That’s right when it comes to the MLS, the East is wilder than the West, at least at the time of writing. For example, New York City FC is the top-scoring team in the Conference, but the reigning champs are six points behind first place. Plus, there are four points between seventh and 13th place, meaning only DC United is practically out of the playoff race.
That means the Chicago Fire still has hopes despite being in 12th place. However, that also means they can’t afford to lose against the Citizens. The Reds, who have been considerably better when playing at Toyota Park, dominate the soccer odds, but the reigning champions always deserve respect.
Chicago Fire: Home Sweet Home
Last Saturday, the Chicago Fire was humiliated in Philadelphia. The Union had no mercy and defeated the Reds 4-1. Curiously enough, the Fire won possession with 57% and took seven shots on target, the same as the home side.
Overall, the Reds own a 3-2-8 record when playing on the road. Nevertheless, things have been quite different at Toyota Park, where they’re 5-4-3. In fact, the Fire only lost one of its last six home matches, keeping a clean sheet in all five games in which they avoided defeat.
Precisely, we’re talking about one of the best defensive teams in the league. Yes, they’re sitting in twelfth place, but they’ve allowed less goals than nine other teams, including CF Montreal, aka second place. Chicago has kept 11 clean sheets in its last 15 games at home.
Offensively, there’s no doubt that Xherdan Shaqiri is the main reason for you to consider including them in your soccer picks. The Swiss has provided an assist on four of the Fire’s last five goals. Overall, he has 11 assists and four goals.
Those home numbers and Shaquiri being on fire are the main reasons for Chicago to come in as the favorite at +130.
New York City FC: Time To Bounce Back
It seems that the reigning champions can’t recover from Valentin Castellanos’ departure. The Citizens have lost their last three games, conceding three goals in all three defeats. This is the first time that NYCFC has allowed three goals in three straight matches. Yes, Castellanos was a striker, but you know what they say, the best defense is a good offense.
Most recently, they played host to Charlotte FC and lost 3-1. Even so, the Citizens are third, meaning they still have the chance to finish first and win an extra week off. Maxime Chanot scored New York’s lone goal. Believe it or not, that put an end to a run of 25 straight NYCFC goals scored by South Americans.
Prior to that, they lost 3-2 to Inter Miami and 3-2 to the Columbus Crew. That’s the worst part, that they’ve been losing to inferior teams.
“Every time you lose and when you start to lose back to back you start to get really frustrated. But when I look in the guys’ eyes, they’re so hungry and so motivated to fix this and you see it in the way that they work. We’re not going to overthink this; it’s three defeats in a very good season,” said interim head coach Nick Cushing to the press.
He’s not wrong, there’s no need to panic. Yes, Castellanos is gone, but they still have Heber Araujo and Talles Magno. Each has scored six goals. There’s also Maximiliano Moralez, who has seven assists. Only Magno has more with eight.
Despite sitting in third place and having scored 18 more goals than Chicago, New York is offering a +200 price in the sportsbook. Again, it’s the wild, wild East.
Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 168
- Chicago Fire Victories: 33 (167 goals)
- New York City FC Victories: 99 (342 goals)
- Draws: 36
New York City FC has won 8 of its last 13 matches against the Chicago Fire, though only one of those victories was in the Windy City. Since 2017, Chicago has had a 2-3-1 record when playing at home against the Citizens.
They already collided this season. It was in May, at Yankee Stadium, and NYCFC won 1-0 thanks to a penalty scored by Araujo.
Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Match Information
- Date: Sunday, August 21
- Time: 6:00 p.m. ET
- Location: Toyota Park, Bridgeview
- Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Live Stream: fubo.tv
Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Betting Lines
Chicago Fire vs New York City FC Prediction
Right now, there are 12 points between the two, but the Chicago Fire is way better than that. Yes, the Reds lost the last two times they met, but put up a really good fight in both 1-0 defeats. Plus, they won the last time they met at Toyota Park. That being said, I do believe the visitors have what it takes to put an end to their losing streak, but not to win. Additionally, you can expect a close battle, enough for the total to go under 2½ goals, just like it happened in four of their last five encounters. Go ahead and include the draw in your betting online ticket.