MLS
ChicagoCHI
2
FINAL
2
PortlandPOR

Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Match Preview

Chicago Fire vs. Portland Timbers
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 5
Toyota Park — Bridgeview, Illinois
6:00 pm ET – March 31, 2018
WATCH: MLS LIVE

The Portland Timbers solidified their backline and bounced back after conceding first to earn a first point of the season in a 1-1 draw at FC Dallas Saturday with Giovanni Savarese making five changes to a side that was shellacked at Red Bull Arena on March 10.

The Chicago Fire returns from a bye week looking to rebound from a 2-1 loss at Minnesota United FC on March 17, their second straight defeat to kick off the campaign.

Both teams are looking for their first win of the 2018 season and the Chicago Fire are seeking a first-ever win over the Portland Timbers in their ninth all-time meeting.

Chicago Fire

While the Fire (0-2-0) still have a ton of long-term injuries, including Matt Polster, who is out 5-6 weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain suffering at training at March 16, the good news is rookie defender Grant Lillard returned to train fully with the first team on Tuesday after being sidelined for the first month with a knee injury.

“It’s great to be out there again playing,” the 22-year-old Homegrown signing said. “My knee feels 100 percent. I don’t have any second thoughts when I’m out there, no hesitations. That’s obviously really nice, being healthy again. Now I’m just working on getting sharp, getting fit, just getting back into the flow of things.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Matt Polster (right MCL sprain); M - Djordje Mihailovic (right ACL surgery), F - Michael de Leeuw (left ACL surgery), D - Jonathan Campbell (facial fracture), D - Jorge Corrales (infection); QUESTIONABLE: D - Grant Lillard (knee)

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

  • Notes: The Fire’s Nemanja Nikolic has an expected goals rate of 2.47 this season, the fifth-highest in MLS. … Chicago have scored in a club-record 33 consecutive league home matches, going 18W-5L-10D in that time.

Portland Timbers   

They are still in search of their first victory, but the Portland Timbers drew confidence from a 1-1 draw against FC Dallas on Saturday.

Savarese dropped captain Liam Ridgewell among a handful of changes to his starting XI and his replacement, Bill Tuiloma, who made his first-ever MLS start, was named to the MLS Team of the Week presented by Audi for Week 4.

Diego Chara, who broke his foot last October, made his 2018 debut on Saturday and provided a necessary boost in the midfield.

While the defense showed vast improvement following a 4-0 loss at Red Bull Arena two weeks ago, the attack continues to struggle as Sebastian Blanco scored his second goal of the season — the only player to find the back of the net yet for the Timbers.

  • Suspended: M - Lawrence Olum
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Vytas (right thigh), D - Roy Miller (left Achilles tendon); QUESTIONABLE: GK - Jeff Attinella (right thigh)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-2-1, right to left)
GK: Jake Gleeson — Alvas Powell, Larrys Mabiala, Bill Tuiloma, Zarek Valentin — Diego Chara, David Guzman, Cristhian Paredes — Diego Valeri, Sebastian Blanco — Fanendo Adi

  • Notes: Six of the seven goals Portland have conceded this season have come in the 15 minutes before the end of each half. … The Timbers drew their last road game, snapping a four-game road game losing streak in MLS play. Over those previous four games, they have failed to score more than one goal in any game.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: Chicago Fire 0 wins, 9 goals … Portland Timbers 4 wins, 14 goals … Ties 4
  • At Chicago: Fire 0 win, 3 goals … Timbers 1 wins, 4 goals … Ties 2
  • Last meeting at Chicago: Chicago Fire 1, Portland Timbers 1 (May 28, 2016)

Referees

Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Rubiel Vazquez
VAR: Alan Kelly

Read More

Current Form

Chicago
D
W
L
L
L
L
Portland
W
D
L
L
L
D

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Chicago Fire FCPortland Timbers
2Games Played3
0Wins0
2Losses2
0Draws1
4Goals2
6Goals Conceded7
17Shots26
11Shots on Target14
26Fouls committed37
26Fouls suffered29
6Offside7
5Corners15

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
CHI0101042
POR1200020.7
01234+Avg
CHI000103
POR000000
01234+Avg
CHI010001
POR120000.7

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
CHI0010163
POR0110172.3
01234+Avg
CHI000014
POR000000
01234+Avg
CHI001002
POR011012.3
Connection Lost. Reconnecting...

Generate a preview before publishing.