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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
W
L
L
L
L
D
Columbus
L
W
W
D
W
L

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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