DC United will hope to turn their Major League Soccer season around as they get set to host the Chicago Fire at Audi Field on Thursday.
Both teams are looking to end their three-game losing streaks after they each earned points in their opening match of this campaign.
There was a time when the Black-and-Red and the Fire were the cream of the crop in Major League Soccer, with DC capturing three of the first four league championships and Chicago winning the other.
Those glory days appear to be long gone as DC missed the playoffs last season and are not doing themselves any favours so far in 2021, losing their previous two games by an aggregate score of 7-2.
With several injuries before the start of the regular season, the four-time MLS Cup champions have struggled to find any sort of rhythm to their game so far.
First-choice keeper Bill Hamid has been sidelined with a groin injury, which has forced new manager Hernan Losada to take a chance by starting the rarely used veteran Chris Seitz in his place, a gamble that has yet to pay off.
Seitz has been a complete bust, conceding nine times to this point of the season and allowing three goals on the only three shots he faced last weekend versus Columbus.
When you talk about a team that is struggling, you have to mention the Chicago Fire, who have been equally as bad, if not worse than DC.
After such a bright start to their campaign, scoring twice in 11 minutes in their opening game, things have only gone downhill for Raphael Wicky and his team.
Their success so far has rested squarely on the shoulders of Robert Beric and Luka Stojanovic, the only players who have found the back of the net for this team so far.
Whatever Wicky has preached to his side, the message is not being received, as the Fire have been shut out of their last two games despite having more possession on each occasion.
They have struggled in the final third and failed to create a lot offensively, firing 12 shots on goal in their last three matches but scoring only once.
Yordy Reyna, Kevin Paredes, Chris Odoi-Atsem, Griffin Yow and Jacob Green all have unknown injuries for the Black-and-Red, while Bill Hamid is still suffering from groin problems.
DC got some contributions last weekend from their defenders Tony Alfaro and Frederic Brilliant, but unfortunately, they were both own goals.
Robert Beric led Chicago with 12 goals a season ago and he will be eager to get back on track against DC, whom he has never scored against in his MLS career.
The Fire will continue to soldier on without wingers Stanislav Ivanov and Fabian Herbers, as the Bulgarian is recovering from knee surgery while Herbers has a torn collateral ligament.
DC United possible starting lineup:
Seitz; Alfaro, Brillant, Najar; Moreno; Nyeman, Asad, Perez, Gressel; Kamara, Flores
Chicago Fire possible starting lineup:
Shuttleworth; Sekulic, Navarro, Calvo, Bornstein; Kappelhof, Gimenez; Frankowski, Stojanovic, Medran; Beric
We say: DC United 1-2 Chicago Fire
In the last five regular-season meetings between these clubs, things are dead even as DC and Chicago have each won once, with the other three games ending in a draw.
Individual quality should win the day in this fixture, and DC do not have anyone at the moment who can match the quality of Robert Beric and Luka Stojanovic.