MX23RW : Tuesday, October 26 19:41:57| >> :120:25913:25913:
Oct 3, 2021 at 9pm UK at BMO Field
TorontoToronto
3-1
Chicago FireChicago Fire
Delgado (44'), Gonzalez (56'), Soteldo (70')
Soteldo (9'), Laryea (89')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Beric (16')
Offor (87')

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

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

Two teams with new coaches, who are coming off rare victories, will face each other on Sunday in a matinee encounter at BMO Field as Toronto host the Chicago Fire.

The Reds are unbeaten in their last three MLS encounters, after hanging on to a 3-2 win over FC Cincinnati, while the Fire ended a five-match winless run by blanking New York City FC 2-0.


Match preview

Toronto FC players celebrate after a goal by forward Patrick Mullins on June 24, 2021© Reuters

It may be too little too late, but in any event, Toronto are at least showing some encouraging signs near the tail end of what has been a forgettable campaign.

Javier Perez has seen his side win their last two matches at home as they have fought their way out of last place in the Eastern Conference.

Five of their remaining seven matches will take place at BMO Field, and if they want to make up the 17-point deficit they face for a playoff position, they cannot afford to come away without three points too often.

This is easily as good as this team have looked all season, earning results against two of the top teams in the league (a win versus Nashville SC and a draw against the Colorado Rapids) while they have also been a lot more composed at the back, especially in Colorado where they held the Rapids to only one shot on target last Saturday.

Toronto seem to be enjoying themselves on the field, and we are seeing them achieve some positive results as they are playing a lot looser and with a lot more fluidity, especially in their passing.

They are also starting to put away their chances scoring on half of their targeted efforts combined in their previous two homes games.

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

Not even a shutout win over New York City FC was enough for Raphael Wicky to keep his job, as the Fire parted ways with their manager following that victory on Wednesday.

At the very least, the now-former Swiss coach can say that he left on a high note, and there were not a lot of those to speak of during his tenure, going 12-25-14 in the regular season, finishing a point shy of the postseason in 2020.

Interim boss Frank Klopas inherits a side who seem to make one too many mistakes in virtually every match despite winning their last encounter.

They come into this game 12 points back of the Philadelphia Union for a playoff berth but have been disappointing on the road, dropping three in a row and failing to score each time.

Only one of their final six remaining games will take place at home, so even though their opponents on Sunday have more ground to make up, it seems more realistic that Toronto could make up their deficit rather than Chicago.

The main reason is that the Fire are at their worst when they are the visitors, earning only one win and a draw in their 12 road games this year.

Toronto Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

Toronto form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

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



Team News

Toronto FC interim head coach Javier Perez looks on during the first half against New York City FC at BMO Field on August 7, 2021© Reuters

Ifunanyachi Achara and Jacob Shaffelburg have been integral parts of the TFC turnaround lately, with each scoring a goal against Cincy on Wednesday, while Yeferson Soteldo set up the equalising goal for the Reds, kickstarting the comeback versus the Orange-and-Blue.

The Toronto injury list remains a very long one as Ayo Akinola has a torn ACL, Alejandro Pozuelo, Chris Mavinga, Dom Dwyer and Tsubasa Endoh all have lower-body injuries, Jozy Altidore is suffering from a heel injury, Eriq Zavaleta is out with an undisclosed issue and Ralph Priso has yet to recover from his ankle surgery.

On Wednesday, Omar Gonzalez replaced the injured Mavinga in the starting lineup, while Achara, Michael Bradley and Shaffelburg were put in instead of Zavaleta, Noble Okello and Patrick Mullins.

The last time Chicago faced Toronto, Ignacio Aliseda was their most dangerous player, creating several quality scoring opportunities, but Alvaro Medran was the only one able to beat goalkeeper Alex Bono, who was spectacular, stopping 13 of the 14 shots that he faced.

Francisco Calvo has a right thigh injury, Brian Gutierrez has a right ankle problem, Boris Sekulic is struggling with back issues, Carlos Teran has a right thigh injury and Kenneth Kronholm remains out with a knee injury.

Federico Navarro scored his first of the season in their last match, while Robert Beric had perhaps his best outing of the year, scoring the winner early in the second half and setting up the insurance marker in the 66th minute.

Toronto possible starting lineup:
Bono; Auro, Gonzalez, Lawrence, Morrow; Achara, Delgado, Okello, Osorio; Shaffelburg, Soteldo

Chicago Fire possible starting lineup:
Slonina; Omsberg, Pineda, Bornstein; F. Navarro; Aliseda, M. Navarro, Gimenez, Herbers; Ivanov, Beric


SM words green background

We say: Toronto 2-1 Chicago Fire

It has taken nearly the entire season for Toronto FC to show us what we all thought they were capable of at the start of the year, so look for them to play with a ton of desperation, knowing that they may need to win out to have any hope of qualifying for the postseason.

Plain and simple, Chicago cannot win on the road because their final touch has let them down, and they make far too many errors.



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


ID:466413:1false2false3false:QQ:: from db desktop :LenBod:collect12905:

How you voted: Toronto vs Chicago Fire

Toronto
66.7%
Draw
33.3%
Chicago Fire
0.0%
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Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against DC United at Audi Field on August 24, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England32217464402470
2Nashville SCNashville311116447281949
3Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia311310843321149
4Orlando City31121184544147
5New York City FCNY City311281151341744
6Atlanta UnitedAtlanta30111094034643
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls30127113731643
8CF MontrealMontreal311110104441343
9DC United31125145150141
10Columbus Crew31108133842-438
11Inter MiamiInter Miami31115153348-1538
12Chicago Fire3297163651-1534
13Toronto3168173560-2526
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3148193364-3120

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