce and have been impressive in doing so as they’ve scored seven times in those matches and have moved to the top of the East.

There upturn in form is particularly impressive given the fact they started the season with a disappointing home draw to Chicago before losing at Houston in Week 2.

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Justin Meram has been the Crew’s shining light in recent weeks, scoring three times in the past two games. The addition of Kekuta Manneh might have put his position in doubt, but he’s responded by turning up his form and Columbus need more of the same from him if they are to remain at the top of the conference.

Both sides look strong for different reasons and it should make for a good encounter. Chicago possess a great recent record at home, having only lost once in their last 15 at Toyota Park. Whereas, Columbus have won their last three, leaving us with what should be an open fixture.

Team News

Chicago Fire are without three midfielders for the visit of the Crew as Matt Polster (right knee strain), John Goossens (right ankle) and Drew Conner all miss out through injury. Juninho is suspended after picking up a red card in last week’s draw with Montreal.

Columbus Crew will definitely be without Gaston Sauro, as he is out for the season with a knee injury. Dilly Duka and Jonathan Mensah are both listed as questionable.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s form: D/W/L/D

Columbus Crew’s form: D/L/W/W/W

Key Stat: Chicago have only lost once in their last fifteen home matches in MLS.

Key Player: David Accam – Ghanaian international, Accam can cause any MLS team problems with his pace. He already has a goal and an assist to his name this season and we expect those numbers to rise on Saturday night, particularly with Schweinsteiger’s vision now an extra weapon from midfield.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 2-2 Columbus Crew – With Columbus on a three-game winning streak and Chicago boasting solid home form, we expect the two to cancel each other out in a score draw, although goals are to be expected as both sides will look to attack.

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

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York City FC vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: Yankee Stadium – Friday, September 23 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 

Match Odds: NYCFC 3/4 – Draw 5/2 – Chicago 7/2

Match Preview

New York City FC take on Chicago Fire in this week’s Friday night MLS clash, with both sides fighting at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference with just a month remaining of the regular season.

NYCFC have just four games to play as they look to challenge Toronto FC for the Eastern Conference title. They are currently sitting third, two points off the Reds who have also played one game fewer.

The major positive for the franchise is that they’re heading to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time, with a top-six finish all but guaranteed now. A win on Friday would absolutely confirm that.

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They come into the game off the back of Saturday’s 2-2 home draw with Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Dallas and have now only won two of their last seven MLS games.

Chicago Fire have also won two of their last seven but it hasn’t been enough to lift them off the bottom of the standings. They have six games to play but need to make up a nine-point gap if they are to somehow make the top six over the next month.

A playoff berth looks extremely unlikely but it’s important that the Fire finish the season in the best way possible so that they can try and enter the 2017 season with a platform to build from.

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The trip to Yankee Stadium on Friday will be the first of three consecutive away games in a week for Chicago so it’s sure to be a tough seven days for the squad.

These two sides met on the opening day of the season at Toyota Park, with NYCFC winning a thrilling game 4-3 before a 0-0 draw followed at Yankee Stadium in April.

Team News

Patrick Vieira is set to be without Frank Lampard for around a month as he has been ruled out with a calf injury. On top of that, Connor Brandt, Shannon Gomez and Maxime Chanot are also sidelined. Khiry Shelton will be pushing for a start after coming off the bench to score on Saturday.

Chicago Fire are to be without Alex Morrell, while Michael de Leeuw is a doubt. Armenian striker David Arshakyan will be hoping to start up front once again, with David Accam attacking from the left wing.

Key Points

NYCFC’s last five: W/L/W/L/D

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/L/W/L/D

Key Stat: Chicago Fire have lost 10 of their last 11 away games in MLS.

Key Player: David Villa – The NYCFC striker has enjoyed a fine season but will be disappointed he has fallen behind Bradley Wright-Phillips in the MLS Golden Boot race. Villa has 17 for the season but has only managed to score one in his last four. But a home clash against the league’s bottom side should present opportunities for the Spaniard.

