Orlando City could move into the top four of the Eastern Conference this weekend, but would need a win of their own and a little help from Philadelphia Union in order to do so. Ironically, Chicago Fire sit three points behind Philadelphia Union and will be hoping that their rivals lose at New York RB this weekend so that they have a chance of moving up into seventh place. Chicago Fire’s season has been a disappointing one so far, with Sunday’s guests losing six of their eleven MLS games so far and only managing to pick up three wins. Orlando have stuttered over the last couple of matches, but overall they will be very pleased with how their season has started and remain hopeful of finishing in the top half which would show a marked improvement on their tenth place finish of the previous campaign.
When these two clubs last locked horns back in June 2017, hosts Chicago Fire ran out convincing 4-0 winners over Orlando City in what was a truly one sided match. Accam scored twice inside the first ten minutes to thrust the hosts into a two goal lead, but the remainder of the first half failed to produce any more goals. Nikolić made it 3-0 and ended any hopes of an Orlando rival just seven minutes after the restart, and Accam was handed the chance to complete his hat trick from the penalty spot just after the hour mark and did so with ease. The 4-0 scoreline didn’t reflect unfairly on Orlando City, who failed to force Chicago Fire goalkeeper Lampson into a single save during the entire ninety minutes.
Orlando City may have been crushed by Chicago Fire last time they met, but heading into their latest encounter its the hosts who earn the title of form favourites. Orlando City have won four and lost two of their last six matches, while Chicago Fire have won three, drawn one, and lost two during that same period. We’re expecting a decent amount of goals from Sunday’s game as both sides have been involved in a majority of matches that have produced over 2.5 goals recently. Five of each teams last six MLS games have witnessed at least three goals scored, while two of their last three games against one another have also produced over 2.5 goals. Both teams have lost their last two matches, but Chicago have conceded three goals in each of those games and Orlando City will be looking to take advantage of their guests leaky defence on Sunday.
Both clubs top scorers in the MLS so far this season have six goals to their name, Dwyer for the hosts and Nikolić for the visitors, and don’t be surprised to see one or both players add to their tally this weekend.
We’re confident that over 2.5 goals will be scored in this game as both sides have been scoring and conceding on a regular basis of late. Each side have been able to produce just one clean sheet in their last six matches, which bodes well for our prediction of goals on Sunday. In terms of a final score, we’re backing the hosts Orlando City to come out on top of a five-goal thriller as the 3-2 victors.
Orlando City Predicted Lineup: Bendik, Sané, Tarek, Mounir, Johnson, Klještan, Meram, Higuita, Rosell, Mueller, Stéfano.
Chicago Fire Predicted Lineup: Sánchez, Kappelhof, Ellis, Lillard, Vincent, Schweinsteiger, Katai, Tchani, Adams, Nikolić, Campos.
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Sunday’s game marks the tenth meeting between these two clubs, and as things stand Chicago Fire edge the head to head record with 3 wins, 4 draws, and 2 defeats. Chicago Fire haven’t lost in their last four games against Orlando City.
Stajduhar, Spector, Dwyer, and Sutter could all be absent for the visit of Chicago Fire because of injury.
Mihailovic, de Leeuw, Polster, Solignac, Bakero, Collier, and McCarty are set to miss Sunday’s game due to injury.