Having gone three matches without tasting victory, Chicago Fire travel to Philadelphia, where they will take on the Union at Talen Energy Stadium. The hosts are also looking to bounce back having failed to win either of their last two matches.
Chicago wins in this fixture have been few and far between in recent times. Sunday’s visitors have won just one of their last five matches against Philadelphia, losing three of the other four. When the pair met one month ago, they played out a thrilling 3-3 draw. Will we see more of the same this time around?
Philadelphia Union – Home is where the heart is
The season is going well for Sunday’s hosts, and right now, Philadelphia are in a good position, as they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference, only two points shy of Nashville, who currently occupy second place. Overall, things have gone well, but it’s at home where the Philly boys have done their best work.
It took Jim Curtin’s men a while to get going on their own patch, but they’re now unbeaten in five at Talen Energy Stadium, four of which they’ve won. That unbeaten run has seen them score eight and concede two in the process, while they’ve also kept three clean sheets, conceding just one in their last four in front of a home crowd. Impressive stuff indeed.
Expected Line-Up: Freese – Mbiazo, Glesnes, Elliot, Wagner – Bedoya, Martinez, Flach – Monteiro, Santos, Przybylko
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Chicago Fire – Finding it tough
If the hosts are enjoying a promising campaign, then the visitors are struggling. It’s not been pretty for Raphaël Wicky’s men, who currently sit 13th in the Eastern Conference. But for the truly terrible season being endured by Inter Miami, Chicago Fire would be propping up the division, such has been their form.
They’ve certainly not thrived at home, claiming just five points from a possible 30, but on the road is where the FIre have found it very tough. Five travelling matches have yielded zero points, which regardless of how you look at it, is not good enough. Scoring goals has been an issue, as a total of two for shows, while they;ve not exactly kept teams at bay either, shipping 13. Improvement is very much needed.
Expected Line-Up: Shuttleworth – Omsberg, Pineda, Bornstein – Sekulic, Medran, Giminez, Navarro – Frankowski, Aliseda – Beric
Expert Pick #1 – Philadelphia Union to Win & Over 1.5 Goals @-105
If ever there was an opportunity for Philly to secure a convincing home win then this might just be it. Not only have they been exceptional at home of late, winning each of their last four, scoring an average of two goals per 90, but they’re up against a visiting side that has been near appalling on the road.
Chicago have lost five out of five on their travels this season, and they’ve only scored in two of those five. Offensively, though they probably do deserve to have a few more goals banked, their output has been reasonably weak, as just two goals in five proves. At the other end, even when they’ve not presented the opposition with lots of chances, when push has come to shove, they’ve found it impossible to put up any resistance, keeping no clean sheets, conceding 13 goals, allowing two or more in four out of five.
Expert Pick #2 – Under 3.5 Goals @
All things considered, the hosts ought to emerge victorious from this fixture and they look a good bet to score a couple of goals in the process, though we perhaps shouldn’t expect an overly high-scoring fixture. The pair may have shared six goals a month ago, but that was one of those days where everything simply went in. The fact that they produced a combined total of 2.2 expected goals on that occasion shows that the game didn’t merit six goals. That was also the first time in eight renewals of this fixture that more than three goals were scored.
It’s also worth noting that, in their respective home and away games, though Philly have been better offensively, neither have been amazingly creative. The Union have produced an average of 1.35 expected goals per 90 minutes at home, while Chicago Fire are averaging 1.28 on the road. There’s yet to be more than three goals in a Philadelphia Union home match this season too.
Expert Pick #3 – Philadelphia to Win HT/FT @+150
Philadelphia have made a habit of getting in front early, or at least during the opening 45 minutes, and then going on to get the job done on home soil. Sunday’s hosts have not only won each of their last four at home, but they’ve also held the lead at half time in each of those four. Furthermore, Chicago have trailed at the interval in four of their five away matches, each of which they’ve lost.
As an alternative betting option, a very small play on the hosts to win having been in front at the break stands out.
Quite simply, if you’re looking to get involved here, there are two clear options. The first is a simplistic win for the hosts, who’ve shown more than enough to suggest that they can get the better of a weak visiting side. However, don’t expect too many fireworks, as many of the signs point towards a relatively low-scoring win for the home side. Those interested in a correct score play could do far worse than 2-0 to the Union.