MX23RW : Monday, August 15 03:00:49| >> :600:246243:246243:
[monks data]
Jun 30, 2022 at 1am UK at Toyota Park
Chicago Fire
1 - 0
Philadelphia
Navarro (68')
Teran (51')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Andres Martinez (29'), Bedoya (35'), Wagner (77'), Gazdag (83')
Andres Martinez (72')

Preview: Chicago Fire vs. Philadelphia Union - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Chicago Fire and Philadelphia Union, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Philadelphia Union will be looking to remain at the top of the Eastern Conference by claiming all three points when they travel to Soldier Field for their MLS clash against Chicago Fire on Thursday.

The hosts, meanwhile, could move off the foot of the table if they secure their second successive victory on home soil.


Match preview

Chicago Fire head coach Ezra Hendrickson during the second half at Soldier Field on April 2, 2022© Reuters

After ending a 10-game winless run with a 1-0 victory over DC United in their most recent home match, Chicago Fire were condemned to their eighth league defeat of the season when they lost 2-0 away at Houston Dynamo last weekend.

Despite recording 17 shots on goal, the Fire were unable to breach Houston's backline, while the hosts scored twice in the first half courtesy of strikes from Thorleifur Ulfarsson and Darwin Quintero.

Ezra Hendrickson's side are already nine points behind the playoff places and currently sit level on points at the foot of the table with DC United. Their form will need to improve quickly if they wish to finish inside the top seven for the first time since 2017.

Goals have been hard to come by for Chicago as they have found the net just 14 times in 16 league matches, the fewest of all 28 MLS teams so far this term.

The Fire have, however, scored in four of their last five meetings against Philadelphia, albeit winning only once during this period. Chicago's 2-0 home win over the Union in September 2019 is in fact their only victory in their last nine competitive encounters against them.

Philadelphia Union players celebrate a goal in the second half against Charlotte FC at Subaru Park on April 3, 2022© Reuters

Philadelphia secured all three points in dramatic fashion when they beat New York City FC 2-1 on home soil last weekend.

Heading into their clash with the reigning MLS Cup champions, the Union had won only once, lost twice and drawn seven of their previous 10 matches across all competitions. However, they were able to get over the line and secure three crucial points to leapfrog their title rivals to the summit.

NYCFC thought they had claimed a point when Valentin Castellanos scored an 89th-minute equaliser from the penalty spot to cancel out Mikael Uhre's ninth-minute opener, but a 96th-minute winner from substitute Cory Burke sealed the victory for the hosts.

Jim Curtin's side, who have extended their unbeaten league run to 10 matches, now sit two points clear of NYCFC at the top of the Eastern Conference, although the latter have a game in hand.

Philadelphia now have three successive games against the bottom three sides in the Eastern Conference, with Thursday's encounter against Chicago up first. The Union have only won one of their last six away fixtures but victory at Soldier Field will see them remain at the top of the table for now.

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

Philadelphia Union Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W

Philadelphia Union form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W


Team News

Philadelphia Union midfielder Deniel Gazdag (6) reacts with defender Kai Wagner (27) after scoring a goal from a penalty kick in the second half against the San Jose Earthquakes at Talen Energy Stadium on March 12, 2022© Reuters

Chicago Fire star Xherdan Shaqiri has missed the last two matches with a thigh injury and is doubtful for Thursday's fixture, while Miguel Navarro (COVID-19), Kendall Burks (knee), Wyatt Omsberg (ligament), Jairo Torres (hip) and Chris Brady (ankle) all remain sidelined.

Former Philadelphia striker Kacper Przybylko is set to lead the line for the hosts, with support to be provided on the flanks by Stanislav Ivanov and Fabian Herbers.

A back four of Boris Sekulic, Carlos Teran, Rafael Czichos and Jonathan Bornstein is set to remain intact, shielding Chelsea and Real Madrid-linked goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina.

As for Philadelphia, they have a clean bill of health and Curtin will have a fully-fit squad to choose from on Thursday.

Curtin is set to stick with a 4-3-1-2 diamond formation, with Daniel Gazdag expected to operate in the number 10 role in front of centre-midfield trio Leon Flach, Jose Martinez and Alejandro Bedoya.

After scoring the winning goal off the bench on Sunday, Burke will be hoping to force his way into the first XI ahead of Julian Carranza.

Chicago Fire possible starting lineup:
Slonina; Sekulic, Teren, Czichos, Bornstein; F. Navarro, Gimenez; Ivanov, Gutierrez, Herbers; Przybylko

Philadelphia Union possible starting lineup:
Blake; Harriel, Glesnes, Elliott, Wagner; Flach, Martinez, Bedoya; Gazdag; Burke, Uhre


SM words green background

We say: Chicago Fire 0-2 Philadelphia Union

Philadelphia have drawn at lot of games in recent weeks and have also drawn their last two encounters with Chicago, but last weekend's victory over NYCFC should give them plenty of confidence to claim maximum points on Thursday.

The current league leaders will be firm favourites to beat the lowest ranked MLS side and they should have no problems in securing a routine win on the road.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.


Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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How you voted: Chicago Fire vs Philadelphia

Chicago Fire
9.5%
Draw
23.8%
Philadelphia Union
66.7%
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Real Salt Lake head coach Pablo Mastroeni during the second half against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park on April 3, 2022
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia25139345192648
2CF MontrealMontreal2513484341243
3New York City FCNY City24126645271842
4New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls2510783831737
5Columbus Crew2481063227534
6New England RevolutionNew England248973634233
7FC CincinnatiCincinnati258984245-333
8Orlando City2596102836-833
9Inter MiamiInter Miami2596103241-933
10Chicago Fire2586112834-630
11Atlanta UnitedAtlanta247893336-329
12Toronto2585123743-629
13Charlotte FCCharlotte FC2592143039-929
14DC United2464142848-2022

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