David Villa, MLS: NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy

Score Prediction

New York City FC 2-1 Chicago Fire – New York City are heavy favourites to win Friday’s game and should do so, but it might not be as easy as some are predicting. Chicago have been putting in some solid displays in recent weeks, despite still being at the foot of the standings, and so a tight contest is expected at Yankee Stadium here. Still, NYCFC should have too much for the Fire.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. DC United

Venue: Toyota Park – Friday, September 16 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Chicago 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – DC United 13/5

Match Preview

Chicago Fire welcome DC United to Toyota Park for a key Eastern Conference battle on Friday night, with the two sides still trying to make a late playoff surge with just a few weeks of the regular season left to play.

Chicago know they need to win this game if they are to have any chance of making the top six. They sit bottom of the East on 26 points, seven behind DC in seventh, but they do have a game in hand over Friday’s visitors.

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The Fire have not been able to build any sort of form at all this season. They come into Friday’s game off the back of a 2-1 home defeat to Toronto last time out and have now only won one of their last five home clashes.

However, DC’s away form doesn’t inspire much confidence for United supporters so this is set to be a cagey affair. Ben Olsen’s men have only won once away from home this season and that came back in May.

The Black-and-Red’s 2-2 draw at the Red Bulls last week should leave them in high spirits, with two goals in the final five minutes rescuing a point that looked well out of reach.

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They now need to start winning more regularly to seal a playoff berth. They will only have five games to play following the game in Chicago, all of which come against Eastern opponents.

This will the 55th meeting between Chicago and DC. They played out a 1-1 draw at Toyota Park back in April this season, before DC thumped the Fire 6-2 at RFK Stadium a few weeks ago.

Team News

Chicago Fire are the only MLS club without any injury concerns ahead of this weekend’s game – a remarkable position to be in at this stage of the season. Veljko Paunovic has a full squad to choose from as he tries to give his side some late-season playoff hopes.

DC United will be without Chris Korb, Collin Martin, Chris Rolfe, Alhaji Kamara, Charlie Horton, Jared Jeffrey, Sean Franklin and Kofi Opare, so Ben Olsen really has his options stretched ahead of the trip to the Windy City.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/D/L/W/L

DC United’s last five: D/D/W/L/D

Key Stat: Road struggles – DC United have only won one of their last 19 away games in MLS (D9 L9).

Key Player: David Accam – The Fire attacker is their most threatening player in the final third and can so often change a game in a flash. Chicago may need him to come up with some magic on Friday if they are to come away with three points.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-1 DC United – There is so little to choose between these two sides that a draw looks inevitable on Friday night. It’s a result that will do little to help either side, but DC’s away form is a concern for them, while the Fire lack a cutting edge required to win important games such as this one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire 

Venue: Stade Saputo – Saturday, August 20 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: Montreal Impact 4/7 – Draw 14/5 – Chicago Fire 9/2

Match Preview

Montreal Impact welcome Chicago Fire to Stade Saputo on Saturday evening in an all Eastern Conference clash.

Impact are sitting 5th in the East, five points off of top spot. They have a comfortable six point lead on 7th place so they just need to make sure they keep picking up points to guarantee a playoff finish.

Montreal come into this one off the back of their 3-1 defeat to RBNY. They were ahead in the tie for all of one minute.

This is a tie Mauro Biello’s side really should be taking all three points in. They are favourites against a Chicago side who struggled on their travels.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact

Chicago Fire are sitting bottom of the East heading into this tie despite the fact that only two sides have conceded less goals than them in the conference so far this season.

This is the second meeting between Chicago and Montreal this season. The earlier meeting ended 2-1 to Impact at Toyota Park, a sickening result for Fire as the winner came in stoppage time.

Chicago drew with Orlando last weekend, a positive result, but it will be a big ask for them to build on that here.

The stats make for bleak reading for Chicago ahead of the tie, they haven’t won on the road in 28 Major League Soccer outings. The Fire haven’t enjoyed playing at Stade Saputo in recent times, they have lost their last four there.

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Team News

Montreal Impact have just the three injury concerns ahead of this tie as Andres Romero is out, while Harry Shipp and Patrice Bernier are both doubts.

