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Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. Columbus Crew SC
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 6
Toyota Park - Bridgeview

8:30 pm ET – April 7, 2018
WATCH: MLS LIVE 

The Chicago Fire continue to search for their first win of 2018, but they snapped a two-game losing streak to rally for a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers Saturday, while Columbus Crew SC tasted defeat for the first time this season, falling to the Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2-1 at home.

Crew SC has lost just once in their last 12 games against their Eastern Conference rivals (6W-5D) and average 1.8 goals per game against the Fire over that span.

Chicago Fire  

The Chicago Fire (0-2-1) have been ravaged by injuries and appeared on the verge of losing for a third straight time to start the season, but Brandon Vincent struck for a massive equalizer six minutes from full time in a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers.

“When you’re twice down and you get the draw, it’s ok, but I’m not a friend of playing for a draw or something,” Bastian Schweinsteiger said after the match. “I want to win. I think we should win these kind of games, but we’re not there to win these kind of games and that’s why we have a lot of work to do.”

Schweinsteiger, who slotted deep to solidify the defense, was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 5.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture), D - Jorge Corrales (infection), D - Matt Polster (MCL sprain), F - Luis Solignac (left quad); QUESTIONABLE: M - Daniel Johnson (lower back spasm)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Richard Sanchez — Kevin Ellis, Johan Kappelhof, Christian Dean, Brandon Vincent — Bastian Schweinsteiger, Dax McCarty — Aleksandar Katai, Tony Tchani, Elliot Collier — Nemanja Nikolic

  • Notes: Since the start of last season, Nemanja Nikolic has an expected goals rate (ex. penalties) of 20.9. Bradley Wright-Phillips is the next closest player (17.1). … The Fire have scored in 34 consecutive home league games, and have won 12 of their 19 home league games since the start of 2017 (3L-4D).

Columbus Crew SC       

Gyasi Zardes continued his fine form to start the season with his fourth goal in five games to put Crew SC (3-1-1) in front just before the half-hour mark, but Brek Shea and former Columbus forward Kei Kamara struck for second-half goals to lift the Whitecaps to a 2-1 victory and hand Crew SC their first defeat of the year.

The pace of play was something Columbus coach Gregg Berhalter found tough to swallow.

“i think this is a good wakeup call for us,” Berhalter said after the game. “Give Vancouver a lot of credit, they had a clear gameplan, they stuck with it and they executed it. But for us, I don’t think we can play at 60 percent of our highest level and win games in this league.”

  • Suspended: None 
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M - Mike Grella (left knee), D - Gaston Sauro (left knee), M - Eduardo Sosa (right ankle)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Zack Steffen — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Lalas Abubakar, Milton Valenzuela — Artur, Wil Trapp — Pedro Santos, Federico Higuain, Cristian Martinez — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: Federico Higuaín has created 16 chances this season for Crew SC, twice as many as the next closest teammate. … Columbus is unbeaten in their last six league road games (2W-4D), their longest such streak since a nine-game streak from July 7–October 16, 2004 (2W-7D).

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 25 wins, 86 goals … Columbus Crew SC 18 wins, 91 goals … Ties 18
  • At Chicago: Fire 15 wins, 47 goals … Crew SC 6 wins, 36 goals … Ties 10
  • Last meeting at Chicago: Chicago Fire 1, Columbus Crew SC 0 (April 8, 2017)

Referees

Referee: Jair Marrufo
Assistant Referees: Ian Anderson, Peter Balciunas
4th Official: Victor Rivas
VAR: Kevin Terry Jr

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Current Form

Chicago
Columbus

Season Stats

Chicago FireColumbus Crew SC
3Games Played5
0Wins3
2Losses1
1Draws1
6Goals9
8Goals Conceded5
27Shots47
14Shots on Target22
35Fouls committed53
35Fouls suffered55
11Offside19
12Corners26

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
CHI0111062
CLB1112091.8
01234+Avg
CHI001102.5
CLB010202.3
01234+Avg
CHI010001
CLB101001

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
CHI0020182.7
CLB2120051
01234+Avg
CHI001013
CLB012001.7
01234+Avg
CHI001002
CLB200000
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