Two teams really in need of a win will go head-to-head at Soldier Field on Sunday evening, as the Chicago Fire host New York Red Bulls. The home team has now gone five matches without tasting victory, while the visitors are without a win in five too.
The New York Red Bulls are dominant in this fixture. Sunday’s visitors have won three of the last five renewals, as well as winning six of the ten games between the pair since 2016. Chicago have won just two of those ten matches, while they’ve only won one of their last seven home games against NYRB.
Chicago Fire – Struggling
The season has been something of a struggle for the Chicago boys so far. Currently, only two teams are below them in the Eastern Conference, they’re one of the lowest scorers in the division, while they’re also the not-so-proud owners of one of the worst goal differences in all of Major League Soccer.
However, if there’s a positive ahead of this match, then it’s that all of their best work has come on home soil, where they’ve actually scored more than they’ve conceded (just), and have lost only one of their last six. At the very least, the goals have flowed for the Fire at home, where they’ve notched nine in their last five.
Expected Line-Up: Shuttleworth – Calvo, Pineda, Kappelhoff – Sekulic, Gimenez, Medran, Aliseda, Bornstein – Offor, Beric.
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New York Red Bulls – Travelling troubles
It’s not been the best campaign for the visitors either. NYRB find themselves down in 9th position, while they only have five points more than strugglers Chicago. They’ve not exactly been receiving heavy beatings of late, with both of their recent losses being by just a single goal, but they’re finding it very tough to get their noses in front.
Moreover, the road hasn’t been kind to Gerhard Struber’s men, who’ve lost each of their last four travelling matches. They’ve won only one out of eight away games this season, which is massively disappointing given their rich history of being a club that reaches the postseason. Improvement is definitely needed if they’re to make the play-offs this time around.
Expected Line-Up: Carlos – Duncan, Edwards, Tarek, Gutman – Casseres, Davis, Clark – Carmona -Klimala, Fabio.
Expert Pick #1 – Over 2.5 Goals @-133
At the current odds, goals look a good bet here. Not only hav CHicago scored plenty at home in recent times, scoring 12 in their last six, but they’ve conceded lots too, shipping eight during that period. There’s been no shortage of goals in NYRB’s recent away fixtures either, with more than three goals being scored in three of their last four.
When we add in xG numbers at this venue, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ really starts to appeal strongly. Both for and against, the hosts are averaging 2.97 expected goals per 90 at home, which helps to explain why at least three goals have been scored in five of their last six at Soldier Field.
Expert Pick #2 – Chicago Fire to Score Over 1.5 Goals @+105
As a secondary option, a bet on multiple Chicago Fire goals is viable. Raphaël Wicky’s men have scored an average of two goals per game in their last six at home, scoring at least twice in four of those six. Against a Red Bulls outfit that has conceded at least three times in three of their last four on the road, the hosts are a solid bet to find the net more than once. Especially since the visitors have surrendered expected goals numbers of 2.3, 1.5, 3.8 and 1.5 in their last four travelling fixtures.
Expert Pick #3 – Robert Beric @+165
Against a floundering NYRb rearguard, Chicago Fire frontman Robert Beric has a big opportunity to add to his tally here. The Slovenian hasn’t been starting too much of late, but with fixture build up and after a mid-week game, he’s likely to come in from the start.
He may only have two goals this term, but Beric averages a pleasing 0.43 expected goals per 90, which isn’t to be ignored, while the regularity with which he shoots is impressive too. The big man up top fires off an average of 3.36 shots per 90, and he’s unlikely to be short of opportunities to test the keeper against a visiting team that continues to give lots away.
Both teams will see this fixture as an opportunity to put a much-needed three points on the board, and everything about their respective home and away form points towards plenty of goals, especially for the hosts, who’ve scored lots at home of late and now get the chance to face an away team that has been conceding lots on the road.