Joao Meira is Chicago Fire’s only injury concern heading into this tie.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s last five: L/W/D/W/L

Chicago Fire’s last five: L/L/D/L/D

Key Stat: Chicago Fire have failed to win any of their last 28 away ties in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – Montreal’s most consistent performer will look to open up Chicago Fire’s defence this weekend. He has netted 13 goals so far this season.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 3-1 Chicago Fire – Montreal Impact to pick up a routine three points against a Chicago Fire side who just cannot get a win on their travels.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs Orlando City

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. Orlando City

Venue: Toyota Park – Sunday, August 14 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)

Match Odds: Chicago 19/20 – Draw 12/5 – Orlando 13/5

Match Preview

Chicago Fire host Orlando City in a key Eastern Conference battle between two sides that are desperate for results to improve over the final stretch of the season.

Chicago have endured another disappointing season and sit bottom of the Supporters’ Shield standings after 22 weeks.

They have only managed to record four wins in 21 matches and don’t look set to make a charge for the playoffs over the remainder of the season.

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They come into Sunday’s clash off the back of Tuesday night’s US Open Cup defeat at New England and so spirits might have taken another big knock ahead of Sunday’s match.

Orlando don’t come into this one in much better form themselves. Jason Kreis has replaced Adrian Heath but results have yet to really improve.

They fell 3-1 at home to Seattle last weekend and have only won once in their last seven MLS outings.

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The Lions haven’t won on the road in nine attempts and are really up against it in the hunt for a first MLS Playoff appearance come the end of the season.

This will be the fifth MLS meeting in two seasons between Chicago and Orlando. The Fire have yet to beat the Lions, drawing twice and losing twice so far.

Team News

Chicago Fire are definitely without Joao Meira, while Matt Polster is a doubt. There may be some changes to the side after playing at New England on Tuesday night, with fatigue a potential issue for a few players.

Orlando City have two suspended players that won’t feature here, with David Mateos and Antonio Nocerino both out. On top of that, Pedro Ribeiro, Harrison Heath, Rafael Ramos and Tommy Redding are all injured.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: W/L/L/D/L

Orlando City’s last five: L/D/D/W/L

Key Stat: Chicago Fire are unbeaten in six home games in MLS (W3 D3) – their best run of form at Toyota Park in two years.

Key Player: David Accam – Chicago’s star striker always provides a threat on the counter-attack and tends to enjoy playing Orlando. He has scored in three of his four matches against the Lions since joining MLS and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally on Sunday.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 2-2 Orlando City – There should be goals in Sunday’s clash, with both defences certainly not the most solid. Chicago have picked up their home form of late and will expect to avoid defeat, but Orlando need to improve their form and will be going for the win. This should be entertaining but it looks set to end a draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Chicago Fire vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: Toyota Park – Friday, July 1 – 20:00 ET (01:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Chicago 11/8 – Draw 9/4 – San Jose 2/1

Match Preview

Chicago Fire take on San Jose Earthquakes on Friday night, kickstarting an action-packed weekend of MLS action at Toyota Park.

The Fire have endured another frustratingly poor season so far. They sit bottom of the Eastern Conference and are nine points off the playoff places.

That said, they have played fewer games than anyone else. They have to now make the most of their games in hand if they are to challenge for a top six finish over the second half of the campaign.

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Chicago come into Friday night’s game off the back of last weekend’s 4-3 defeat to Philadelphia in what was their seventh loss of the year. They are a better side at home though, having not lost any of their last three at Toyota Park, and will hope to keep that run going here.

San Jose have yet to win away from home this season. They are now winless in ten consecutive away matches in MLS and so this looks a tough one to call.

The Quakes have had a mixed season so far. They have only suffered four defeats this term but have managed to record just five wins too.

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The fact is that Dominic Kinnear’s men are drawing too often. They have shared the points in four of their last five and as a result have slipped out of the top six in the West.

This will be the 15th MLS clash between the two sides. There is nothing to split them based on their previous league encounters, with each team winning five and the other four clashes ending in ties.

