MLS

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls – MLS

Chicago Fire v New York Red Bulls

Chicago Fire

Chicago will still be suffering this weekend after falling to the bottom of the league once again. They will be hugely frustrated with performances generally being good this year but results not following. They have only managed to find the net 17 times this year, the lowest in the league.

They have no definite injury worries ahead of the game with New York Red Bulls but have some concerns over the fitness of Razvan Cocis and Joey Calistri. Brandon Vincent is also a major doubt with the defender called up to the MLS All Star squad for Thursday and he is only expected to make the bench for Chicago this weekend. Vincent is expected to be the only change in the side with Michael Harrington the most likely candidate to come into the team at left back. The rest of the defence should remain the same with Johan Kappelhof on the right hand side of the defence. Joao Meira and Jonathan Campbell will play in the heart of the defence in front of Sean Johnson, though Matt Lampson is available after being rested last time out. In midfield Matt Polster is expected to be partnered again by Khaly Thiam with John Goossens playing higher up the pitch supporting striker Michael de Leeuw. Kennedy Igboananike should play off the right hand side again with David Accam on the left, with both wide men looking to use their pace to counter attack.

Chicago are likely to set up very cautiously, playing counter attacking football as they look to soak up the inevitable NYRB pressure before using the pace and power of Igboananike and Accam to move from back to front quickly and directly. The defence will be compact and aren’t likely to move from their positions as they try and keep their shape to combat the mobile New York RB attack. Polster and Thiam will have to work hard in the centre of the pitch as they try and stop attacks before they get into the final third.

They will be motivated to move from the bottom of the league and know nothing less than a win will give them a chance of doing that. That pressure might be too much for the team however and they could struggle to make an impact against a NYRB side trying to retain their conference title.

 

New York RB

Red Bulls will be in great spirits heading into the game after a resounding victory over rivals New York City last weekend. They’ll be looking to continue their good run and will have some extra motivation, knowing a win could put them top of the Eastern Conference above New York City.

They will be missing both Gideon Baah and Kemar Lawrence through injury, with Baah ruled out for the season. Sacha Kljestan is also likely to miss the match after being called up to the MLS All Star squad to face Arsenal on Thursday. He could make the bench for NYRB this weekend but is almost certain not to start. Luis Robles will keep his place in goal and with the exception of Kljestan, the side is expected to remain the same. Sal Zizzo should play at right back with Connor Lade covering on the left. Ronald Zubar and Aurelien Collin should play in the centre, with Zubar’s good performance last weekend keeping Damien Perrinelle from the side. In midfield Dax McCarty is likely to be joined by Sean Davis with Felipe Martins moving into a more advanced role. Alex Muyl should be rewarded for a superb performance last weekend by keeping his space on the right with Mike Grella on the left moving forward to support Bradley Wright-Phillips.

They are likely to attack from the off knowing their opponents are devoid of both form and confidence and will look for an early goal to detract from Chicago’s belief further. Grella will push forward as much as possible to support Wright-Phillips in the final third. Martins is likely to play a more advanced role with Kljestan unlikely to start. He excelled in an attacking role a few weeks ago and could be vital in joining the midfield and attack together. Zizzo is likely to push forward from right back too and look to overload Harrington.

Verdict

NYRB will know a win could take them top of the Eastern Conference and 3 points should be their primary goal. They are unbeaten in four games and will be looking to extend that run. Their form will fill them with confidence and they’ll view the game against bottom side, Chicago, as a chance to really stamp their authority on the league and post a big score. Take visitors to win this one!

Prediction: NYRB -0.25
Odds: 2.05 SBOBET

 

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