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Preview: Chicago Fire vs. New York City FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Chicago Fire and New York City FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

New York City FC are looking to extend their winning streak to four games when they travel to the Windy City on Wednesday to battle the Chicago Fire from Soldier Field.

The Pigeons wrapped up their three-game homestand with a 4-1 win over the Columbus Crew, while Chicago drew 1-1 versus the Philadelphia Union.


Match preview

Chicago Fire head coach Raphael Wicky and assistant coach Frank Klopas pictured on June 27, 2021© Reuters

The Fire have come a long way over the past month and a half of the regular season, but they continuously miss opportunities to move up the table.

They currently sit second from the bottom in the Eastern Conference with 13 points, and they squandered an early lead last Friday to the Philadelphia Union, drawing for the second time in their previous three games after taking the lead.

Chicago are nine points out of a playoff spot, and they only have themselves to blame for their current predicament, as they have squandered three second-half leads this season which have led to draws each time, thus missing out on six points.

Raphael Wicky and the Fire are hoping that their home fans can get them back on track, as they seem to come out a lot more aggressively at Soldier Field.

The Fire have only suffered one defeat in their last five matches at home, and they have made all of their possession and scoring opportunities count with 12 goals over that stretch.

Wednesday will officially mark the midway point of the season for Chicago, so there is no time to waste if they want to get back in the playoff race as their next three encounters are against sides above them in the Eastern Conference table.

New York City FC midfielder Keaton Parks celebrates his goal with defender Gudmundur Thórarinsson on June 27, 2021© Reuters

The New York City attack have come to life over the past few weeks, with 10 goals in their last three fixtures, producing three very convincing wins.

Winning at home has come very easily to the Pigeons, who have only lost two of their nine matches played at Yankee Stadium, but it has been a very different story on the road this season.

New York have lost their last two games away from home by a 2-1 score, and they have only won two of their six encounters on the road.

Whatever manager Ronny Deila has said to his team over the past couple of weeks, the message has been received loud and clear as New York have put together two very strong performances.

Not only have the Pigeons been clinical in the final third, but they have beaten two very strong teams quite handily, outshooting the defending MLS Cup champions 24-9 last weekend and clobbering Orlando City 5-0, firing 15 shots on target against them.

When they can limit their opponents' damage, they usually come away with some points having not lost this year when conceding a goal or fewer in a single match, but also failing to collect a single point when they concede multiple points goals in a game.

Chicago Fire Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • D

New York City FC Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W



Team News

Chicago Fire midfielder Luka Stojanovic reacts after scoring a goal against Inter Miami on May 22, 2021© Reuters

Carlos Teran, Javier Casas and Miguel Navarro are all unlikely to feature for Chicago with right shin injuries, while Elliot Collier has a left foot injury.

Wyatt Omsberg will not be available following his red card versus the Union last week, while striker Robert Beric, their top scorer from 2020, started the match versus the Crew on the bench for only the second time this season.

Wicky played with a back five against Philly as Przemyslaw Frankowski moved into a full-back position, Boris Sekulic moved from midfield back into central defence and Francisco Calvo returned from international duty, while Fabian Herbers started in midfield and Chinonso Offor got the start upfront instead of Beric.

New York will be missing Heber with a knee injury, Talles Magno is out with an undisclosed injury, while James Sands and goalkeeper Sean Johnson are both available to return following the end of the Gold Cup.

Santiago Rodriguez scored his first goal of the season for the Pigeons against the Crew, while Thiago scored for the first time since their 2-1 win over DC United at the end of June.

Luis Barraza was able to maintain two clean sheets in his last three starts, but he only faced five shots in that span, stopping four of them.

Chicago Fire possible starting lineup:
Shuttleworth; Bornstein, Calvo, Pineda, Kappelhof, Sekulic; Herbers, Medran, Gimenez; Aliseda, Beric

New York City FC possible starting lineup:
Johnson; Tinnerholm, Chanot, Sands, Amundsen; Acevedo, Parks; Moralez, Medina, Rocha; Castellanos


SM words green background

We say: Chicago Fire 2-3 New York City FC

The Fire have scored multiple goals in four of their last five matches played at Soldier Field, and while they seem to start brightly, they have not shown that they can maintain their early momentum throughout a match.

New York have been as good offensively as any side in MLS over the past few weeks, but they seem to be a little weaker in transition away from home, which has cost them lately as they have conceded multiple goals over their last two road games, but their goalscoring ability should carry them through on Wednesday.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a draw or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Draw/Away:data


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How you voted: Chicago Fire vs NY City

Chicago Fire
12.5%
Draw
18.8%
New York City FC
68.8%
16
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England26175448301856
2Nashville SCNashville241011339231641
3New York City FCNY City24115843281538
4Orlando City2510873636038
5CF MontrealMontreal2510783630637
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta259973530536
7Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia249873125635
8DC United25104114136534
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2495102435-1132
10Columbus Crew2687113035-531
11New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2375112928126
12Chicago Fire2565142440-1623
13FC CincinnatiCincinnati2448122444-2020
14Toronto2546152851-2318

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