Team News

Chicago Fire have four injury worries coming into the game. Collin Fernandez, Matt Polster, Arturo Alvarez and Joey Calistri are all sidelined and won’t feature. The club also terminated Gilberto’s contract on Wednesday so he is no longer with the side.

San Jose boss Dominic Kinnear has a long injury list to deal with at a crucial stage of the season. Clarence Goodson is a doubt with a back problem, while as many as six are definitely ruled out: Victor Bernardez, Kip Colvey, Andres Imperiale, Jordan Stewart, Mark Sherrod and Marc Pelosi. The boost is that Chris Wondolowski is back from the Copa America and will be in line to return to the side.

Key Points

Chicago Fire’s last five: L/W/D/L/L

San Jose Earthquakes’ last five: D/D/L/D/D

Key Stat: San Jose have not won any of their last ten away games in MLS.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The Quakes star man is back from international duty and will now try and get San Jose back to winning ways. San Jose have not won since ‘Wondo’ has been away and so the club’s top scorer will undoubtedly bring confidence back into the team.

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Score Prediction

Chicago Fire 1-1 San Jose Earthquakes – There is so little to choose between these two heading into Friday’s game that a draw looks inevitable. Chicago are tough to beat at home, while San Jose struggle on the road. Both are desperate for three points but that could lead to a tight affair. Score draw.

MLS Preview and Prediction: New York Red Bulls vs Chicago Fire

Competition: Major League Soccer – New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire

Venue: Red Bull Arena – Wednesday, May 18 – 19:30 ET (00:30 BST)

Match Odds: NY Red Bulls 8/15 – Draw 16/5 – Chicago 5/1

Match Preview

New York Red Bulls welcome Chicago Fire to Red Bull Arena on Wednesday night in the first of two fixtures for both Eastern Conference sides this week.

The Red Bulls need to start climbing the table. They are eighth in the East heading into this game but are only six points off the top of the conference at this stage.

They must make the most of this double gameweek, with a tricky game away at fierce rivals New York City coming up on Saturday following Wednesday’s clash with the Fire.

New York Red Bulls vs Orlando City

Jesse Marsch watched his side fall 2-0 at DC last time out, ending a three-game unbeaten run and he will not accept anything less than three points from his players here in what looks like a winnable fixture.

The Fire, however, will be out to seal three points for themselves. They are in poor form, having lost back-to-back games away from home coming into this and are now winless in five.

Head coach Veljko Paunovic knows his side need to start scoring more regularly if they are to have any chance of climbing off the foot of the East. They have netted just five in their last eight games since scoring three in the opening day defeat to NYCFC.

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A 2-0 loss at New England last week saw Chicago fail to keep a clean sheet for the fourth consecutive game and keeping out the Red Bulls at home seems an unlikely feat.

This will be the first of two meetings between the sides this season. They met three times late last season, with the Red Bulls winning both of the most recent meetings after Chicago won at Toyota Park in August.

Team News

The Red Bulls will be without Damien Perrinelle once again, although he is the only certain absentee as backup goalkeeper Ryan Meara is close to returning from a long-term injury. Gonzalo Veron is back to full fitness and could start here.

Chicago Fire will be without John Goossens for the trip to Red Bull Arena, while Collin Fernandez is also unlikely to feature as he is struggling with an ankle strain. Gilberto will be back in contention to start up top, with Kennedy Igboananike likely to start on the wing.

Key Points

New York Red Bulls’ last five: L/W/W/D/L

Chicago Fire’s last five: D/L/D/L/L

Key Stat: Goals, goals, goals – There have been 36 goals in the last eight meeting between these two sides – an average of 4.5 per game.

Key Player: Sacha Kljestan – The Red Bulls midfielder has probably been the team’s best player so far this term. He so often proves influential when it matters most and will look to break down a Chicago defence struggling to keep sides out at the moment.

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Score Prediction

New York Red Bulls 3-1 Chicago Fire – This should be another high-scoring game between two sides that are desperate for three points as they look to climb the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls are a strong outfit at home and will prove tough to beat here, while Chicago have yet to win away this season. A home victory looks likely, though both will expect to find the net.